We’ve all been there. It’s middle of the semester and you find yourself knee-deep in assignments, waist-deep in exams, and neck-deep in extracurricular activities that leave you burned out.  Burn-out often results in us justifying our less than “standard” performance. The low performance begins to turn into a downward spiral as the semester progresses. Many students may fall into this downward spiral after doing poorly on an exam that he or she spent many hours studying for without seeing the positive results that they expected. The semester often starts out with a lot of adrenaline and motivation to perform well in academics and other areas of life. However, after over-committing and under-performing as the semester progresses, many students may be unmotivated to keep striving for excellence. How do you keep a steady pace in the race of life when all you see is the last test grade in front of you? Below are some tips for maintaining an A average (or tips to help you obtain an A)!

student working

Tackle the Tough Stuff: It is often tempting to finish the easy tasks first; however, tackling the hardest assignments first will help you channel your energy where you need it the most. Starting with the difficult things causes  a sense of urgency, while doing easy assignments can leave one bored. Difficult assignments, projects, and exams can require quite a bit of effort and go a long way in maintaining an A average. Ironically, they usually yield a high degree of satisfaction when they are completed and this translates into a renewed energy needed to accomplish the other tasks.

happy students

Find Fun in Your Routine: Incorporating fun and spontaneous activities into your routine can help increase motivation to accomplish your tasks.  Give yourself something fun to look forward to each week. Some ideas for fun things to do include painting or carving a pumpkin, baking a homemade treat, exploring a local park or museum, trying out a new hobby such as biking, cooking, crocheting, or fishing. Adding a new fun activity into your week may not be a viable option since you are already too busy. If this is the case, add small fun things into your routine such as getting a favorite beverage to drink or a favorite snack to eat while you study, listening to a song that boosts your mood, having a spontaneous dance party, or shooting a few baskets between tasks. If your goal is maintaining an A average throughout your academic career, this step is imperative.

work life balance

Maintain Moderation: Taking challenging classes, having a job, volunteering for a special cause, studying for standardized tests, keeping up with family and friends, training for a sport, leading a club campaign, and many of the other important things that students are involved in often consume any hope of free time. Most of the things that students are involved in are important in keeping future opportunities available. Moderation is an essential element when you are reviewing what you are involved in on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. Look at your schedule and ask yourself, “Will this particular task or activity help me reach my goal?” “What are my long-term and short-term goals for this year?” Reflect on your goals and keep busy with activities that will help you reach these goals. Knowing that everything that you are involved in is helping you get closer to where you want to be should leave you feeling very motivated.

glass half full

Practice being Positive: Focusing on how difficult things are, or how much you dislike something will make it hard to see the purpose in these activities. To stay motivated, focus on the positive aspects of what you are doing. Practice being positive by your comments and gestures such as giving compliments and smiling. It may seem simple, but smiling, laughing, and saying positive things will help improve your mood and leave you feeling energized and more motivated.  It can be easy to underestimate the power of small positive gestures. Find a friend or family member and give them a big hug and tell them how much they mean to you. Do a small act of kindness for someone who is not expecting it, exchange jokes or funny stories from the week and share some laughs, or tell someone your goals and your plan to accomplish them. Maintaining a positive environment is key to regaining motivation for the seemingly mundane. Everything has a purpose when it is seen through a positive lens–so, what are you waiting for?


We hope that these simple suggestions lead to a more motivated you that is eager to get out there and reach your goals! Still feeling sluggish? Contact us so we can help get your motivation flowing!