How to Motivate Yourself at the Start of a New University Term

Written by DAS Editor
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January can be a challenging time of the year. With continued restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there are even fewer ways to stay energised. Many students see the start of a new term as a chance for a fresh start but we know that others struggle to stay motivated through the dark and cold days. It’s essential to put some things in place that will lift your mood, give you structure and keep you busy.

With more online learning expected in the new year, we understand that many students will feel disheartened and will be struggling to stay engaged with their work. We have put together our top 5 tips for pushing through this time and getting the most out of the new term.

Plan your term.

It’s a good idea at the start of the year, or the term, to loosely plan out the next few months. This doesn’t mean deciding what you will do every hour of the day for the next month but just giving yourself a general overview of what lies ahead. You might want to review when all your deadlines are and work out when you need to start working on them or looking at what you need to be reading each week for your classes. This can be recorded in whatever way suits you best, like a diary, an online calendar, or a big poster on your wall.

Remind yourself why you chose your subject.

Amid deadlines and piles of books, it can be easy to forget why you decided to come to university to study a particular subject. During a period of feeling unmotivated, it’s a great idea to remind yourself of this. This could be by reading or watching something unrelated to your course but connected to your field of interest; there are loads of free lectures, podcasts and interviews online to help you do this.

Plan things to look forward to.

As well as studying, it’s crucial to leave time for leisure activities and socialising, where it is safe to do so. Put some nice things in your diary which you can look forward to through the term. Even if these are just small rewards such as making a nice meal with the people you live with or watching a film.

Get outside. 

With the dark and cold weather, it can be easy to stay inside all day, but this can have a detrimental impact on your health and wellbeing. Try to get outside every day, even if it’s just for a short walk. It will help you to clear your head and sleep better at night. If you have the energy, try to do some exercise such as running or a longer walk.

Talk to your fellow students. 

Nobody can get through university alone, and this year has left many students more isolated than ever. The best way to stay motivated is to talk to those around you. While you may not be seeing them face to face, you are all in the same boat. Reach out online to someone on your course. You may be able to help each other.

Last Updated: Monday January 4 2021

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