Term one is probably my favourite term – it’s a new year, a new start.

I have new subjects and teachers and classmates. There’s lots of events like athletics, swimming sports, and camps. It’s warm and sunny at lunchtimes. There’s not too much hard work, or too many deadlines.

However now it’s term 2, and we’re in for a slog. No point sugar coating it – it’s going to be a hard, boring 10 weeks. It’s getting cold, there’s no fun events, and you can bet internals will be thrown at us non stop. I always find that it’s so hard to stay motivated, especially since it’s still such a long way from the end of the year. Here’s some helpful tips to stay sane and get stuff done this term.

  • Try out new methods of working and studying. Maybe you could try watching videos, or making mind maps, or teaching your sibling, or using the pomodoro technique. Changing things up is super important for motivation because it breaks up your boring routine, and gets you excited to try something new. Plus, finding a way that you work effectively will make your life (and this term) so much easier.
  • Start small. If you’re really not in the mood to get anything done, do just 5 minutes of your homework, or just a few sentences of that essay. Often if you just trick yourself into getting started then you’ll get into the swing of it and end up getting lots done. Even if you can only manage that 5 minutes of work, that’s okay – you’ll quickly find that small things really do add up. Remind yourself that any progress is good progress.
  • Seek inspiration. Cliche as some of it is, inspirational study blogs, youtube videos, and quotes can really get you feeling motivated to get stuff done. There’s an endless amount of these things online, so have a quick search and see what you can find. Take it another step further and decorate your room with inspirational quotes and posters – you just might find that they actually work.
  • Set short term goals and reward yourself. Long term goals like ‘get an excellence endorsement’ or ‘get into uni’ or ‘become a doctor and get hugely rich’ are great, but it’s hard to stay motivated towards reaching them when they seem so far away. Setting short term goals gives you something more immediate to work towards, while still chipping away at those long term goals. Short term goals are things like ‘spend half an hour on this internal’ or ‘read three chapters of this book’. The most important thing is that they are achievable. In addition, reward yourself when you reach these goals. You did good! You deserve it!
  • Treat yourself to some new stationery. Pens, notebooks, stickers, whatever takes your fancy – and it doesn’t have to be super expensive either. If you’re a stationery nerd like me, you’ll be super excited to get organised, do your homework, or make some notes and mind maps, just to try out your cool new stuff.
  • Remember to practice self care. One of the most important ways to stay motivated is to make sure you aren’t overwhelmed or burned out. Sometimes the most productive thing to do is to just stop and take a break. Have a snack, watch Netflix, do some exercise – anything to to give your mind a break from stress and school for a bit.
  • Make it social. Gather together a great group of friends to help, motivate and support each other. Hold each other accountable for work you need to get done. Organising regular study sessions will make the term way more fun – plus, there’s nothing quite as comforting as knowing that others are going through the same painful experience as you.

Kate is a Year 12 student from Canterbury. She enjoys music, languages, sunny days, and a good book – and she’s one of JETmag’s newest bloggers!

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