Ask Life: How do I motivate myself for summer school?

Hammer out your summer assignments with these energizing tips



There are a lot of ways to motivate yourself during the summer semester.

JULIA MESSEGEE, Evergreen reporter

Dear Life Section,

Summer is here, and I’m ecstatic! However, with the sun comes homework, as I have decided to take a few classes this summer. How can I stay determined with all that bright light beckoning me outside?


Summer Student


Dear Summer Student,

Do not worry. I am in the same boat, for I have also decided to take some summer classes. Whether you are an avid summer schooler or just want to accelerate your degree progress, everyone needs a little motivation.

First, I present music. You probably expected this. Blasting some faves in your ears while cranking out homework works wonders for some. I can personally only listen to lyrics while writing an essay, so the music tactic may work exclusively for specific types of homework. You may benefit from headphones, upbeat music or lyric-free lofi beats.

Next, I present light. Working in shadows is beneficial for certain situations, but setting my study room lights to maximum brightness, opening the blinds and flinging open the window usually boosts my energy. You know how you asked, “How can I stay determined with all that bright light beckoning me outside?” Well, there you go.

If you love basking in sunshine, lay in some grass while studying and ignore any strange glances you receive. Seriously, though, it might heighten your mood and increase productivity.

If you are a phenomenal multitasker, try working alongside distractions. Turn the TV on, open a videogame in the background or keep your phone next to you. Of course, this tactic will only work for some. Homework that requires less mental stamina is perfect for my distraction method.

Your motivation may increase knowing a TV show or videogame is easily accessible. It sounds ironic, but wait. Sometimes, hourly breaks are best, but other times, five-minute breaks are even better. If you study for five minutes, play for five minutes and continue alternating, you may keep boredom at bay and work swiftly in each five-minute increment.

They say to work hard and take a couple of breaks; I say indulge in your breaks. Obviously, if you notice my strange distraction method fails and your paper or screen is blank for an hour, you might want to try something else.

In relation to my last technique, plan a fun distraction after you have completed a chunk of studying. This will give you something to look forward to.

Do not feel guilty for taking certain kinds of breaks. Yes, many people enjoy exercising and it is good for you, but if snacking and watching YouTube is your thing, do that for your break instead. You could set a timer, but if timers scare you, just glance at the clock and estimate your next study session.

Do you love your bed? Occasionally, sitting in bed cozied beneath a blanket boosts my focus. If you are feeling lazy but seek productivity, try working in bed.

Are you a night owl? My brain likes to wait until approximately 10 p.m. to produce genius ideas. If you notice you work better at night, then stay up, study and enjoy the night sky.

If studying through the day hours better suits your vibe, you can try shutting your main lights off and creating a peaceful atmosphere with string lights or color-changing lights. Let’s face it; no matter how much I love nighttime, sometimes work really needs to get done during the day.

Finally, I present energy drinks. If drinking energy drinks sounds appealing and you have a built-up caffeine tolerance, go for it.

I have noticed energy drinks boost my happiness on days I feel particularly down, leading me to accomplish more. However, if you have negative experiences with energy drinks or notice withdrawal symptoms upon trying this method, I would recommend ignoring this paragraph entirely.

Do not be hard on yourself. If you complete less in a day than you expected, take a deep breath. Destress if you feel it is necessary; there is always tomorrow.

If this is a regular occurrence and you begin failing your classes, avoid stressing but consider the reason you are slipping and seek support if necessary.

Remember, completing your classes will save you free time and future time.


The Life Section