How to Stay Motivated over Summer Break
It's summer break and you're having trouble staying motivated when it comes to your academics. The semester just ended, your brain is tired out, and the last thing you want to do is think about school on these bright, sunny days. So, what can you do to prevent your mind from wandering too far off track? Here are some tips and ideas to not only have a sensational summer but a rewarding one as well.
- Read. There are many benefits when it comes to reading. The best kind of books will surely lead you through an intellectual and thoughtful journey. They help make for open minds, self-acceptance as well as acceptance of others, awareness, higher levels of understanding, greater capacities for empathy, better decision making, promotion of security, life satisfaction and so much more. Instead of grabbing your cell phone and scrolling through the latest gossip on Facebook, use that time to look through some old books you might have collecting dust around the house or take a trip to the library. Whether the books that you choose be fiction or nonfiction, both are appropriate. You are sure to learn new things and develop new ideas or expand your imagination to see the world through a different light. Though the stories might end, your choices are endless. Remember, never judge a book by its cover!
- Volunteer. Volunteering is a great way to not only give back to the community but to also acquire new skills, expand your connections/meet new people, learn more about the field you are interested in or simply aid in career decision making, build character, broaden perspectives, view the realities of what it is like in such area of interest, show the benefits of hard work and where your place could rest in the future, and motivate you to try your hardest to get there. Volunteering also makes for a better chance of finding your calling because if the work is not what you had thought or hoped for, you can then seek opportunity and gain experience in something else. As you can see, doing volunteer work has many rewarding benefits other than just looking good on a resume. Go out and dip your feet in the water!
- Make a to-do list prior to each day. Making lists is a great way to help you organize your thoughts and accomplish things without getting so overwhelmed. You are sure to be at ease when you are able to check an action off the list. Making a to-do list prior to each day will help prevent you from panicking each morning from either the fear of getting nothing done/lack of productivity, laziness, forgetfulness, confusion, and chaos. Do you ever feel like you have so much to do, yet find yourself on the couch watching television or simply doing anything other than what you should be? If you write out a list and proceed to take action, you are more likely to wake up each morning and feel driven to get the day started. You can break up tasks throughout the week if you'd like so that you're not trying to cram a substantial amount in one day. Simple lists can transform into achievable goals and extraordinary dreams. It's neat to be able to look at not only how far you have to go but importantly how far you have come. To get somewhere, you have to start somewhere. Start tracking your progress. Take your thinking to the next level. After all, what you do today can influence all of your tomorrows.
- Watch informational shows or movies. You can find practically anything out on the internet or on DVD. It's important that every day you try to learn something new and this is a fun way to do so. It feels good to know that you are bettering yourself by expanding your knowledge, whether what you are watching is related to your field of interest or not. You'd be surprised at all of the interesting factual things there are to watch. It can be easy to fall into the trap of truTV or ESPN, but you might just take something away from another channel or movie that you find. Start broadening your view!
- Surround yourself with positivity. It is important that you allow those in your life who support you, encourage you, and motivate you. Often times, when we're with groups of people who are being negative, we are likely to join in with them. Even if you do not partake in conversation, the negative vibes can over-run one's mind. If you have to, leave the situation. You cannot let the harmful attitudes of others influence your own. Sometimes you have to stand your ground and be mindful of who is around you. You may not always have the opportunity to change the environment, but you can always stand strong as an individual. For example, let's just say that there is a huge test tomorrow. You are sitting outside with a group of friends next to you who are talking about how they aren't going to study. You might lean towards making the same choice, as you see that you are the only one taking it seriously and you would rather just enjoy the evening with the others. This would be a time where you should distance yourself from the ones making poor choices. Sometimes, you have to do the same thing over the summer. Be honest with yourself and how you feel. When summer comes, many see this as an opportunity just to stay out late and sleep in even later. It can be tough to stick to the things you have planned to do for yourself when you see that the rest seem to be doing nothing but having great times without you. I'm not saying to miss out on all the fun, but to also stay attentive of your responsibilities and goals. If you surround yourself with positivity and people who embrace working towards their goals no matter the time of year, you just might find yourself feeling more motivated to achieve your own. Though it is important to live in the present, it doesn't hurt to be thoughtful of the future. Do yourself a favor and clear away what negativity you can to make room for renewed energy. Share your dreams with those who value them as much as you do.
- Reflect. Never forget to recognize how far you've come. Be proud of yourself. Don't let anything get between the spaces from you to your success. You're going to have a great summer, you're going to learn new things, and you're going to bring all that you've got into the next semester. Sometimes it's OK to look back if it will help you see the obstacles you have overcome thus far. When you are done reflecting, continue to strive in the present. The future is waiting for you to dance on through.
- Look over the professors and evaluate your next classes. It's good to get stuff figured out while you have some time. Having an idea of who may be teaching what class will prevent you from being blind-sighted by what to expect. This also gives you the chance to possibly get the professor of your choosing.
- Take a summer class. What better way to keep your mind in school mode than to take a class or two over the summer. This will help keep you in the routine of studying and also help you either catch up or get ahead on your academics. Both of which benefit you. However, the format is accelerated, meaning that you will be taught the same amount of information as usual but within a shorter time-frame. There are some other advantages of taking summer classes such as smaller class sizes, which usually allows for more one-on-one time with the professor, and lessened distractions. Also, since the work load will be much lighter than during the school year, you'll have more time to dedicate to the class/classes you are enrolled in. This can be of convenience if you choose to take a more difficult course such as Calculus. If taking a summer class is something that truly interests you, you are sure to stay productive when the weather gets hot!
- Research your career. Get an idea of what is required in order to earn a position in x field. Read about the job duties, work hours, and work environment to ensure that it is compatible for you. Take a look at the average salary to get a realistic idea of what you can expect to earn. Although this may not be the most important factor, you should still feel secure that it will meet your lifestyle needs. Maybe you want to specialize, or, maybe you learn that there are many more locations that you can pursue your practice. Perhaps go as far as reviewing application processes. Learning about what you may want to do for the rest of yourself can be exciting. You might even change your mind and see a light flashing in something else. Whatever it is, one day you will get there, as long as you stay motivated to take each step along the way.
- Get enough sleep. By this, I mean that you should try to get to bed at a decent hour each night, not sleep the day away! Having time off can lead you to be careless of the amount of sleep you are getting. Although you may have a lot of things you want to get done, you should pick a time to cut off all activity and start winding down. Not getting enough sleep can lead to impaired brain activity, sickness, hallucinations, memory difficulties, and accidents as well as impair attention, concentration, alertness, problem solving and reasoning. Sleep deprivation can also lead to serious health complications such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and heart failure. Just like it is bad for you to get too little sleep, getting too much sleep is bad for you, too. Getting too much sleep can actually have a reverse outcome and leave you feeling more tired, sluggish, and sick. There are many medical problems linked to oversleeping such as being at a greater risk for diabetes, impaired brain activity, obesity, and less severe - headaches. By getting the right amount of sleep, you are fueling your body and mind to take on the next day. If you don't, not only will your brain be impaired but so will your productivity!
- Go shopping. Get yourself a bulletin board or a new desk to do your work at. Maybe you want new supplies such as notebooks, folders, binders, or labels. Some decorative boxes to organize school-related items can spark excitement to start off the new year strong. It feels good to start fresh. Try to create a personalized study area somewhere around your house where you can add in your new things. Sometimes it's the little things that have us feeling inspired. Invest in your success!
- Use social media in a new way. Follow Instagram and Pinterest pages related to academics. Pin school ideas such as ways to make your notes look better or fancy things that others have done to make their study area look extravagant. There are endless amounts of creative things that you can do to turn something ordinary into extraordinary. Create your own Pinterest of the future and include things related to your desired career or things that you wish to have one day. All of this will motivate you to keep going. Use it in the same way that someone would follow pages related to fitness to motivate them to live a healthier lifestyle. You will find that a lot of school-related pages have some really cool stuff! You could be your own personal designer this summer. You are the artist in charge of painting the picture of your future!
- Don't forget to enjoy your break. Plan a trip. Give yourself things to look forward to. Go out for ice cream. Life isn't always fun and games, but it doesn't always have to be a never ending workload either! You deserve this time to sit back and relax - just don't forget moderation! You hold the power to make your life everything you want it to be.