Stages of motivation throughout the semester

Katherine Qiu/Staff

UC Berkeley students are typically viewed as passionate, hardworking overachievers. The academic rigor can definitely become overwhelming, no matter your major or how involved you are in the community. To give a better understanding of how the stress may affect our attitudes in school, here are the stages of motivation that most UC Berkeley students experience throughout the semester.

The ambitious stage

When your new class schedule has been set and a new semester begins, you feel excitement and anticipation for the months ahead. All of your new professors received great reviews on RateMyProfessor, the topics of your classes sound super interesting and you’re aiming to join at least two new clubs. You even bought a new planner, scheduled what you’re going to do every day of the week to make sure you get all your work done and put those new self-care methods to use. You’re certain that this semester you’ll finally be able to give your GPA the boost it needs.

The suffocating stage 

Once midterms roll around, you’ll start to feel like you’re drowning in a sea of readings, essays and research projects. On top of that, you need to study for three different classes, because midterms are worth at least 15 percent of your grade and if you flunk any of them, you’ll need to ace the final exams — and you have no idea how to make that happen. You also start regretting that you joined those clubs, because everyone knows you there at this point, so you feel bad if you stop showing up.

Okay, maybe you did bite off more than you can chew, but at least you’re building your resume, right?

The existential stage

After pulling three all-nighters in a row and surviving midterms with the help of Red Bull and Postmates, you can’t help but wonder, “Do I really need this degree? I mean, I could just drop out and travel the world.”

Then you realize that yes, you do need this education. So you trudge on. Just a few more weeks to go.

The whatever stage

After getting your grades back and calculating every possible GPA you could have by the end of the semester, you have no choice but to face the reality that you might not get that coveted 4.0 this semester. You remind yourself over and over again that your GPA won’t be forever printed on your diploma. It might be forever printed on your heart, but you brush it off. It’s whatever. This too shall pass.

The panic stage

Somehow you entered into a time warp that made the weeks go by much faster, and finals are closer than you expected. Somehow, the panic gave you a rush of adrenaline, and suddenly, all your fatigue has fueled your motivation. Time to work that Bear butt off and finish the semester with a bang.

The relief stage

Once you walk out of your last final exam, you breathe a sigh of relief that the chaos of the semester is over. Hard work will always pay off, and even if you don’t get the grades you initially hoped for, you remind yourself that it will all be worth it in the end.

As it gets close to the panic stage, we at the Clog hope relief comes sooner than later!

Contact Claudia Marie Huynh at [email protected].

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