In Need of Motivation


Sophie Young

Illustration by Preston Randall

I am so ready for Thanksgiving break, and I think most college students feel the same right now.

As fast as fall semester has gone and as much as I’ve enjoyed it, I feel like I’m at an impasse. The first semester is almost over, points are totalling up and the pressure is on.

Or at least, I’m putting pressure on myself.

This week, I’ve been learning more about the Enneagram test. It’s a personality test that categorizes people into nine connected types, aiming to help you understand yourself and others better.

I’m a type seven, also known as “the enthusiast.” Sevens are characterized by spontaneity, optimism and distraction. 

I always thought of the Enneagram as a glorified, slightly more accurate horoscope. This week, it’s helped me to recognize some of my faults and challenges as finals week looms ever closer. 

The thing about this personality test that called me out the most is my inability to finish a project. I will start something and enjoy working on it, but the second I find my next idea, I get excited to begin that. 

As the sun sets earlier and I complain about it for the eighteenth year in a row, I start to become discouraged. I drop the routines and lists of deadlines I set in September like they’re a failed New Year’s resolution. 

I attempt to strike a balance between being productive and allowing myself time to rest. I haven’t perfected it yet, but I have taken steps to get there.

First, I downloaded the app Flipd. It includes a focus timer that allows for breaks and turns off multitasking, making sure it is the only app open on your phone. Using it for only a few days has started to help me eliminate distractions. 

Next, I scheduled time to spend with friends. I set aside Saturday as a day solely for fun. The Akron Art museum, Kent Skates and a movie night filled the day to the brim. 

The motto this week was an age-old cliche: finish strong. 

Looking forward to stuffing myself with Thanksgiving favorites, visiting old friends, seeing my family and the thought of sleeping in my own bed are the incentives I needed to stay motivated. 

My challenge this week is to keep my focus on the future and remind myself of the purpose behind the work I’m doing.