When the Going Gets Tough

Motivation while time drags on

We have hit that time of the school year, where the excitement of a brand new semester has worn off and reality has set in. Our spring break is just out of reach and the holidays are so far past… Do we even remember what we did over Christmas?

At times such as this, personal morale seems to decline and it becomes easier to hit snooze and roll over rather than push ourselves to class, work or our other commitments. 

January is when the winter blues hit their peak. For me, anyway. 

And it totally stinks.

So, what do we do? Do we continue to drag along until spring happens to make an appearance (which can be somewhere between March and June), or can we do something about it?

My advice, according to what I have found most helpful when the days and weeks seem to drag, is to give yourself something to look forward to.

If spring break is that something that you are looking forward to, then it will be approximately two months before your dreams come true. My suggestion is to focus on what is close, or what seems more attainable. Personally, I try to have at least one event per week that I can be excited for. And it doesn’t have to be anything so grand as dinner at Hard Rock Cafe. 

Think small. Schedule lunch with a few friends at a favorite restaurant. Try a new event on campus or in the Fargo-Moorhead area (check out FM events calendar online for a ton of options or the CORQ app for campus activities). 

Maybe plan a night in to catch up on your favorite TV series or rewatch a feel-good movie, either alone or with friends. Call a relative you miss and haven’t seen lately.

Just within the next few weeks, there are Bison basketball games to attend at the SHAC, the Super Bowl on February 12, Valentine’s Day and, probably what I am most excited about, no classes on Monday, February 20th in honor of President’s Day. 

Spontaneity is a marvelous trait, but there is something beneficial to be said for scheduling an event. The sense of anticipation, from my perspective, is nearly as rewarding as the event itself, in the same way, the weeks leading up to summer vacation can be just as rewarding as summer itself, because you know what’s coming.

For me, this looks like having some one-on-one time with friends or spending time with my family. My personal favorite treats are my free mornings, when I can catch up on homework or personal projects or head to the gym without being crunched for time.

I am currently planning on attending a basketball game at the SHAC at the start of February, and while basketball is totally not my favorite sport, I am surprised at how excited I am to go cheer on the Bison with family and friends! 

It’s the little things that count as we wait for our grand prize. 

Life is tough. Study hard, work hard and be gentle on yourself. We’re all in this together.

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