Student Tips and Tricks to Beat the Academic Blues

October 2020 by


University life can be pretty hard at times. Especially with so much going on in the world at the moment, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Despite that, we don’t want you to get behind in your studies! With everything moving so fast, it’s important to stay on top of things as you’ll feel much better in the long run – trust us. However, it’s much easier said than done. Motivation is something everybody hopes they’ll be able to find, but it can be challenging. If you’re struggling to find the motivation to study this year then keep reading. We’ve put together our best advice for students when it comes to finding motivation.

Set yourself long-term deadlines

Setting deadlines is important. By setting them it will keep you feeling motivated to a specific date as you know you have to have fulfilled the task by then. You don’t have to buy a diary to do this either, you can always use your calendar on your phone instead. This way you don’t have a pile up of loads of things to do at once because you’ve spread them out over a period of time – it’ll reduce your stress in the future!

If you have a big project, break it down into milestones and date each one so by the end you’ll be doing the project bit by bit over time. It’s also good to break a project down because this will help it seem less overwhelming. Each time you complete one of your milestones, you’ll feel happy with yourself for doing so. It’s also good to reward yourself because that will keep you going, so what’s something you like doing? Maybe it’s watching your favourite movie or enjoying making your favourite snack. It’s good to proud of yourself for even the little things!

Write a list of daily tasks

For organizing each and every day, lists are a great way to help. It’s a similar concept to setting deadlines except you only have till the end of the day this time! If you write a list of the things you want to do in the morning, then you can tick them off one by one as you go. This will provide you with a sense of fulfilment and motivate you to get the next task done as the list reduces in size. Be realistic though, you don’t want to be disappointed with yourself. If you keep busy then you’re more likely to stay busy too. Remember, always try to complete the task you least want to do first! This way it gets it out of the way and you can focus on the less stressful ones.

Make plans for your assignments

If you fail to prepare, then you prepare to fail – it’s true! It’s often difficult to know where to start when it comes to writing assignments and that can be one of the reasons you’re avoiding it. If you make a plan, it’ll incline you to get started. We recommend a mind map or a simple breakdown of your essay including a piece of evidence next to every point you want to make. You’ll feel more confident about the work you’re producing once your plan is finished as you won’t have to sit there staring blankly at the screen for hours – your plan will tell you what to write about next! Give it a go and you might find it’s not as bad as you thought!

Dedicate a specific day to work

Student life usually means lots of parties and procrastination which A) isn’t what you need right now and B) Parties aren’t even happening right now due to COVID-19. It doesn’t mean you can’t have a social life, but if you’re struggling to juggle plans with your housemates and get your work done then it’s time to make a compromise. This is why we recommend having one dedicated study day a week, this way you can focus and get your head down! Then it’s a simple rule in your mind that if you get asked to attend dinner or drinks that night – it’s an automatic no unless you’ve completed all of your studying for the day. There are still 6 other days in the week to be a socialite!

Study with other people

You probably know very well that you’re not the only one struggling to get motivated. Everyone is on the other end of Zoom zoned out, on their phones with their camera switched off and no one’s got a clue what’s going on most of the time! Team up with someone who is focused and switched on (there’s always at least one of these people in your class!) and ask if you could study together sometime or discuss through a few theories you may not understand fully yet. Sometimes all you need to get motivated is a little bit of encouragement and you should never be afraid to reach out for extra support. After all, we’re all having limited human interaction now. Share the study burden and partner with a friend!

Take away distractions

Although it might seem obvious, how hard do you really try to get rid of distractions when you’re working? Whether it’s your phone, TV, or something else, make sure any possible distractions aren’t disturbing you. Have you tried out the Forest app? It’s available on both Android and iOS and helps you to stay focused and cut out the distractions. Simply open the app and watch the tree grow the longer you leave it open and focus on other tasks (that don’t involve social media!). If you close it – your tree dies! These aren’t just virtual trees either, the app has partnered with a real tree-planting organisation so think of the environment here too!

Make learning fun

Learning can often be quite a passive activity, particularly if you’re just reading from a book, but it doesn’t have to be. If you’ve got things to memorise, you could always make quizzes or flashcards to test your progress. It doesn’t matter if you get the answers wrong a couple of times because after all, practice makes perfect! It also doesn’t have to be using internet resources either. If you fancy getting creative, why not make some aesthetically pleasing in person tools too? It’s a lot easier to be motivated when you’re actually enjoying yourself so if boredom hits, give it a try!

Student motivation, it’s a hard one to cure but we hope we’ve included some points you’ll consider implementing. You don’t want to let anything stop you from achieving your best! Try out these tips and see how it makes a change in your everyday life. You might even have some of your own tips that help you get motivated. If so, comment them below!



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