All of the days are starting to run together and the homework keeps piling on faster, like an oven conveyor belt at a sandwich shop. I’m working on the side of the oven where the sandwiches come out, all melty-cheese and crispy bread. There’s a long line to the cash register, the orders are adding up and there’s a few customers peaking over the wall to see if I’m making their sandwiches correctly. Suddenly the sandwiches seem to be getting bigger and bigger, pouring out of the oven into a giant pile. I’m drowning in sandwich.
I had this nightmare so many times when I worked at a sandwich shop. Now I feel like I’m living that nightmare, except instead of sandwiches, homework and social events are overwhelming me. I’m overrun by tests, papers, group projects, rushes, concerts, formals, etc. Can anyone relate?
If you’re feeling burned out, here’s three ways to maintain motivation at the end of the semester.
- Reward yourself with things you can only get in Abilene. Most of us will be leaving Abilene for the summer, and some seniors will be leaving forever. The next few weeks may be your only chance to get a Monk’s latte, a popsicle from Mary’s Palateria, or a spicy-ranch-smothered Sharky’s burrito. So when you finish a big project or even a few pages of a long paper, grab a friend and go get some Abilene specialties. You can also hop outside for a classic Abilene sunset. Drive down 10th Street heading west at sunset. The skyline of downtown Abilene looks so beautiful surrounded by green trees.
- Stick to your schedule. When we get burned out, we tend to give up on some of our little daily responsibilities. Keep on showering, going to the gym and attending church and small groups. These things will help you stay focused even when homework and college life gets monotonous or overwhelming.
- Shake up your routine. On the other hand, you might try doing something that really shakes up your routine. You could dress nice for school every day. You could hang out with someone you don’t normally hang out with. You could start a daily video diary as you countdown to graduation. These things make life interesting and help you remember why you’re going to college in the first place.
- Spend more time with professors. You might need their help for a project, so you should go to their office and talk with them instead of slacking off on the project. You can also get to know them better so you might still feel comfortable saying ‘hello’ even after you finish that class. You may never have so many knowledgable people at your fingertips again, so take advantage of their expertise even in a busy season.
In the end, what you really have to do is just take it one sandwich at a time.