Do you ever just feel overwhelmed with life? Has the business of life as a University student led to five hour couch sessions and countless naps? I’ve been there numerous times, and here are some things that have personally helped me get through the slump.
1. Make a checklist
This might be the easiest way to stay on top of things and keep your daily momentum going. Start off the day by writing what you have to do either in your notes app or on a piece of paper, and as the day goes on, check off what you were able to complete. When you begin the day having a somewhat clear idea of what you need to get done, whether that's buying groceries or working on an assignment, it makes the day go a lot smoother and you’ll find yourself wanting to check off every single box!
Exercising might seem like a tiring or obligatory task sometimes, but staying in shape is a really good way to get your adrenaline going and give your body the energy it needs. You could go on a run around Grounds, or go to the gym for a more intense workout. Charlottesville has several fitness classes available, such as Zoom Cycle, 9-round training, Orange Theory and more! However you choose to workout, getting your heart pumping is one of the best ways to stay in shape and stay motivated. For me, I find that starting my day off with an early morning Zoom cycling class gets my adrenaline levels up and gets me excited and ready to start the day.
3. Listen to a motivational podcast
On your walk to class, listening to music is a great way to get you pumped for the day. But how about throwing a motivational podcast every once in a while? Listening to something that relates to what you’re going through or dealing with at the time can go a long way in helping you put your day into perspective. “Everything Goes” by Emma Chamberlain is one of my personal favorite podcasts to listen to when I’m feeling a little overwhelmed with life. Her content heavily relates to the life of any college student and I think listening to her on your walk to class could give you some helpful tidbits of advice for whatever situation you’re dealing with. Whether it’s a heavy school load or even drama with friends, listening to a podcast that’s relatable can help motivate you throughout your day!
4. Switch up where you do work
Going to Clem 3 every night of the week can get a little boring. It also might make you a little less motivated to do your homework if you’re studying in the same place every day. If you switch up where you work every once in a while, you might discover new places or even a particular place’s environment that just does the trick and gives you the energy to do your work. I find that Clem 3 is a great place to do work and see your friends, but finding your own cool niche to study every once in a while might give you an extra boost of motivation. I recommend trying the rooftop of the Graduate!
5. Do work with friends
Meeting up to do schoolwork with friends during the week is a helpful way to hold yourself accountable to get work done in a fun way. Although sometimes it may serve as a distraction, having group work sessions on your lighter days allows you to have some social time with your friends and also get some work done. Planning group study sessions with your friends is a great way to make doing your homework a little less boring.
6. Cook yourself a meal
Eating the University’s dining hall food or grabbing a bite on the corner to fuel you throughout your day is an efficient way of eating during a busy day. But nothing beats a home-cooked meal, even if you can’t really cook. Taking the time to cook a meal not only makes you feel productive, but it gives you a nice break in your regular day of going to class and doing work. Discovering some new recipes or even cooking some meals with your friends is a great way to add some fun into your week! If you live in dorms, consider asking your RA if you and a couple of your friends can use a dorm kitchen to cook some delicious food!
7. Break bigger assignments into smaller milestones
That huge exam you have coming up? Yeah, sometimes it's hard to stay motivated in college when you’re worried or anxious about an upcoming assignment. If you have a huge project looming ahead, or a big application you have to submit soon, set a plan in your schedule to do a little bit every day. This is more of a mental thing — it's easier said than done, but focusing on one thing at a time and breaking up a big assignment into smaller milestones can keep you from panicking or procrastinating.
8. Spend time with yourself
Sometimes it might feel like you’re constantly busy or constantly with people. While this might be motivation for you if you’re an extrovert, sometimes it's nice to take some time to be alone and recuperate. You could go on a late night drive, or even go on a walk around Grounds. This alone time just might give you a chance to think things through and mentally take a break from all the craziness of school.
9. Take a self-care day
It's very important to have a break day every once in a while- a day where you just don’t do anything and focus on what your body needs the most in that particular moment. Whether that’s exercising, reading a book or even giving yourself a little spa treatment, having a day off to do whatever your heart desires is a good way to stay motivated and get through the week. Keeping yourself busy is usually a good thing, but having a day off during a stressful week is like pressing the restart button. Taking care of your body physically and mentally is probably the best way to keep the momentum going during any given week.
Last but not least, sleep. Yes, the “work hard, play hard” mentality is a good thing, but sleep is the only way to give yourself the energy you need throughout the day. Having at least eight hours is super important, but even if you can’t do that, try to get a good sleep in as much as you can. Trust me, getting good sleep helps you have a much more productive day, and you’ll feel ready to take on anything!