As a graduate of Christa McAuliffe Academy School of Arts and Sciences, I feel like I’ve learned a great deal of how to cope with the ultimate freedom CMASAS provided us by assigning a no-deadline curriculum. Undoubtedly, it’s the best thing a school can give since we could work our minds off thoroughly on our assignments without being forced, while keeping up with our extra-curricular activities.
Set up strict doable deadlines to achieve a well-desired goal. Then, reward yourself!
It was slightly hard to overcome the “I’ll do it tomorrow” feeling. Without some force pushing us to do work, we will keep delaying and delaying until we’re overwhelmed of “why is it still not over” thoughts which eventually puts a great decline in our performance and grades. Daniel Kahneman summarizes this feeling in his book Thinking, Fast and Slow as; “An effort of will or self-control is tiring; if you have had to force yourself to do something, you are less willing or less able to exert self-control when the next challenge comes around. This phenomenon is named ego depletion.”
Despite this, I managed to graduate 5 months prior to the graduation of my peers with a flashing GPA of 3.7, and achieved a great skill of controlling my lazy self and the ticking clock. How? I set up strict doable deadlines to achieve a well-desired goal, alongside with rewards and occasional breaks. Every Sunday I used to sit down, check the coursework, and spread a manageable chunk of it equally on my weekly planner. By successfully going by my plan, I would put off rewards like playing video games. During the coursework, if I started getting distracted and bored, I would take a break of 5 to 15 minutes. It would be easier to get concentrated on the class after the break.
Everyone has their own plans and paths to achieving their goals, but not everyone has a big-time goal. Where do you want to be in 10 years? I find this question crucial to the overall motivation and success of oneself. Honestly, I couldn’t set up a concrete goal until a couple of months ago, probably because I didn’t give much importance to it, but apparently, I had it in me. Most of you would think it’s impossible to set a goal when you can’t even decide which college to go or which major to do, but please trust me, I was thinking the same. Once you identify what you want to do, or who you want to be, everything makes more sense. You start walking and looking for the material that will accelerate you towards that goal. I strongly suggest you to look for it.
Finally, I should mention the enormous advice and motivation I received from bloggers like College Info Geek. You should seek out bloggers’ advice since they try their best to process those to make you better at what you’re doing. Never lose your motivation and hope; search for anything that gives you the drive, like art, poetry, and books.