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It's 11:54 p. m. where I live.

I have an important exam tomorrow. I haven't studied for it, even though I have intended to every single day for the past two weeks. And yet here I sit in front of a computer screen, voicing my self-pity to random strangers on the internet instead of using my last chance to prevent unnecessary failure.

It's not like I suck at school. I always get top grades in my native language as well as in my second languages and subjects like history because the exams usually just consist of texts or documents that need to be analyzed and interpreted, so there's not much to study for. But in maths or sciences, where it's crucial to memorize and understand every concept because stuff is based on each other, I fail because my procrastination gets in the way. Therefore, my grades consist of As as well as Fs but I don't usually get Cs.

I've tried staying away fromt the PC but I always manage to find another distraction. Sometimes, I just stand up and walk around the room because even that is more interesting to me than chemistry.

I do want to get good grades. However, my unwillingness to look into subjects I don't care about defeats that wish. But I'm in my last year and my finals start in March so it'd really be better if I finally pulled myself together.

Anybody got any advice on this? Where do you get your motivation from?
 

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My motivation is heavily derived from a combination of pride, interest and necessity. If any one of those is at stake, I end up doing some of my better work. Stress to study never really paid off, so I never really did study. I suppose can muster up some advice though.

Things tend to be boring in the world, but learning to cope through what is boring in order to push on to what you want to do is something that anyone who has the opportunity of school is going to have to live through. Think of keeping up your grades as being part of the necessary path that you must take in order to achieve what you want in life, because to many it is. In the end, it might just pay off more to experiment in your head in class to make things work and come to your own conclusions. It's simple scientific method; it works everywhere.
 

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I tend to mentally compete with others in my class. I pick someone that I want to get a better grade than (or a group of people, usually someone that I despise), and work towards that. The people that I pick are usually voice their grades a lot, so I'm able to compare them easily... Of course, the other person usually doesn't know that I'm trying to compete against them, though...
 

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I have the same problem. It gets the worst when i have weeks to prepare for the exam or doing the assignment. I practically do nothing until it is too late and i feel challenged. As in "Now it is too late, but i can do it. Challenge accepted!" This usually results in a mediocre grade, but a pass.

The only time I could really concentrate and I could motivate me, was when i changed location. For preparation for my exams at the University, i drove to my fathers house for a week. I felt like i had to do something, and i wasnt as much distracted as i would have been at home.
 

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I have the same problem. I had about a 2.0 in high school because I didn't do shit in or out of class and now in college I don't feel any more motivated than to get about a 3.0 while doing the minimal amount of work because there is nothing that can convince me that school is really all that important even if I know it is. Playing games or browsing the internet feels much more intellectually stimulating than studying or doing homework.

My advice (though extremely pessimistic):

-Admit that you aren't going to have the motivation to study until the last minute.
-When you realize that you only have about an hour or two left to study, let the panic of failing setting and dedicate every second of that time to memorizing what you can.
-Make a ton of little mnemonic devices and focus on small details that can be memorized quickly rather than focusing broad concepts that will take a long time to learn.
-Obtain a B or C on the test.
-Shrug and admit that that's good enough.
 

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stop worrying and be awesome. It depends on your attitude, really.



I tap in my well of negative emotions, negative motivation usually works best for me. Think of all the douchebags that would like you to make them a sandwich, or think of that stupid little fuck that thinks (s)he's smart by getting good grades, would be great to crush that mofo right? I usually seek a competitor and try to beat him/her, sadly, there are no competitors since I don't have the energy to perceive anyone as a threat, too life-consuming, and everyone thinks im too weird which doesn't really help at all.
 

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The only time I could really concentrate and I could motivate me, was when i changed location. For preparation for my exams at the University, i drove to my fathers house for a week. I felt like i had to do something, and i wasnt as much distracted as i would have been at home.
This especially might really work. I think I'll give it a try next time!
 

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Anybody got any advice on this? Where do you get your motivation from?
I have a huge problem with this. I created a ritual for when I have to study or write a paper. I prearrange the following: I have to have hot beverage in an excessively large mug (tea, coffee, decaf, whatever). I have to be barefoot or wearing slippers. (No shoes or sandals). I have to be wearing over-the-ear headphones. The venue has to be a location in which pacing is optional (I have to be moving around every so often, even sitting on the desk and putting my feet in the chair, or flipping the chair around). And I have to have a good book by my side that I have already read that I can pick up from time to time and read a single page of, or doodle in. I also like to have a camera handy in order to take photographs of my surroundings from interesting perspectives. Some of my best photographs are of Asians sleeping in the library.

Once this is all seen to, I sit down, close my eyes and tell myself three times: "I can do this." I open the eyes and stare into what I am about to do, and then I do it.

So this is my ritual. Although it is inordinately quirky/idiosyncratic, it works for me. Devising a ritual with divers concentration/distraction strategies might be something to look into.

Best of luck!
 

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It's ridiculous that I procrastinate because usually once I get into studying I actually enjoy it.
I agree with this. I just hate starting things that are mundane and seemingly serve no other purpose than to occupy my time.

Unfortunately it wouldn't be fair to tailor school towards the actual smart-pants people, because lets face it. It's easier for a smarter individual to go about memorizing the same text over and over again in order to answer multiple choice questions, than it is for everyone else to actually have to apply knowledge in an open ended response question.

Therefore my attitude towards school is "Meh"

Upper level college classes tend to favor the more intellectual individual however.
 

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I agree with this. I just hate starting things that are mundane and seemingly serve no other purpose than to occupy my time.

Unfortunately it wouldn't be fair to tailor school towards the actual smart-pants people, because lets face it. It's easier for a smarter individual to go about memorizing the same text over and over again in order to answer multiple choice questions, than it is for everyone else to actually have to apply knowledge in an open ended response question.

Therefore my attitude towards school is "Meh"

Upper level college classes tend to favor the more intellectual individual however.
Yeah, exactly. I've come to terms with the fact that public school is just not geared toward people like me who actually understand some things, they have to teach to whatever the "average" aptitude happens to be. Most people start to "get" stuff after they've repeatedly crammed the facts about a trillion times.

Some schools have a high average aptitude, however. I go to one school, but take courses at another, and there's a big difference between them and what they expect.

I hate multiple guess tests sooo much.
 
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