Staying motivated at uni

Written by Maiki Sun (Sport and Exercise Science), Lara Ralph (Sport and Exercise Science) and David Ada (Nursing)

Staying motivated over the course of your degree can get tough at times. After all, three or more years of constant focus throughout some of the most exciting times of your life can be a big ask! To help you out, we reached out to some of our student ambassadors to hear their top tips on staying motivated at uni.

1) Connect with your peers

“Organising group study sessions or even just asking them questions helps you to keep engaged in the subject while increasing your understanding of the content. You can also make this fun!” – Maiki Sun

“When each of your uni friends have different personal interests and work/volunteer experiences, sharing these allows for a great deal of learning to take place! When discussing course content with peers, it is often the case that one friend has a relevant story or perspective to add.

“Try to get your driver’s licence ASAP so you can attend afternoon placements, as there are sometimes no public transport options available when you finish! – Lara Ralph

2) Explore opportunities given to you

“To really understand how the industry operates, find a suitable opportunity that aligns with your interests and potential future career. For a sport and exercise degree, this could include admin work at an allied health clinic, volunteering for a semi-professional sporting club or coaching and working with youth players.

You never know who you might meet – that’s how industry connections and networks are made!” – Lara Ralph

“Be future-minded! Studying a degree is like investing with compound interest, the closer you are to finishing, the more experience you will gain. Those essays, reports, and quizzes that are due in the coming future will assist you when you graduate!” – David Ada

3) Don’t be too hard on yourself!

“Reward yourself every step of the way and be proud of your accomplishments! This helps to keep you motivated and wanting to get tasks done while also preventing burnout.

Also, schedule in breaks! This will help you to maximise your study time and prevent burnout. Exercising is a great way to step away from work and helps you to focus on your studying. While taking your mind off uni work, you’re also getting all the other benefits of physical activity!” – Maiki Sun

“Talk about your motivation levels! Demotivation could be a symptom of underlying stress or potentially even deeper concerns! Booking an appointment with a counsellor or talking to a healthcare professional can help you navigate and enhance your motivation with your uni studies!” – David Ada

4) Stay organised and learn actively

“Create a weekly schedule and write to do lists. A schedule helps to keep you on task, and lets you feel accomplished when you cross tasks off your list! Creating a routine can also help you study needed but also relax when it’s time to take a break.” – Maiki Sun

“When lots of new content is coming your way, motivation can take a temporary dip. I find the best way to digest content is to think about how I could apply it myself – often in the form of a real-world example or seeing how others use it in the industry (such as current research ideas or areas of practice).

When you can see why each concept is relevant, you are much more likely to remember them and have greater motivation to keep up with your studies.” – Lara Ralph

5) Follow your interests and chat to the experts!

“Find a certain aspect of the field or individual (practitioner, researcher, entrepreneur etc.) that intrigues you. Simply reading up on these, watching interviews or listening to a podcast can serve as a reminder of why you enjoy your course… and motivate you to continue working towards your dream career!

Also, speaking to your teachers can be really inspiring! Throughout my degree, I have had the chance to learn from many academics and practitioners, each with their own area of interest and expertise.

Chatting to them about their experiences (such as working with the Sydney Swans or a multi-national fitness company) has motivated me to continue striving for my best academically. The academic staff at UTS are highly approachable and always willing to share their wisdom, so motivation is never in short-supply!” – Lara Ralph

Find out more about studying at Health at UTS

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