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How to Motivate Yourself | Emily Gao

How to Motivate Yourself

by: Emily Gao

As much as I am writing this to help out my fellow peers, this article is also for myself. With the tragic ending of winter break and spring break seeming years and years away, it is no surprise that many students feel in a bland, never-ending cycle of school, tests, homework, stress, and meager amounts of sleep. However much we may despise school, our classes, or our lack of sleep, we must persevere. We must stop complaining and start doing. Hard work will always pay off, some way or the other.

If you are debating whether or not to finish that episode of Friends or finish your statistics homework, or spend the next hour studying for your history quiz or spend the next hour scrolling through Instagram, this is for you. Here are some things that you can do to get your butt out of your bed and start being productive.

TED Talks:

These are the epitome of motivation. Great people talking about great things. Watch these. Get inspired to change the world. And then get onto finishing your homework, because no one ever changed the world with unfinished math homework.

“How To Measure Your Life” by Clayton Christensen

“The Power Of Vulnerability” by Brene Brown

“How Great Leaders Inspire Action” by Simon Sinek

“My Stroke of Insight” by Jill Bolte Taylor


No, you do not need to read Shakespeare in order to motivate yourself. Unless that’s your thing, then go ahead. For me personally, Shakespeare is a great alternative to the sleeping pills I take before boarding a plane. Please don’t be offended. I’m just trying to be honest.

Anyways, here are some books that are about topics that may not be so conventional. They are meant to stimulate your telectual juices. Take the time one night: turn off your phone, grab some hot chocolate, read a good book.

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

Blink by Malcolm Gladwell

The Smartest Kids in the World by Amanda Ripley

Blank Slate by Steven Pinker

Talk to Your English Teacher, or Any of Your Teachers in General:

Something about English teachers. For some reason, they always tend to be the most impactful. Converse with him and her about literally anything: college, food, sleeping habits, true crime. I guarantee that you will leave the conversation feeling enlightened in some way. I don’t know if it’s the water that English teachers drink, but they always have the most insightful conversations. If you don’t have an English teacher on hand to converse with, any teacher will work. English teachers are preferred though.

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