First Year Guide #5: Regaining Motivation




Motivation is the fuel of our work. Unfortunately, as we enter the tail of week 8 with the end of the term creeping around the corner, it is common to lose the energy that set us afire with motivation in the flurry of assessments and exam preparation.


How to regrow your motivation? Can motivation be gained again? These are big questions, and we’ll need to revisit what initially sowed your supply to answer them.


  • Ambition: The previous term may not have been your best, and you want to prove yourself with the new term.

  • New Term, New Me: The clean slate approached you with the urge to reinvent yourself with its new teaching staff and peers.

  • Interest in Classes: You may have started with a heart full of passion for the classes you’ve joined. The content seemed exciting, and you wanted to learn all the ins and outs.

Identify what forged your motivation — it may be something entirely different from our little list — and use that as a starting point to bring on your new motivation tank. Then, after you have done that, give these tips a shot to bring your motivation to a new high!


1. Review Goals and Set New Ones

Goals are critical to motivation. They help us measure our progress and know how much further we need to go. Remind yourself of your progress and discover if your previous goals were realistic. Time has passed since O-Week, and you are a different person. So, if you don’t think your past self has done you a favour with their goals, it is a good idea to establish new ones.


2. Take a Short Break

Sometimes, you might just find yourself stuck in the whirlwind of different responsibilities. Motivation’s worst enemy is burnout, and you’ll need to make an effort not to lapse into burdening yourself too much for a new surge of motivation to find you. Take a small step back, and your picture may seem much easier to paint through than before.


3. Mindfulness

Focus on the present time without dwelling over how good things were in the past or how bad things could be in the future. Instead, focus on your current tasks and be conscious of what you are doing to avoid going into autopilot mode. This can help encourage you to dedicate a good amount of effort to your work.


It is pervasive to lose motivation as we lose our minds to end-of-term busyness, and as much as we wish, not everything is in our control, especially in this unpredictable time. However, it is always essential to be motivated to make a leap for the best. At least that way, even if something slips out of your grip, you’ll still achieve a less than perfect but still decent result.


By Louisa Hua (Publications Subcommittee)