A guide to motivating yourself for Semester Two

Just think about how close we are to Spring break


We’ve all just been off for two weeks, stuffing our faces with alcohol and emptying our parents’ fridges and cupboards. Family will ask questions like “how long have you got until you go back?” and “I bet you’re excited”, but the answer is no.

We asked over on Instagram whether you were feeling ready for uni to start again, and many of the responses were along these lines:

If you’re not looking forward to dragging yourself out of bed for 9ams and having to deal with online lectures, honestly, I feel you. This is the fifth time I’ve had to go through this, and my fourth semester of online lectures. As this isn’t my first rodeo, I’m going to share my top tips for getting motivated for the next semester. Together we’ve got this.

Do the ‘night before’ routine

Do you remember the night before high school and your mum would tell you to get your bag ready? Well here I am telling you to do just that. Feeling organised will help you relax and know you have everything you need. Maybe even pre-make your lunch to avoid spending money on Tesco meal deals!

Get to bed early and set an alarm

This sounds extremely obvious but getting a good nights sleep and getting those seven plus hours in is absolutely fundamental to feeling fresh and motivated to start the day. Maybe even watch a nice and relaxing film or read a book before bed.

Really relax and avoid the pre-uni dread. Avoid drinking the bottle of alcohol sitting in your cupboard. I know it’s hard but don’t do it. Put the glass down. Put the mixer away. I might sound like a proper old lady but trust me on this one.

Remember why you’re taking your degree

Whether you’re taking English Lit, History, Biology, Medicine, Maths, remember what spurred you on to take that degree in the first place. Maybe you took it because you didn’t know what else to do, but even in that situation, you’re living in Edinburgh and living the “Edinburgh student life” that so many people DREAM of.

Feel grateful that you’ve made it this far. Your degree will (hopefully) lead you onto amazing opportunities and every semester you learn a little more about yourself. Think about that doctor you want to be and the lives you’ll save, think about being the exciting maths teacher you always wished you had (apologies for the stereotypes). Just remember that you could use your degree to enhance so many other peoples lives.

This one especially helps me. My dream: help clean up the oceans and conserve coral reefs.

Listen to songs that make you smile

It’s been shown that when you smile, you send happy thoughts to your head. So make this easy by listening to those songs that make you smile. Maybe they spark a memory from being out with friends or maybe it’s a nice family road trip memory. Either way, you’ll be feeling great afterwards.

Think about seeing your pals

You’ve probably not seen your friends from class since last semester so think about that. Think about having your long study sessions and jogging in The Meadows for some free time like the gazelles you truly are.

Semester Two means almost the end

Okay, so if the rest don’t seem so tempting, this is the last semester before summer (unless you’re a masters student of course). Maybe it’s your last semester EVER and if so try and enjoy it because it’s potentially your last weeks being a student. No matter what, you’ve only got a couple months of hard graft until summer.

Think about your family

If your family is anything like mine, they get so excited when you go back to university. They are also incredibly proud of anything you do. You could fail one of your modules in first year and they’ll still always support you and boast to their pals that you’re at university.

So just think about them when you jump out of bed all fresh on the first day back. Do them proud!

So those are my top tips. However, everyone is different. Going into Semester Two at any point at uni can be daunting. It’s something new, and you’ve still got summer exams to think about. But just take comfort in the fact you aren’t alone.

If you are struggling with your workload at university then reach out to lecturers you trust, or any services that your university provides.

All I have left to say is good luck!

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