Students try to stay motivated after Winter Break

Natalie Whitis

It can be difficult to remain motivated after Winter Break ends and spring semester begins, but many students and ISU faculty believe the start of the new year is a great time to reinvigorate their academic and social lives.

Amanda Stefanik, sophomore in marketing, is optimistic about next semester.

“The spring semester is a great time to start fresh with new classes and professors,” Stefanik said. “You can leave behind any misfortunes in the previous semester and grow from both mistakes and successes.”

Students can look back at the fall semester and see what they could have done to achieve better grades in their classes. Also, if they were not satisfied with fall semester grades, they can use that motivation to push themselves harder in the spring.

Some students don’t share Stefanik’s optimism.

Ian Warren, open-option freshman in liberal arts and sciences, agrees that it is difficult to transition from Winter Break to Spring Semester.

“This [Winter Break], I plan on slowly becoming one with my couch,” Warren said. “After that, it might be a bit difficult to switch back to the hustle and bustle of everyday college life.”

Warren also thinks the cold winter weather causes many students to lose motivation.

Mark Hargrove, academic adviser and a professor in biochemistry, biophysics and molecular biology, thinks students should keep in mind they will not always have Winter Break to look forward to.

“Students should not take for granted the fact that the cycle of semesters brings a hard beginning and end to their academic responsibilities,” Hargrove said. “After you are out of college, you rarely get such nicely packaged closure, along with the opportunity to make a fresh start.”

Hargrove encouraged students to take advantage of this fresh start by doing the things they meant to do last semester. This includes keeping up in class, studying harder and exercising.

Another important way to stay motivated is to make reasonable and informed goals for next semester.

If students tell themselves they will study five hours every night for the entire semester, they might be less than productive. But if they build off their previous successes and learn from their past mistakes, students can improve their academic performances in the spring semester.

Hayley Williams, sophomore in food science, agrees next semester will be a great time to apply the things she learned from this semester.

“One thing I’ll definitely do is apply myself more at the beginning of the semester so I don’t have to work so hard at the end,” Williams said.