8 Ways to Stay Motivated During a Difficult Course

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We all go through it at one point: taking on a class that’s far over our heads. We take these “reach classes” thinking we’ll be able to push through, or because it is a requirement for our major. Half way through the semester, though, and we’re slowly falling behind. Luckily, there are ways you can turbocharge your motivation to push through a difficult course. Here are eight ideas to help you make it happen.

 

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  1. Make a rewards system

Getting bogged down with a boring but challenging class can take a lot out of you. Instead of just plowing through, make milestone dates with goals. If you meet a goal (such as getting above an 80% on a midterm), reward yourself with something non-class related – a trip to the movies or a day at the beach.

  1. Tackle it with friends

There is nothing more motivating than working with friends. Creating a study groups help you break down difficult classes while also giving you a social outlet. Also, if you’re competitive, having friends around may push you to do more or go further than you would by yourself.

 

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  1. Share it

If your school does not have an academic code regarding grade privacy, feel free to shout it out. By announcing that you intend to get an A in a difficult course and then posting updates, you’ll not only have a place to brag, but you’ll also have a space that makes you accountable for your actions.

  1. Write it out

Sometimes, it is easy to get overwhelmed when we are faced with a lot of challenges at once. Instead of getting lost in the weeds, break out a planner or calendar and write out when everything is due, when classes meet, and when you will need to ramp up the studying. You might find it isn’t that challenging after all.

  1. Look at the bigger picture

Sometimes, the best motivation is being honest with ourselves. No one wants to repeat a course (though it does happen), so make sure you know what you need to do to avoid having to do so. Approaching your studies from a big picture perspective can help you find the little things you can do to better your grades. If GPA is your game, do the calculations so you can see what a low grade in the course will do to your 4.0.

  1. Set attainable goals

We all want to get a 100% all the time, but in college, that simply isn’t realistic. Instead, set an attainable goal that matches where you are now. If you are struggling with the material and receive scores in the 60-70% range, set your sights on getting an 80% next week. Build up from there, slowly but surely, and you’ll feel even better about your progress.

 

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  1. Create a fun study environment

Boring libraries suck your energy faster than you can imagine. If you’re not feeling inspired, take your study time somewhere else. You can create a great space in your dorm room using comfortable seating and a quiet area under a bunked bed or in a makeshift study fort. Also, be aware of study spaces you’re walking past every day, because you may find your new favorite place to find your zen…and better grades!

  1. Go in prepared

If you’re an office supply nerd, a new set of color coded folders may do the trick to boost your motivation. Round up a friend and head to the store to stock up on supplies that are colorful, organized, and unique for the class. ‘

If you want to stay motivated to do your best during this (or any) semester, it’s important to be prepared, and stay prepared. Following these steps may not necessarily guarantee you a 4.0,but they do guarantee headaches for the weeks, months, and classes ahead!

 

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Parent’s Corner: How to Reduce Stress about Your Child’s Safety in College

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After years of living under your roof, sending your child off to college for the first time can be a shock to the system. With so many horror stories about safety at universities, you may not only be mourning an empty nest, but also be worried about their wellbeing while they are away. While this is a great time for both you and your child to grow as different people, we understand that you will have inevitable nerves about them being alone. Thankfully, in today’s society you can more “plugged in” than ever. With new technology and some simple steps, you can reduce your stress and anxiety over college safety.

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1.   Stay Up to Date

You don’t have to be a college student to get alerts about what is going on around campus or if there are any emergencies. Ask your child’s university about how to sign up for text, email, and call alerts. These alerts will keep you informed on a variety of different situations from something as serious as robberies to inclement weather, or even a loss of power. You can also set up a Google Alert to inform you of any news on campus.

2.   Grab Contacts

One of the most important numbers to have on you is your child’s roommate. While you shouldn’t call for any reason, contact them when there is an emergency as they most likely are closest person to your child to reach. You should also know the numbers of your student’s department, counselor, and any close friend or boyfriend/girlfriend. But beware! Use these numbers or emails in a case of a REAL emergency or risk losing trust.

3.   Take a Safety Class with Them

A great activity to do with your student is a safety or self-defense course. Offered at many community centers and gyms, your student will leave feeling prepared and you will have gained a sense of empowerment to help in dangerous situations. Plus, going together can be a great way to open up the conversation on overall safety concerns you or they may have.

4.   Set Up a Checkup Time

One of the hardest things a parent will have to do is to let go. Not seeing or hearing from your child every day can be frustrating and even upsetting, especially when you worry. Before your student goes to school, set up an amount of time you expect to be called or emailed. It should be reasonable, considering that they need their space and freedom as much as you need to know they are alright. Every other day is a great start, attempt to make it once a week by the end of the semester!

5.   Give Them the Tools

When you’re packing for your student’s departure, you will probably want to go through a lecture of how to be safe and alert. The truth is that a lot of that information may go over their heads. Instead, gift them a safety box full of handy items. For example, pack a first aid kit, back up medications, phone numbers for doctors and family members, a list of campus resources (such as university police), and defense items such as pepper spray or safety whistles. Then, place it in a lockbox or safe that can easily be stored under a bed or in a closet. You’ll rest easy knowing that they have all that they need to be safe and secure while living and studying on campus.

What are your biggest concerns about child safety? If you’re a student, how do you help your parent stay calm? Let us know!

 

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Forgetting Class Essentials; Don’t be THAT Guy

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Delfonics makes pretty pens and pencils

A pencil. A pen. A piece of notebook paper. Flash cards. A Calculator. An Eraser. Even a paint brush. This is a growing list of everyday items that almost every student needs on a day by day basis for their classes. And even though this is a common list that’s been used since we could actually attend school there’s always that one guy (or girl) in the class who still manages to forget one or at least 2 of the items on this list every single class. If you don’t mind lending out a pen here or a piece of paper there, wait until your classmate comes unprepared for every single class and asks YOU to lend them their forgotten items the entire semester long.

Usually, these people are so scatterbrained that they ask you if they can borrow the item for the rest of the day and give it back to you during the next class. You say yes to be nice, but you know you’re never going to see that item again. That is, unless it’s in another class where your classmate is gnawing on it and covering your pen cap in saliva and teeth marks.

When you lend something to someone, you’re pretty much giving it to them, or at least accepting the fact that there’s a high chance you may not get it back. You end up spending more money that semester buying things for other people to borrow from you than you do actually buying supplies for yourself. And most the times (from my personal experience) those people that borrow stuff all semester long will show up one day with a plethora of all things class materials; pens, paper, erasers that smell like your favorite candy, even highlighters. If you just happen to forget your pen that one day (maybe you accidentally lent your last one out to someone in your last class) and you ask your usually forgetful friend to borrow an essential, they’re always very cautious about their belongings and are more likely to not let you borrow one.

What?

That moment when the person you’ve been lending pens to all semester suddenly denies you even their least used pencil with the chewed off eraser.

Suddenly, you’re the one material-less and the one person you’ve paid taxes too won’t chalk up a measly pencil. Call me protective or just a plain ol’ hoarder, but I like to keep tabs on everything I have. I hate being that one kid in class who has to whisper during the teacher’s lecture asking everyone for a pencil. It’s embarrassing and makes your professor distracted. If your professor has to stop their teaching because you can’t find a writing utensil not only will you make them a bit mad, but you’ll also look unprepared. Make sure that your bag is packed every night with everything you need for class the next day. If you’re allowed to bring laptops to class, make sure you charge your laptop the night before just in case you can’t get a seat near the wall outlet. Don’t forget to pack your charger, and bring a pen and paper just in case. Also always handy to keep around is an Ethernet cable for internet connection and a USB drive to back up or retrieve saved files. While you’re at it, you might as well stuff your backpack with an umbrella, gas mask and two weeks rationed off food. You can never be too safe!