Staying Motivated through the Spring

The spring semester of our 2VM (second-year veterinary student) year is officially upon us, and, boy, do we have a packed schedule: “Anesthesia/General Surgery,” “Infectious Diseases,” “Introduction to Diagnostic Imaging,” “Pathology II,” “Pharmacology II,” “Public Health,” and “Toxicology!”

Here are some things that I have found work well for me in staying motivated through a busy semester. Maybe they can help you tackle your semester, as well!

  1. Study in a new or different location! Some days I find that I am most productive in the study rooms in VIDI. Other times, I focus best while sitting at my desk at home. And sometimes, I study most effectively in the midst of a bustling coffee shop. Sometimes, you just have to switch it up; a change of scenery may be all you need to get back on track!
  2. Acknowledge how far you have come! 2VMs are already 3/8ths of the way toward earning our DVM degrees, which is absolutely wild to think about. We’ve had the strength, courage, and motivation to make it this far in our educational careers…surely we can keep going!
  3. Take breaks! When I wake up on a Sunday morning and tell myself that I am going to study all day long, it never fails that at one point or another during the afternoon, I will lose my focus. Studying for just a few hours at a time, however, interrupted by a 20- or 30-minute well-deserved study break, works wonders for my productivity and overall motivation!
  4. Look forward to White Coat Ceremony!!! April 13 is going to be here before we know it! All of my family will be flying out to College Station (some of them for the very first time!) from California, and I have no doubt that this excitement will carry me through the most stressful of times and help keep me motivated and pressing on this semester. Find something exciting you have coming up in your life and make a countdown
  5. Look forward to your summer plans! I will be spending my summer externing at two different dairy practices in California, and I am already so excited. The opportunity to utilize the knowledge I’ve gained in school and apply it to real-world situations on a dairy farm is reason enough for me to stay motivated and keep a positive attitude throughout the semester!
  6. Stay organized! Writing in my planner has become quite a hobby of mine. I can conveniently write down assignment due dates, upcoming exams, etc., all in one convenient spot. Seeing everything neatly written down and organized into different days makes me realize that there is, indeed, enough time to accomplish everything, thus preventing me from becoming overwhelmed. You cannot stay motivated if you are overwhelmed!
  7. Set reasonable goals! Rather than saying I am going to review all of the lecture material since our previous exam in a day, I split it up—for example, a half hour for each lecture. There is something satisfying about being able to check off a box on a to-do study list, and that keeps me motivated to keep at it!

Happy spring semester everyone! 🙂