Most students are now about a month or so into this academic year. Whilst you may have got completely stuck into your course and be the model dedicated student, on the other hand, you might be struggling to stay motivated and keep on top of things as the weeks and months go by.
If you think you might be falling into the latter category, don’t panic! Here are a few tips and suggestions to help you stay on track and motivated as you progress through the year.
Lacking motivation? Don’t be in denial
Sometimes students find themselves gradually falling behind and losing motivation as the weeks go by - does this sound a bit like you? If it does, then it’s a pretty good idea to be honest with yourself and try to work out the reason why this might be the case. It’s important to remember, whatever the issue, there is always a solution.
If you’re struggling to understand any of the content in your modules, now is the perfect time to be confident in asking your lecturers for any clarification you need, and to catch up with your personal tutor. I know from personal experience it can feel quite embarrassing to admit you aren’t understanding a topic or assignment brief, but you’ll probably feel a sense of relief when you’ve asked for some help and have been given some extra guidance.
If you think your motivation at university might be affected by things going on outside of your course, such as any financial worries, for example, I’d really recommend booking an appointment with Student Services who can offer lots of advice and support to help you stay on track and feel confident going forward in your studies.
Get to know your coursemates – they can help you stay motivated
Maybe you’ve already made some good friends with other students on your course, or perhaps you’ve preferred to socialise with people from your accommodation, or previous friends from outside university. With deadlines looming, the other students on your course could be a great resource to tap in to, to help you stay motivated.
Whether it’s getting your heads down together in the library to share sources for that upcoming essay, or spending time catching up for a more casual lunch, bounce ideas off of each other and maintain a support group of students working towards the same degree as you. It will keep you in the loop and stop you feeling like you’re having to face those assignments on your own.
Another good tip is to take notice of the students who seem the most enthusiastic on your course (and who contribute the most to seminars or workshops), and try and get to know them a bit more, as their enthusiasm and motivation may well be contagious… in a good way!
Let your future motivate you
If you’ve just started university, thinking ahead about what you might like to do post-graduation probably seems a pretty daunting idea, but it doesn’t have to be! Thinking about your goals for the future can help you stay motivated with what you’re doing in the present.
For example, if you spot a potential graduate scheme you might be interested in that requires a certain degree classification, let that motivate you to try and achieve your best marks to make that dream job that little bit more achievable. I’ve personally found that looking into ideas of what I can do after I finish university actually makes me realise that there’s a huge range of jobs and postgraduate courses available that I never even knew existed. Reminding myself of all these great potential opportunities keeps me motivated to do my best in my coursework whenever I start to feel my motivation lessening. Going to the University of Suffolk careers fairs can really help with this, as can having a chat with the great careers team.
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