Have you ever felt completely and utterly unmotivated to study? I know I have! It happens to the best of us! Sometimes it’s because we are tired. Sometimes it’s because we would rather be doing something fun. And sometimes it’s because we are taking a class that we just flat out don’t like! However, these things don’t mean that we shouldn’t study! I mean, our GPA is important to us, right?! And there’s probably a good reason why we are in these unlikeable classes to begin with. Maybe it’s a class you have to take in order to graduate. Maybe you need a few more credits on your degree plan and this was the best option. This class could even be a pre-requisite for graduate school (I’m looking at you chemistry!)! So, how do we stay motivated to study for these classes? Here are a few things that I’ve found to be helpful!
1. Look at the Big Picture
What will you be able to accomplish by taking this dreadful class? Will it allow you to graduate college, apply to grad school, or even get a job? If so, then hopefully your dreams are bigger than your desire to give up! We aren’t always going to get the easy route in life. Often, we really have to work hard in order to get where we want to be! For us, right now, this means sitting through and studying for those classes that we don’t like. Remember, this class will only last a semester. What is that in comparison with your life goals and dreams? Plus, once you are finished with this class, you will have learned a lot and will be able to say “I did it!”.
2. Set Small, Easy to Reach Goals
Sometimes looking at the big picture isn’t enough. Yes, we know that this is a class that we need to take in order to reach our future goals, but it is still hard and can be really tough to see past what is happening right now (a.k.a. the mental exhaustion of taking an overwhelmingly difficult, unenjoyable, or boring class!). When this happens, I think that it is important to set small, easy to reach goals. Having bite-sized tasks are easier to handle than doing all of the hard stuff at once. Instead of writing down one big thing to accomplish this week, split it up into easier to handle chunks.
A great example of this is something that I try to do for every exam especially those that I am unmotivated to study for. Instead of writing “study for test” (which is a very broad and overwhelming task) in your planner, I want you to split things up like this. Let’s say this exam is on Friday. Here’s what my weekly layout would be:
Friday before the exam: read through and highlight class notes
Saturday: create half of the notecards in order to study
Sunday: create rest of notecards
Monday: memorize first half of notecards
Tuesday: memorize second half of notecards
Wednesday: review all notecards
Thursday: review all notecards and all class material (notes, handouts, study guides, worksheets, etc.)
Friday Morning: wake up early to review difficult concepts then go take that test!
3. Find a Study Buddy
Another thing that will really help you stay motivated to study is to find a study buddy. This needs to be someone who can help motivate you and you can help motivate them! You can do this by having a group of people who get together to study for the exam or by studying with only one other person. Just make sure that everyone is putting in an equal amount of effort into the group. One or two people do not need to be doing all of the work. If you do decide to study with a larger group, make sure that everyone is staying on task. Otherwise, things could turn into a hangout session very quickly. Personally, I have found that studying with one or two other people for difficult classes has helped me to stay motivated while also not getting distracted with a large group. You should consider testing out both a study group or a single study buddy to see which helps you stay motivated to prepare for the exam more effectively.
Want a few studying tips to get you through these tough classes? Sign up to become a lovely insider below to grab our bonus list of studying tools! I hope that these tips encourage you to stay motivated to study for those classes that you don’t like! Have any more tips that you’ve used for staying motivated? I would love to hear them! Just leave your beautifully helpful comments in the box below!
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