What are some of your methods for staying motivated?

Sep 15, 2017
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Hi all!

I'm currently a pre-medical student with 3 years to go before I start applying to grad schools. So far, my academic experience has been incredibly rewarding and all around worth it, but it has also provided me with quite the emotional roller coaster (which from what I have heard, only gets worse...please tell me if I'm wrong!). I'm a double major in Biology and Legal Studies, as I will be pursuing the MD/JD dual degree program once I am finished with undergrad (which also explains why I have three years left to finish, instead of two).

Throughout my academic career, I've performed very well (4.0 GPA, great test scores, etc.), but it's all beginning to take a toll on me personally. At the moment, I'm studying for several foreign language proficiency tests, my college exams/finals, and soon to be starting prep for other unrelated licensing exams needed for my upcoming job.

Lately however, I've been feeling extremely overwhelmed by everything and am struggling with how to cope properly, in a way that will help retain my sanity in the long-term. Luckily, I don't start work again until mid-November, but when that time comes, I will also begin completing my volunteer hours and picking up a second job to cover tuition fees and some living expenses, essentially a 60-hour work week on top of full-time schooling. I've felt this way before and managed to power through, but I'm hoping to find easier ways to do so this time around.

So my questions for all of you is what helps you stay motivated during times like this? Are there any special tricks that have consistently worked for you personally? For those of you that are also working FT and going to school FT, how well do you typically manage? And finally, does this ever get better?

I've been reading this site for the past two years now and finally got around to joining, so I am quite excited to see the responses :) Thank you!
 

AttemptingScholar

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Apr 1, 2016
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It sounds like normal overload--be careful. You don't want to turn it into burnout!

Could you rearrange your schedule and maybe take the language proficiency tests right after finals? Just one thing at a time...

You're doing a lot and doing it well--it sounds like motivation really isn't your problem. You're just getting overloaded. If spreading everything out isn't working, try focusing on one thing at a time? Good luck!
 
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Sep 15, 2017
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Thank you for the advice! I unfortunately cannot change most of my schedule, but I might be able to reschedule two of the exams for after finals.
 
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Turkishking

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Jul 15, 2015
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I've had my ups and downs through out this process. But how do I stay motivated? I mostly dream of the future. Strange, but it works for me. Putting on my white coat, etc.
 
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jm192

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I had countless nights in medical school and residency where I thought I wasn't cut out for it. There were always at my most stressed. I'd had a long day. A patient's family was difficult. An attending was rude. I did bad on a test. And then I'm tired and think I'm not cut out for it.

Go to fu#$ing sleep.

It's normal to struggle. It's normal to doubt. When it happens, give yourself some time to rest and recover. When the sun comes out, it will all be ok.
 
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numbersloth

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Mar 26, 2015
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For me, classwork overload + sleep deprivation + stress make literally even eating sound like too much work.

Generally, lack of motivation to do things you know you love comes from a lack of balance in your schedule. Take time out to do things you love -- even if its just watching some grey's anatomy or an engaging science documentary.
 
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Kurk

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I don't. I try to use fear of failing as it's the best motivator, but I'm currently trying to find a better long-term one.
 
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Sep 15, 2017
18
5
Florida, USA
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Thank you for all of your input guys :)

jm192 and numbersloth, you hit it right on the dot. Glad to know that I'm not the only one who has felt this way at times and that there are indeed ways to get past this.
 
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