[no]WURries: ‘demotivated’

‘The last while, I’ve been finding it difficult to stay motivated in my studies.'

‘The last while, I’ve been finding it difficult to stay motivated in my studies. It’s hard to get into a routine with online teaching and my social life isn’t what it was. I’ve been thinking a lot about this problem and I don’t have a solution. Asking for help seems too excessive. What should I do?’ – International Development Studies student (name known to the editor)


‘Make a list of the things you plan to do. After finishing an assignment, take a break and reward yourself, for example by going out to get some fresh air. Or you could do some exercise or something else fun. When you get back to studying, you’ll feel more motivated. At least, that works for me.’

Ayu Rahma, MSc student of Environmental Science

Being demotivated is OK

‘This can happen to anyone and we tend to look for a quick solution, but that blinds us to what we really want deep down inside. Let go of the idea that you need to fix something; you don’t have to “stay motivated” — you either are or you aren’t. Relax and allow yourself to be demotivated. Listen closely to what your body tells you about what you actually want. Maybe you want a break, maybe you need to train your discipline or maybe you should start taking steps to become the horse-rider or artist you always wanted to be.’

Ferran Fitó, MSc student of Biology

Structure, structure, structure!

‘Firstly, it’s not being excessive to ask for help; that’s how you find a solution! A clear structure to your day will do wonders in getting into a rhythm for your studies. You can achieve this by drawing up a schedule for your day and week. Start the day on time, enjoy your breakfast, then get down to work for a couple of hours. Try not to keep at it for eight hours at a stretch, work in blocks of one to two hours, with enough of a break in between. That’s not wasted time — you need that time! And take good care of your body by going on walks or jogging, for example with a flatmate or someone else on your course. Good luck!’

Marijn Poortvliet, associate professor of Strategic Communication

Do get help

‘I started online therapy sessions via Skype after we switched to working from home. My therapist is from my home country because it’s better for me to talk to someone in my native language. I’m sure the WUR counsellors will be able to help you with your issues related to working, studying and living here!’

(Anonymous international student, name known to the editor)

Next WURrie:

‘As a teacher I’m worried about forgetting certain students because I’m too busy, focused and tired to see that students are becoming isolated or notice that they are having mental health issues. How can I make sure that I “see” my students?’Teacher in the chat during the online meeting in this article.

If you have advice or tips for this Wurrier, send an email (max. 100 words) before 18 November to resource@wur.nl with subject ‘noWURries #6’. If you need advice yourself, email your problem (max. 100 words) to resource@wur.nl with subject ‘noWURries’.

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