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Lola

May 12th, 2023

4 tips for staying motivated as a grad student

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Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

Lola

May 12th, 2023

4 tips for staying motivated as a grad student

0 comments

Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

As someone who took a four-year break between undergrad and postgrad, I had forgotten what it felt like to prepare for assessments. Preparing for assessments takes time, energy, and always requires motivation. At times, this motivation can be hard to muster up, but I’ve found some helpful tricks that have kept me motivated with my studies. So, keep reading if you need a few ways to remind yourself to stay motivated.

Understand your “why”

Understanding your “why” is a cliché for a reason. I recommend always reminding yourself why you’re pursuing your degree and allowing that to be your major source of motivation. Without a reason, most people will not have the drive it takes to succeed. This motivation doesn’t have to strictly be based on passion, although that’s definitely common. Perhaps you’re pursuing a degree to improve your career prospects or to challenge yourself before heading to the workforce. Whatever your reasons, remind yourself of them regularly to stay motivated and focused on your goals.

Break down your goals

One major hindrance to motivation is feeling overwhelmed. For example, my coping mechanism with being overwhelmed is taking a nap. While naps are often needed, they don’t get you any closer to dealing with the overwhelming number of tasks. One tool to help you deal with being overwhelmed is breaking down your goals into smaller, more manageable steps. It’s easier to be motivated to achieve a task that will take two hours in comparison to a task that will take two days. So set specific, achievable goals for each study session or assignment, and celebrate your progress along the way. This approach can also help you stay motivated by providing a sense of accomplishment and momentum towards your larger goals.

Join a study group

I like to do the majority of my prep for assessments independently, but I’ve also found that studying alone can be tedious and demotivating. For students like me who don’t live near their peers, planning group study sessions can help you break up the monotony of studying alone, making it more enjoyable and engaging. Study groups are also great because maybe some of the motivation from others will rub off on you during particularly difficult times. In addition, study groups allow you to share ideas and ask questions, which can help you feel more confident and motivated in your assessment prep.

Celebrate your successes

I alluded to this earlier, but this point needs further elaboration. Celebrating your successes, no matter how small, is a great way to help you stay motivated with your studies. Acknowledging even minor achievements has provided me with a sense of accomplishment, increased my confidence, and kept me motivated towards my goals. Whether this meant enjoying a dinner with friends after we submitted our first assignments or celebrating with a glass of wine after receiving good feedback on a preliminary assessment, find ways to celebrate all you’re doing along the way to your larger goal of obtaining that degree.

In conclusion, staying motivated with your studies is not always easy, but the right strategies can help you maintain motivation during difficult times. I know I’m not alone in trying to find ways to stay more motivated. What are some of your favourite strategies?

About the author

Lola

My name is Lola Idowu, a master’s student from New York, studying Behavioural Science. Aside from my interest in human behaviour, I also love to read, try out new restaurants, and shop at local markets or boutiques.

Posted In: Student life

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