Exam Motivation

They say that the best motivation for anything is you. Yes, you! From hitting the gym at 8AM in the morning and staying in shape to paying bills on time – it’s all because of you and not others!
However April is the time to reflect on goals, set new goals or simply boost your energy and motivation.
Looking back at my own goals for this year, I have realized that I am performing poorly. I have not exactly been exercising at least 3 times per week, neither am I eating healthy. Frankly, at some point I got very sad and depressed. It was one of those days when even watching a TV-show made me feel bad, ashamed, home-sick.
On days like this, hardly anything helps and the best cure is only time. Give yourself some time to recover, shouldn’t more than a week, especially if you have tasks to accomplish.
Personally, for me there is no such thing as universal motivation or a trick that works. Only you know yourself and over time you should learn how to cope with stress and sudden waves of depression or laziness. That’s an important “tool” of a successful person.
For the past week I have been extremely busy with other commitments, I barely opened my textbooks! What an excellent student, eh? But in this post I want to lay out a couple things that might help you, like they help me sometimes.

1) Stationary. I love going into stationary stores and buying cute notepads, pens and journals. Instead of buying yourself a candy, go to the closes store and buy a new notebook with smooth, clean pages. What a great book! Can’t wait to come home, open my textbook and jot down my notes! Yes! That’s a boost of inspiration and motivation! Refreshing your daily routine like this works in most cases. Try it if you are feeling bored!
2) Watching a movie. This might or might not help. The most inspirational and motivational movie for study is Dead Poet’s Society personally for me. Some other good suggestions could be Good Will Hunting, or even Social Network. Why does this work? Personally, imagining myself being a student of Harvard, makes me very anxious and then I get all busy and intellectual. That might help you get into a studious mood and set the right tone for your studies! Especially, if you are a literature student. If you are in IT then Social Network, if you are in Math then Beautiful Mind and Good Will Hunting. BUT Stop watching tv-shows when you have finals. Obviously you can treat yourself but don’t do it all the time and don’t binge-watch your favourite tv-shows. Make it your reward, don’t make it a habit!
3) Eat healthy. When going to the library, make sure you bring some healthy snacks or simply “brain food”. Some ideas might include fruits like apples, bananas or oranges. Very simple. Nuts are also really healthy and something to chew on when you get hungry. I love pecans, almonds and walnuts. Don’t eat cheaps etc. They will distract you and make you want to even more. You can eat dark chocolate but say NO to snickers, redbull and other typical stuff.
4) Going to the gym. This has worked for me in the past but unfortunately when I have few assignments or finals on the week, it’s very hard to get into a gym-mood, but in reality everything is way easier. Going to the gym takes me about an hour. If you live close to campus, you can go free to AC, Hart House or the new gym, Goldring Centre, which is one of my favourites. You can feel like a pro-athlete, not just because of grande ceilings, and modern design but also because of so many professional athletes who work our there. Don’t get intimidated though, since there are regular UofT students as well. Cardio is best for me, because I can listen to music and forget about school work and it gives me so much energy! What is your favourite exercise? Maybe take the edge off with some kick-boxing or destress with some Zumba? It’s all there. It’s all free!
5) Another, one of the best destressors I suggest to all my friends is dancing! You can dance anywhere, anytime! Just put some music and dance off! Let it go! When you get free of inhibitions and dance chaotically, it feels like mountains off shoulders and all the anxiety and stress goes away. Paired with some fresh smoothie gives even a better effect! Must-try!!! Although sometimes I find it extremely hard to go back into library after dancing. But what can be better than just relaxing in the library and giving your body a rest?
6) Simply showering. Take a long shower. Hot-cold-hot-cold. Contrasting showers help your blood-circulation and therefore probably boost your brain activity since more oxygen can enter your brain cells. [science-geek much?] It gives you energy, it relaxes your muscles. After than you can drink some chamomile or jasmine tea and finally finish that assignment for tomorrow or start preparing for finals! Ya!
7) Well the last one and still very important is goal-setting and vision-setting. Why do you want to go to the library? Because you need it. Because it’s almost the end and this is a final push. Because education is not just something you have to go through. You need to enjoy it! It’s not easy to enjoy staying up till late and trying to understand a very hard material but don’t you feel better when you crack down a problem? Or finish that chapter? You DO! So do it! Work for it! No pain, no gain! You know it! And think about that awesome feeling when finals are over and you can enjoy your life for a couple of days. Think of your future-self stuck in the dark, sweaty office, wishing to go back to university, because those WERE your best days. Yes, they are! So seize the day, enjoy the moment, CARPE DIEM! Viva Education!

I think on that note I shall end my post. I hope that these tips will help you tackle down your finals and get motivated. After all there is nothing more inspirational and motivational than yourself and desire for knowledge. This is a process of learning so try to find in everything even something tiny that fascinates and makes this time worthwhile.
Good luck to all!


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