Surviving Education: An Esse Duo Guide for Student Motivation

University of Barcelona, Spain

Pursuing education has never been an easy feat. In fact, some might even say it has brought upon their mental well-being more harm than good. Student loans, heartbreaks, deadlines, bullying, a general sense of confusion; you name it, and education has it.

However relatable these statements may be, to abandon education so entirely would only result in the closing of doors leading to further opportunities.

But isn’t that life, you may ask? A series of closing doors?

School may not always be fun, be we can all appreciate that it does give us the skills and knowledge necessary to make ourselves better, successful people. While quitting is a privilege (and a curse) so few could afford to make, let us rule that out.

Here, let us look at some effective ways of taking on school like a champion!

1. Know yourself

When I say this, you’re going to have to evaluate everything that makes you, ‘you’. I’m talking about your flaws, fears, motivations, strengths, hopes, dreams, talents, poise and charm. In taking these attributes all into account, you are taking a step closer to understanding yourself.

So now ask yourself: are you ready for this ?

If your answer was ‘no’, then roll again. Your time was then and is now; you don’t have a say in that. What matters the most now is your willpower. Willpower is the real test of a person, and it’s a characteristic that truly speaks for itself. Relying on your own strength-of-character will take you as far as you will ever want to go.

Determination and hard work complement each other hand-in-hand, and any situational difficulties are just another part of the life-experience. Whether the going is silky smooth or ragged and rough, at the very end of the day it is always you that controls your actions.

Willpower is the real test of a person.

Self-discipline and self-control both come from within you, and these attributes can by extension enhance all other aspects of your being. The fastest way to grow is to see yourself in the most honest light you possibly could. Do so by shedding light on what really matters to you.

The evaluation of one’s current state of mind, if done properly can bring forth the most spectacular of results. It is in knowing yourself that you can know your enemy. With these new tools, be aware of what you can and cannot control, what is to be ignored, and where exactly your focus should be directed.

2. Take one day at a time

The syllabus we are given, and the tasks schools and colleges assign us can be daunting. They are seemingly endless and insurmountable! But are they really without end?

The best thing you can do is work around the amount of time you have. Though obvious and cliché, it is always worth reiterating that you should not burn the midnight oil, and instead you should practice effectively on a regular basis. Consistency is key.

Do not belittle the smallest of changes you try to bring about.

It will get easier. The hard part is starting. The burdens will not be taken off your shoulders immediately, but you will notice your progression sooner or later.

So, do not belittle the smallest of changes you try to bring about, no matter how insignificant you might feel they are. The best time to start studying is as soon as possible.

Remember to play to your strengths. We don’t judge a rock by how well it swims, but we might say they are sturdy and resistant. No one expects you to be great at everything, so do what you do well at.

This last snippet of advice on consistent, structured revision will be a lifesaver. Take my word for it. So, dedicate yourself to a regular effective regime and take things in little by little; deadlines can come as surprises, even when you’ve been warmed. Just remember to leave space for a little fun every now and then.

3. Take it all in moderation

A great error a student could commit in their school days is to believe that some things are best to be abandoned in favour of what they believe to be more important. Priorities do matter but I assure you that your views on what is crucial to you will change, in one way or another.

To neglect your core interests would be to deny an undeniable truth; the fact that your life as a student marks a bittersweet part of your development. Denying yourself pleasure and relief would be a grave disservice at such a tender time. It often turns out the skills you nurture in your youth become the ones you turn to later in life. 

Do not forsake one part of your life for another, especially if some part of you knows it is worth keeping.

Maintaining excellent grades can uphold your spirits, but that can only last for so long. Picture being fresh out of school but void of a soul; now where do you go? Inversely, paying too much attention to your other passions is a gamble that only the most daring can make; after all, even Brian May had an astrophysics degree to fall back on if things got hairy. Personally I’m thankful that he didn’t. In any case, ‘knowing yourself’ would be of great utility.

Here, I’m saying that we must strive not only to fulfil our responsibilities and explore our interests, but we must also moderate both aspects. Do not forsake one part of your life for another, especially if some part of you knows it is worth keeping.

Ambition is as an admirable quality. People want hard workers and people with the strength to overcome failures.  Life itself is an ever-deepening lesson, and through self-management, life experiences and self-application we explore more and more corners of the rabbit-hole. It is both in exploring ourselves through our interests and unavoidable commitments that we conquer the challenging tasks; ourselves.

4. Don’t narrow your focus

Because we all want the grades, don’t we?

At its core, learning is a very fun process. Fun information is information well learned. Choose to stand by the understatement that “knowledge is power” because in a world full of closing doors, curiosity drives us in the most wonderful way.

If you genuinely enjoy doing what you do, then the results and overall grades will follow on their own accord. Life is a learning process, as much in our successes as with our failures.

Granted, both can make us complacent or despondent, but what really helps us survive the harder times is the satisfaction and thrill that comes from surmounting them. For every struggle there is a reward.

“Intelligence plus character- that is the goal of true education.”

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

5. Enjoy it while it lasts

The student life is just one part of living. Life works in the mysterious way where it makes up all the chaos that comes with it for flexibility. Trust me, second chances come around more often than you think they do. So, give and take.

This is the phase where you are given the liberty to make as many mistakes as you could afford to make. Though as usual, nothing is without its responsibilities and consequences. To the greatest part of that extent, that is yours to uphold. 

Live in the present whilst working for the future.

Many adults have wondered how they would relive their youths if they were given a second chance. To avoid this painful reflection, live your life by taking every event in every day as an opportunity to live up to something greater.

Live in the present whilst working for the future, so you can tell yourself that you did everything you knew how. Like this, regretful thoughts will hardly linger around at the back of your mind, and instead you can brush them away like the sleep in your refreshed morning eyes.

6. There will be more

Try to not make the mistake thinking school is a focal point of all things problematic. While the education system can easily seem all-corrupting, there’s usually more to it than that. If circumstances seem to be against you, then you have got to fight back.

Living the study life presents its own unique sets of challenges, be it with friends, assignments, extra-curricular involvements, or anything else. You will quickly notice that these constants will remain true for every day of the rest of your life.  Life is like that a lot of the time; same story, different tune. There will be more.

You might not be out of school anytime soon.

Still, your individual conviction to push through and move on shows a tremendous amount of inner strength, and reflects your own potential as a happy, successful individual. When you look back on your tough school days, let those memories serve as good reminders that you can always pull through.

“I will get my education- if it is in home, school, or any place.”

Malala Yousafzai


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