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Staying In School: Beating The Late Fall Doldrums

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Summary: If you are like most University students, November can be a tough month. You might have just finished all of your midterms, or maybe you're still writing midterms. No matter the situation, it can seem like you have eons to go before Christmas break in December, and even longer before you will be finished with your degree. Here are some tips for staying motivated in school. Pros and Cons Remind yourself why you are in school. What kind of a job will you be able to get wh...

If you are like most University students, November can be a tough month. You might have just finished all of your midterms, or maybe you're still writing midterms. No matter the situation, it can seem like you have eons to go before Christmas break in December, and even longer before you will be finished with your degree. Here are some tips for staying motivated in school. Pros and Cons Remind yourself why you are in school. What kind of a job will you be able to get when you are finished? What will happen to you if you quit school? Sometimes just the thought of how much money you have paid to be in school is enough to motivate students. You have paid a lot of money (your savings, maybe you have a loan) for this experience. Make it count by getting the best grades you can. If you don't love school Not everyone adores their program. Some people, however, really do enjoy what they are learning. If you despise what you are studying, consider changing your major. If you love your philosophy class more than your chemistry classes, why not become a philosophy student? Although you might see less application of a philosophy degree, you will do better in classes that you love. Always study what you love, and that will help you stay motivated about your studies. If you really want that chemistry degree, however, you can always take one philosophy course a semester (for a minor, perhaps?) to keep your interest. Make a list Make a list of all of the things that you would do differently again if you were to register. Maybe you will never again take a history course. Maybe you can't stand the idea of having reading to do over Christmas, and so you only want to take half-year courses. If your 8:00 a.m. class is the one causing you most problems, try not to schedule further early morning classes. This will help you when you register next time, and can help you avoid some of the problems that you are currently in. Mix it up If you think that you can't possibly read another play for your Shakespeare class, mix up your schedule. Can you write that short paper for your French Enlightenment class instead? If you alternate between lab reports and reading chapters in your textbook, that will help break the monotony and help you with the doldrums. You can even alternate with non-school items, like watering your plants or doing the laundry. Remember the basics Although it seems too basic to even mention, take time for yourself. Exercise and eat healthily and you will feel better about yourself. You will have more energy and be more ready to finish the term. Make it Rewarding Studying hard to get an A on a test does have rewards, but grades are somewhat abstract. If you keep a To Do list, you can put a small reward next to each item on your list. For instance, your reward for finishing a chapter of your Astronomy textbook could be that you get to make yourself a cup of tea. Make your rewards reasonable and suited. And be sure to give yourself one big reward for getting everything done that day: you deserve to watch that episode of Buffy.
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