A Guide To Getting Ahead While You Still Have Motivation

"What do you mean? I'm gonna be motivated like this ALL semester," we hear you say. No, honey.

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You’re nearly at the end of summer and you’ve forgotten that time you stayed up til 2am writing like a maniac to get a paper in on time. All you can remember about uni is through a rose-tinted haze. Remember that time it all just clicked? Remember when you could hang with friends between classes? Uni was so great.

Accordingly, you look up all the info on your new classes. You spend ages perfecting your timetable and even flick through your textbook in preparation. You’re so motivated, ready to go, ready to learn. And it’s great! For like four weeks. Then the rose-coloured glasses come off and the late nights come back. You’re missing one lecture because you have work, and then you may as well miss another to catch up on the first and then oh dear – you’re behind and even the motivation to get up in the morning is missing.

If this sounds at all familiar to you, then thank god you’re here. Because we are discussing how to capitalise on those glorious moments of motivation, so the inevitable hole you fall into won’t be so deep.

Do As Many Readings As You Can

This one is pretty obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people do the readings for the week in the actual week they’re assigned. Get ahead by thinking ahead. Pretend uni starts two weeks earlier and start your weeks then. That way if you get sick, have stuff on, or just can’t be bothered anymore, you’ve got your arse covered for two weeks in advance.

Just remember to try and take notes, or else you might pull a blank when asked in the tutorial. 

Read The Assignment Question

Reading the question before you start the topic can have huge benefits. Firstly, it tells you what you’re actually being graded on, so you know when you need to pay attention. And secondly, in the back of your mind you can start to prepare yourself to answer it.

If you’re arguing something, sleeping on the question will help you decide which side to fight for. So when you sit down to start it the night before, at least you know roughly what you’re doing. 

Set Reminders Everywhere for Due Dates

When you fall down that hole of no motivation it can be easy to just want to crawl up the dark. Living in denial about due dates, while tempting, is probably not the best system. So, as soon as those dates come out, put them everywhere. And I mean everywhere. Put them in your diary, in your phone, on sticky notes, tell you friends and family, set reminders weeks out.

It only takes about five minutes and trust me, it’s a whole lot harder to let a due date creep up on you when everything and everyone reminds you.

Read The Past Exam

For us unfortunate souls who have to sit exams, we tend to palm them off as future problems. There’s a whole lot of time between start of semester and end. But, if you want to think ahead then just have a squiz at the exam from last year. It will tell you what to expect and it won’t seem so scary when exam time swings round again.

(Lead image: Clueless/Paramount Pictures)