Finding Motivation in a Freezer: The Mid-term Slump

As I sit in the library clicking through random web pages and reading various blog posts, I realize that I’ve been sitting here for nearly 2 hours and have accomplished next to nothing. Having made it through the first half of the semester unscathed, I know it’s only reasonable to expect that some sort of real work should eventually come my way during mid-term. The only problem is… I can’t bring myself to do any work.

Most of the time, these mid-term exams and term papers create a lot more stress than they’re worth. If you’re intelligent about your approach, in that you don’t procrastinate and have been taking good notes, then studying for a mid-term should not consume your life. However, there are a few more factors that come into play.

For instance, you could study for hours, but that may not necessarily mean you will retain every word you read. On campus, in the library, in your dorm, at a coffee shop, at home: no matter where you choose to study, there will always be something to break your concentration. The only way to remedy this situation is to find the best of the worst.

For most, the obvious choice is the library. The biggest factor is that it’s quiet: a lot of libraries have designated quiet areas where you barely even dare rustle a page. However, at least on my campus, the Internet seems to be at its fastest there—which is bad for people like me who can’t help but keep flipping through the open tabs on their web browser. The solitude of the library always draws me back to that little Internet icon when I should be reading about Irish immigrants in Canada. It’s also bad that the university doesn’t seem to understand that halfway through October, the library can be surprisingly chilly. I’m forced to wear my jacket in the study area—not the most comfortable.

If you do happen to find someplace good to study, the next step is to find your motivation. While you do owe it to yourself to at least try to get good grades, finding the motivation to do so can still feel like a difficult task. As I pointed out in a post roughly a year ago, this is also the time of year where our health can take a major hit—which, for me, is a major factor in whether or not I can bring myself to do any work. Maintaining your health could be the difference between getting the work done in good time or having to pull an all-nighter (which is never a good idea).

Anyway, I do in fact have a history paper to be working on, so my next goal is to find a heated spot in the library with an electrical outlet. Wish me luck, and good luck back to all those of you writing mid-terms this week!

Feel free to follow me here to hear more complaints about cold libraries! Trust me, it’s totally worth it.*

* May not, in fact, be worth it.

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