Anna: A Senior’s Guide to Staying Motivated This Semester

The fall 2020 semester has revolutionized the way universities run and how students learn. I’ve been hearing from a lot of my friends how difficult it is to stay motivated during these times.

Here are some tips from me, a fellow COM senior, on how you can maximize your time and center your priorities for the rest of the school year!

Set a good weekly routine (and try your best to stick to it)


Whether you use Google Calendar, a notes app, or a physical planner, my tip is always to set a good routine. Every Sunday evening, run through your schedule and make sure you have everything ordered for that week.

Remember not to overbook yourself, and make sure to schedule in time for three meals a day and relaxation time at night! It may help to work through your calendar on a 24-hour time grid, which the ERC has a template for.

Connect with old friends


Several weeks ago, I texted my friends at my previous university, letting them know how thankful I was that I met them–not only did it make their day, but it also rekindled our relationship!

In times like these, we’re all looking for connections. It’s easy to send a text saying “Hello, I’m thinking of you and hope you are well”–don’t be afraid if you haven’t talked to them in a while! Be happy that you have the chance to make someone’s day! 

Have something to look forward to


The title speaks for itself! The thing you’re looking forward to doesn’t have to be something huge. It can be as small as looking forward to treating yourself to a sweet treat once you finish an assignment or exam at the end of the week. We all look forward to the weekend but adding that dash of excitement gives us something more!

Remember to make the thing you’re looking forward to tangible and something you can see in the near future.

Write in a gratitude journal


Studies show that those who write in a gratitude journal have lowered stress levels and improved mental health! Every night before going to sleep, I write in my gratitude journal. The prompt is the same–what am I thankful for that day? Who made my life a little better just by the little encounters or conversations? It can be the beautiful weather, the walk you took, or something that made you smile.

Doing this small act has allowed me to get a better night’s sleep and has shifted my perspective from the negatives of what’s happening in the world to a more grateful mindset. Even the worst of days, there’s at least one thing you can be thankful for. 



Prior to this semester, I’d never meditated before — but let me tell you, it works! I recommend taking a look at this website and filtering through to see if there’s a meditation that works for you!

A couple of weeks ago, I tried the body scan meditation and I had much more vivid dreams and recollections of them. I felt rejuvenated when I woke up. This meditation took roughly 15 minutes of my time, but some meditations are shorter or longer! 

This semester has undoubtedly had its ups and downs, but hopefully these tips help you to stay motivated if you need a boost!

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