I don’t know about everyone else, but I haven’t been feeling very motivated recently. I don’t know why. I told myself that once I’d got that long-awaited medical school offer I’d become incredibly motivated to get those grades, but in reality that hasn’t quite happened yet. This blog post is essentially aimed at myself but I thought I’d publish it so others can benefit if they’re lacking some of that ever-important motivation.
1) Don’t give up now!
Whatever stage you are in your education, be it GCSEs, A-Levels or even your degree – YOU have worked hard to get there so don’t let yourself down by not trying your best. I know it’s hard sometimes, but what else can we do but try? If you’re a medical offer holder like myself, just stop for a moment and think about it. Countless hours of volunteering and work experience, prepping for the dreaded admissions tests, going to several open days and events, waiting for interview invitations and then preparing endlessly for them. A bag of nerves before entering the interview room, and then constantly doubting and self-criticising your performance in your head in the period between interviews and offers…and after all that hard work, you made it, you got an offer! Now all that stands between you and that place, the opportunity to pursue the career of your dreams, is to get those grades. You’ve made it this far, just push, push and push yourself some more to overcome this last hurdle, give it your all in this last stretch. It’d be such a shame to fall at this stage of the race.
2) What else are you really going to do?
I know it’s tempting to go on your phone, check your Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat or even watch some random YouTube videos or whatever. Trust me, I’ve been there. But what are we really gaining from doing this….nothing! Of course, have a break every so often, but I think we all know that once you start scrolling down that twitter feed, it’s hard to stop! Let’s face the facts here, most of our day to day lives aren’t these insta-worthy exciting adventures, so if you’ve not nothing better to do, why not just revise? After all, if you’re anything like me, if you’re not revising, you’ll either be eating, sleeping or watching something random on TV. Just do yourself a favour and do something productive instead!
3) It’s all about YOU (but not ALL about you)!
I bet I’ve confused you with this subheading haven’t I? What I mean is, this is about YOU and your future. Parents and teachers may nag about revision but at the end of the day, it’s not them that need to get the grades, it you. They’re only nagging because they care! It’s easy to get in a grump when someone says you need to revise (or when teachers give you a tonne of homework) but remember, they’re doing it for you. Give yourself a challenge every day and force yourself to get work done so that if anyone asks how you’re getting on with revision you can happily list of everything you’ve done that day. But it’s not ALL about you. If you see someone struggling with something, then offer to help – not only does it help them but it helps you to consolidate your learning and often learning from your peers is an effective way of understanding something better, especially when you haven’t quite got your head around it when your teacher’s explained it. It’s nice to help, everyone else is going through the same thing, why not make the ride a little easier by working together to achieve shared goals.
4) Revise in a way that suits YOU
Revising effectively is a very personal skill – it differs from person to person. What I might find effective may not necessarily work for you, or vice versa. Don’t waste your time trying to copy what the ‘cleverest kid in the class’ does if you know that that’s not how you learn. I learn by making my own notes, by compiling information from the various books and resources I have as I find it helps me to get to grips with the content and means that when I’m stuck I have one source to look back at, rather than several different books and websites – but you might find that this doesn’t help you. Also, find the correct time to revise, some people like waking up at 5 am to revise whereas others like myself revise better at night, whatever works for you (however maybe do try revising or attempting questions in the morning as most exams do actually take place in the morning)! That being said, whatever your revision style, make sure you practice loads of past paper questions, it’s all well and good knowing the content back to front but if you’re not used to the questions and what the examiners want to see then you’re putting yourself at a disadvantage. Revising hard in a way that doesn’t suit you and then not doing so well when you actually do attempt practice tests and questions can be demotivating, so to get over this problem, make sure you find something that works for YOU.
5) If all else fails, you’ve always got the guilt trip
I know guilt isn’t a good and lasting motivator, but sometimes it works for a bit. So if you’re ever feeling incredibly demotivated and nothing is bringing those motivation levels back up, just think about the millions of young people all over the world who are denied the precious privilege of an education, be it due to poverty, war or discrimination. We are very fortunate to have this opportunity. Don’t you think children in conflict ridden areas of the Middle East or drought, famine and poverty ridden areas of Sub-Saharan Africa have dreams? Of course they do….many will dream to become doctors, or teachers or whatever other profession they wish to be, but don’t have the means to get there. We have the opportunity to do so, so go follow them dreams and do whatever it takes to get there. You have the opportunity so why not grab it with both hands?
6) Think about results day!
Fear isn’t really a good and lasting motivator either, but it works a lot of the time. I know this won’t be the most popular of suggestions, (sorry for reminding y’all about doomsday) but really do think about it. Do you get a positive or negative feeling when you do? If it’s a positive feeling then go you! Carry on doing what you’re doing. But if it’s negative, then all hope is not lost. You CAN still change the outcome of what will go down on results day. Work hard – reap the rewards. Don’t work hard – regret it later….your choice!
Hope you’ve enjoyed or benefitted from this post. Don’t know if I’m any good at this motivation thing but this post was more for myself than anyone else. Hope everyone has a productive Easter break and hopefully we all get the grades we need in August!