Get yourself off to a good start each semester

By Jayson Moyer
February 9, 2017

It certainly is not an easy thing to do — to go on break for five weeks in the winter or for three months in the summer, and then come back and get into the groove of attending classes once again.

This is one of my least favorite things to do.  While I have nothing against going to class and doing school work, there is always that nice feeling that being home brings.  However, along with that enjoyment of being home can come bad habits.  For me, it is always sleeping late and really doing things on my own time when not working.

At school, I am still doing things on my own time, as we all are, but we have to manage our time so we can accomplish everything we want to accomplish.

I will be the first to say that this concept has been extra difficult for me this semester.  I was back in the beginning of January, doing literally nothing other than working, watching sports, and playing the occasional game of 2K.

I came up with some tips, and some things I do, to motivate myself and break the bad habits I have developed while on break.  Here they are:

1. Get yourself in a routine

For some people, it is going to bed by a certain time at night.  For other people, it is waking up at the same time each day and doing the exact same thing each morning before class.  For me, I have found this to be extremely helpful.

I guess I am a routine person, all-in-all.  I have gotten myself in a groove of going to bed by 2 a.m. each night, and I try to wake up reasonably early every morning.  8 a.m. class on Tuesday and Thursday forces me to wake up early.  I feel that when I wake up earlier, I get a lot more done and have an overall better physical feeling about myself.

2. Try not to procrastinate

This is my most difficult fight I have on nearly a daily basis.  I’m sure it is the same for a lot of other college students.

I think motivation is a really big issue with procrastination.  I find that when I have something to look forward to, that usually kicks in the gas, for me, and I am able to get stuff done.  When Duke doesn’t play for five days, that’s a stretch that can be brutally difficult to want to get my work done.  Sounds weird, but everyone has something that floats their boat.

3. Take advantage of the library

I have a very difficult time focusing and getting work done when I am around other people.  I am one of those put-the-headphones-in and go to work people.  That’s why I love the library.

I spend a lot of time in the library doing school work.  Usually, I head to the very bottom floor or use the 24-hour section.  No one bothers you; it really is an awesome place to focus overall.

4. Set aside some time to relax

Of the four things on this list, setting aside time to relax and chill is the most important.  Your body needs that time to recoup and regain energy.  You can’t always be on the go!  Set aside an hour or more per day to sit down, watch a movie, eat some food or hang with friends.  I would have mentioned maybe watching a sporting event, but for some people (like me,) watching my favorite teams is the furthest thing from relaxation.

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