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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!