Losing motivation in final semester

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. 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, completing a degree is more like a marathon than a sprint and sometimes it can feel like you are crawling to the finish line! When the procrastination is ongoing the work and stress can build up to a point when motivation is even harder to maintain, 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.

It may be helpful to consider what is dampening your motivation; are you doubting whether this degree will be helpful to you, finding the day to day content uninteresting, or are you just exhausted? Sometimes we know what our end goal is and are motivated by it, but it’s just so far away! We then need other strategies to keep us going day by day. Look to the past and to others: Everybody is motivated by different things. If you are in the 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 longer? Try resurrecting some of your old strategies and see if they help. You identify one major motivation as the desire to graduate on time. Put this to good use, if that’s what you want, what do you have to do to make it happen?

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. It’s important to make sure your plan is realistic and sustainable. Keep that end goal in sight and what it is that you’re working towards and why.

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

You can find tip sheets on a range of topics such as motivation and procrastination on the Counselling and Psychological Service website and the Academic Skills Unit may also be able to assist with planning your remaining time, and exam preparation.

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

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