Lacking motivation

I’m in the final semester of my 1st degree. However, my lack of motivation is at its peak now and I procrastinate so much. I don’t bother attending lectures and I’ve maxed out the allowed number of tute absences. I’ve even started work on an essay on the day of the deadline itself, and accrued late submission penalties. I always find myself distracted by my other interests, which are many. How do I work around this ‘can’t be bothered’ attitude towards my studies? I don’t want my first fail that will delay my graduation. NB: I’m happy with my friends, family, health and finances.

It can be hard to maintain the necessary effort throughout your University degree, it sounds like a combination of poor motivation and procrastination mean you have “hit the wall”. But I am glad to hear that your troubles are limited to your studies and not the result of flow-on pressure from elsewhere in your life. You identify your motivation as avoiding delaying your graduation. Put this to good use, if that’s what you want, what do you have to do to make it happen?

Look to the past and to others: Everybody is motivated by different things. If you are in final semester of your studies you must have previously been motivated. What strategies worked in the past? Have these been forgotten, or are they just not working for you any more? Try resurrecting some of your old strategies and see if they help. Alternatively ask other students how they maintain motivation, and see if there is something that will work for you.

Plan ahead in detail: With only a few weeks to go before completion, one strategy is to plan in detail your schedule for the remaining weeks. List all the work you have outstanding and any exam preparation required. Schedule in the work over the coming weeks, but also remember to allocate some time-out, to reward yourself for your focus. Count down the days until you have completed your first degree, and celebrate when it’s all over.

Study groups: Studying with others can help address the boredom associated with studying alone. Either join an existing study group or create your own. Working with others can also give you fresh insights into course material, and assist with sharing the work associated with creating study notes for exams

The Counselling Service has tip sheets on motivation, and the Academic Skills Unit may also be able to assist with planning your remaining time, and exam preparation. To help with overcoming procrastination, Online organising
and the Seven Day Procrastination Plan are all helpful.

Good luck with your studies and remember a concerted effect now will save you from having to delay your graduation.