As we’re through syllabus week and diving full force into our semester, along with doing our best to fall back into our normal routines after living through a global pandemic, I know many of us may need a few words of encouragement to give us that extra push to attend our 8AMs, study that extra hour or to take proper care of ourselves. 

I believe each one of us at one point have combated the feeling of burn out. As silly as it may sound, taking the smallest step, such as fitting in a workout, can drastically improve your motivation or mood!  

To help kick off our semester strong, below is a list of ways to help you stay motivated this fall.  

From the time you wake up to the time you go to bed, the choices you make are going to lead you closer to or further away from what you ultimately want.

Mick Lynch

WSU Counselor, PsyD, LP, CMPC

1. Focus on what you can control.

Even though you can’t control everything around you, you can control your attitude toward what happens. Pay more attention to how you respond to the things in your life.

2. Get moving!

There’s no way you can feel energized if you stay in your bed, wearing your pajamas and looking at your phone, laptop, or TV within the same four walls all day. Get up, get dressed, and get out of that mentality.

3. Remember your purpose.

We all have a dream—or two—that drives us to keep going. So, think about why you chose to be in college right here, right now. Think about why you chose to study what you’re studying. Think about what you want your future to look like. Reminding yourself of your “why?” can ignite your passion to get things done.

4. Learn to prioritize.

Even though it may seem like it sometimes, not everything is an emergency. Prioritizing will ultimately help you take your responsibilities one day at a time and make things more manageable.

5. Find your rhythm and create a routine.

Sticking to a schedule is a great way to fill your tank. 

Set a positive tone for the day by reflecting on what you’ve looked forward to and making a daily goal. Read or listen to something that inspires you and makes you feel alive. Eat a hearty breakfast and spend some time in silence. Attend your classes, study, and work on group projects. Practice self-care with relaxation. Connect to nature or a higher power. Then wrap it all up at bedtime by preparing your mind and your body for a good night’s rest.

6. Practice discipline.

It’s hard to be productive when you only do what’s easy or the things you want to do. While these are a good start, branch out and get a little uncomfortable. Do something that you’ve never done before. When you don’t want to sit on another Zoom call or study for an upcoming exam, do it anyway.

7. Surround yourself with a support system.

Although lasting motivation can only come from inside you, it’s important to also have people in your life who will raise you up and hold you accountable to get things done. The right support system will help you stay on track.

8. Don’t be so hard on yourself.

We’re imperfect humans. Sometimes things don’t go the way we planned. During these moments especially, you need to be flexible and give yourself some grace. Striving for “good enough” right now is perfectly acceptable. You don’t need to be over-the-top productive all the time. Just do the best you can because that is enough. You are enough.

9. Ask for help if you need it.

When you’re feeling particularly unmotivated and you don’t know what to do, reach out to your family and friends. You can always visit Counseling Services and talk it out with one of our confidential professionals.


You have the power to choose motivation—so do it, and keep moving forward. 

Win the day, Warriors!

– Makayla Lende ’23