January 27, 2014

Staying motivated (MondayTalk #3)

Because I live in Romania and my educational system is different, I don't have finals week. Finals last 3 weeks here and an average Romanian students has about 5 exams. I myself have 7 this year.

It is so hard during this time of the year to stay motivated and study, study, study. Today I have to study for an exam that I will take in 2 days and I did nothing. Granted I have a 10 on my midterm but that is not the point. Instead of lying around all day I should have worked on something, anything productive! But no... I just sat around and watched tv series like Greek and Grimm. I imagined a lot too. I pictured myself in an Ivy League college, doing a project and loving every minute of it.

As it so happens I love doing projects, research, giving presentations, tests/exams not so much. Even the most basic exam for which I over-studied scared the crap out of me. Giving a presentation, not so much. 

But because I cannot pack up and go and should get back to my own world of studying. Before that I am going to leave you with some tips that make me keep going even when the level of boredom hit an alarming level.
  1. If you can take it no more, take a nap. 15 minutes of napping will be like a restart for the brain. When you get up, you will be energized and some of the knowledge will have steeped into your mind.
  2. Call a friend. Yes, this can be distracting but if you call someone that is motivated then he/she could help you go on with your own studies.
  3. Listen to music. I keep some music rolling on a 5% volume at all times. I don't know why but I can work longer if I have music playing in the background.
  4. Have something to drink at all times. The thirst might be an illusion that you are hungry and before you know it you are in the kitchen cooking a four star meal and neglecting the fact that the next day you have an exam.
  5. Don't stay up all night. It is not worth it (unless you actually have no choice). Your brain needs time to soak in the information and if you don't sleep for at least 5 hours you might get flustered and screw it all up.
  6. Do some exercise. If you feel a bit sluggish then do a quick 15 minute workout to energize yourself back up. This help you focus more and not to mention you might lose some pounds!
  7. Cut the internet. You can save all of the information you need on your computer if you don't have notes(90% of the time I study off of my computer too). This way, you will not be tempted to get on facebook, gmail or youtube.
  8.  Breaks are breaks. When you eat or just rest don't try to cram more knowledge in. You need time off of all that so you can, let's say, recuperate. 
  9. Don't study on your bed. I know that this might be more comfortable but before you know it you are drifting into lala land and so are your final grades. So get a comfortable not sleeping position at your desk or as I often do, on the floor.
  10.  Don't force it. If you are not feeling a subject don't try and force it in because you will not make any progress. All you will do is waist you time and energy. Just find the most interesting thing about the subject and go from there. Try and understand it instead of just memorizing it.
Those are all of my wisdom I can share with you...I must go and study now. Exams wait for no one:)

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