By Jose Ahumada
Staying motivated to do well in school can be a challenge now that courses are online due to the coronavirus pandemic. You might think it is easy to lose sight and procrastinate during this difficult time, but nothing could be further from the truth! With some time management and dedication, you can stay on top of your classes and still maintain that GPA! In order to help some of my fellow classmates here at CSULB, I have presented a few tips on staying motivated throughout the pandemic. Hopefully these tips will help you pass your classes and graduate with flying colors!
1. Put away any distractions when working on an assignment.
Since we are taking courses online, it is so easy to get distracted by scrolling through Instagram and watching “one more episode” of a show on Netflix. Before you know it, two hours will pass by and you will realize that you have not started on that research paper due in the next couple of hours. One way to get rid of distractions can be by temporarily deleting social media apps, silencing your phone or just putting it away somewhere else to charge while you focus on your work. Even something as simple as reading your required textbook outside at the park or outside seating at a local coffee shop can help. At the end of it, you’re the one in charge of the distractions around you.
2. Take care of your mental health.
The coronavirus pandemic and the pressures of college can put a lot of risk to your mental health by causing stress, anxiety and depression. Going for a drive, reducing social media use, eating healthy and getting enough sleep and exercise are just many ways of helping with your mental health. Open up to those close to you, whether it is a friend or family member. There are always people you care about and those who reciprocate that feeling as well. CSULB also has mental health services so make sure you reach out to them as well if you are experiencing any mental health issues.
3. Remember why you started in the first place.
While taking courses through Zoom does not offer the same experience as an in-person lecture (obviously), it is important to never forget why you started your academic journey. A great way for students to stay motivated is to remember why you are there in the first place. Whether it is to get an education, land a high paying career, find your passion or whatever your academic goals are, never forget why you started. It is important to look at the bigger picture and realize that college is only a warmup for life. If you can make it through the most difficult days, whether it’s staying up late to study for an exam or typing away a paper you put off until last minute, then just know that you will be able to make it through the real world when even more difficult days come. At the end of everything you will be walking with your diploma in hand and realizing all the hard work was worth it.
4. Don’t forget to make time for yourself.
With everything that is happening, don’t forget to also take time out of your day to focus on yourself. While it is important to do well in school and stay focused, remember that it is also important to have balance with everything in life. It’s okay to let lose sometimes if you are trying to stay motivated in college during the pandemic. You can do something along the lines of going for a walk/run, watching a movie, read a book, listen to podcasts, hang out with friends (at a safe distance), take a nap, work on some unfinished side projects you were working on or a hobby you are passionate about. Remember, it’s okay.
5. Check in with yourself.
If you are feeling unmotivated during the pandemic, make sure you understand why. Are you turning in assignments late? Do you forget to stay on top of assignments when trying to meet deadlines for specific projects? Are you easily distracted? If you are having trouble staying motivated it could be time to assess what it is that makes you feel that way and get to the source. It is easy to get discouraged with Zoom classes being the norm, but this is only temporary.
It is important to understand and deal with the things that make you feel unmotivated during the pandemic. Ultimately, you are the one who is in control of assessing the things that keep you from staying motivated in school throughout the COVID-19 crisis. You got this! Have any other tips for staying motivated during COVID-19? Comment below.
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