Now that we’re in the throws of the spring semester- among midterms, crash diets and counting pennies for spring break, there are countless ways to get distracted and seemingly few ways to stay focused. Fear not, we’ve got you covered with six accessible ways to keep your GPA and goals in tip-top shape throughout the spring semester.
Assess your habits (and adjust them if necessary)
The spring semester allows you to get back into a school prospective with a refreshed mindset, but since winter break is considerably shorter than summer, you’ve got the previous semester’s victories (and failures) right at the forefront of your mind. Use last semester’s experiences to your advantage. Reflect on what habits or life hacks worked in your favor and up your game during the spring semester by discarding the ones that were not conducive to your goals. Your levels of productivity and motivation boil down to what habits you are fostering in your daily life.
Create and commit to a tentative weekly agenda
A habit you should incorporate into your life beyond the spring semester is creating a flexible weekly study agenda that will hold you accountable for getting your shit done. First things first, let’s go over how to make a tentative agenda:
- At the beginning of each week, assess your due dates and jot them down.
- Create a daily plan of what you’re going to study and what tasks you want to complete.
When putting together your daily goals, be realistic. If you put too much on your plate, you will burn yourself out. Include personal tasks like working out, journaling, or catching up on your favorite TV show. Obviously, some things cannot be planned, like having to stay late at work or last minute spur of the moment dinner plans with friends. Nevertheless, be sure you leave time in the day to complete that day’s designated tasks.
After you’ve put together your weekly agenda, hold yourself accountable to it. There is no magic formula to accountability – it comes down to how dedicated you are to accomplishing your goals and being productive.
Surround Yourself With Like-Minded People
Friends make the best accountability partners. If you are building relationships with people who have similar goals, they will keep you in check throughout the hectic spring semester. Take this advice with a grain of salt though; an essential part of college is exploring new things and meeting people who diverse interests.
If your friends are constantly flaking on study dates, skipping class, and forgoing the gym, you will like most likely pick up those habits as the spring semester progresses.
Having a like-minded circle of friends does not mean they have to come from the same background as you, agree with you on everything, and practically be your carbon copy. Just make sure they are trying to achieve their own personal goals and that they are supportive of yours.
Don’t let a bad day snowball into a bad week
You can bullet journal or plan and put together detailed vision boards, but nothing can stop an inevitable bad mental health day when your productivity levels hit rock bottom. You are human and you will get distracted. You will forget a due date. You will have crappy group project members who stick you with all of the work. Nevertheless, do not let it deter you from your endgame.
Whether your goal is to bring your GPA up or land a summer internship: you will encounter obstacles. Going off course for a bit is like taking a detour and the only time you stop making progress is when you decide to let a screw up take you the opposite way.
At the end of an unsuccessful day, remember to breathe and forgive yourself (or whatever external factors or person that distracted you) and regroup for the next day. Move forward; do not let yourself spiral down a staircase of negativity.
Admit when you’re overwhelmed and ask for help
You made it through all of the obstacles thrown your way during the fall, but the spring semester comes with its own unique challenges. Take advantage of resources available when you feel things getting out of control. Ignoring issues as they come up can cause them to pile up, inevitably causing your confidence and motivation to plummet.
Struggling with your course load? Hit up University Tutoring and Supplemental Instruction (UTSI). Feeling mentally drained or processing grief? Talk with a counselor with Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS). Constantly dwelling in a fog of fatigue? Make an appointment with the on-campus Health Center. There are so many options available when it comes to getting help with your problems but it is purely your responsibility to reach out. It is important to recognize issues as they occur so that they do not become overwhelming. Here is a list of many of the resources available to you on UTA’s campus.
Finally, do not allow the hectic nature of the spring semester to make you neglect the aspects of your life beyond school and work. Make a habit of rewarding yourself. Keep up with your hobbies, friends, and interests. Maybe don’t go crazy on Thirsty Thursday when you have an 8 a.m. the next day. But say yes to dinner plans with friends midweek. Allot some time to catch up on your favorite TV show, go party on the weekend or do whatever it is that allows you to de-stress. All work and no play will just cause you to burn out quickly and cause frustrations to fester.
Take study breaks, have a candy bar, buy those Doc Martins. Do not search for validation or rewards from anyone else but yourself because all of the work you are putting in throughout the spring semester is an investment in you.
Stay motivated and productive during this spring semester by being aware of your habits, planning, utilizing campus resources, and surrounding yourself with supportive people. Let us know in the comments how you plan to thrive this semester.
I'M CURRENTLY A COLLEGE FRESHMAN STUDYING JOURNALISM AND FIGURING OUT LIFE ONE DAY AT A TIME.