New year, new perspective


Rebecca Harrell

A hidden gem of Texas State University are the Educational Gardens outside of the Department of Agricultural Sciences building. Multiple levels of picnic tables, benches and beautiful horticulture let you escape from the busy campus life and concentrate on your work. Photo taken Jan. 16. Photo credit: Rebecca Harrell

Abby Gutierrez

“Live every day like it’s your last. Enjoy the ride.”

“Success is a journey not a destination, so live in the moment and enjoy the moment.”

“Nobody can affect whether or not you’re going to have a good day, but yourself and your own mind.”

These few sentences come from YouTube video, “6 Minutes to Start Your Day Right! – Morning Motivation,” which encourages every person to take control of each day as best they can and to live a more intentional life by escaping the everyday routine of going through the motions.

As the spring 2020 semester begins, students can find themselves lacking the motivation to start the spring semester on a strong note. This YouTube video and Texas State Counseling Center therapist Colleen Conklin provide practical tips that can help students build a more motivated attitude and succeed in all aspects of their college life.

1. Remember the “Why”

Conklin said remembering the reasons why one participates in his or her daily activities such as attending class, work or student organizations can help students stay motivated and determined to finish their daily tasks.

“Figuring out the ‘why’ and then journaling about it a bit and getting to that natural place where you say ‘but this is why I’m doing it’ can help people keep going and dig a little deeper (within themselves),” Conklin said.

Ben Tabar, nutrition dietetics sophomore, said what helps him get motivated and excited for the day is accomplishing his daily tasks one by one.

“I turn off the alarm, say a quick prayer, then start on my other tasks,” Tabar said. “I have goals for my life, and they can’t be accomplished fully without finishing the bunch of smaller things added on top of each other. It’s all about the bigger picture.”

2. Get Involved on Campus

Conklin said challenging oneself to get involved in a club or organization outside of schoolwork and class provides better academic success and helps better a person’s mood, which in turn gives the person more energy to use throughout their day.

“Focusing on someone’s overall wellness, getting involved in something other than school like a club is really important and actually tends to have better academic outcomes than people who focus completely on school,” Conklin said.

3. Get Enough Sleep

Especially in a college town, it can be difficult to get enough sleep, but it’s necessary in order to function to the best of one’s ability the following day, according to Conklin.

“It really helps for concentration and decreases people’s anxiety levels, depressive symptoms and concentration ability,” Conklin said. “While you may have one or two hours less than studying, the focus and mood that you’ll have the next day are well worth not knowing a couple of answers.”

4. Be Yourself

Conklin said being one’s authentic self can help provide a positive and loving attitude toward oneself, which leads to a more motivated mindset.

“It takes a lot of energy to hide parts of who (someone is),” Conklin said. “But when people do get involved in things and meet people by just being their full self, it’s actually like weights get lifted off of people when they’re just authentic.”

“6 Minutes to Start Your Day Right! – Morning Motivation” emphasizes the importance of waking up early and starting the day by listing a couple of priorities to accomplish throughout the day.

Emily Lloyd, psychology junior, said she would like to try this approach in hopes of taking more control of her life and being more intentional with each daily task she has to get through.

“I think one thing from the video that I can relate to is immediately starting my day looking through my social media on my phone,” Lloyd said. “It’s such a source of comparison. It’s so easy to look at what everybody else has and feel down on myself instead of on looking at all of the blessings in my life.”

While the YouTube video inspires students to take action and control of every day, Conklin said she encourages students to remember that not every day is going to be perfect and that it is okay to ask for extra support if needed sometimes.

Conklin also said she hopes students can intentionally offer help and freely give their time to others around them.

“I think coming from a spirit of giving, being aware of our surroundings and the people around us is important,” Conklin said. “The giving and the growing happens by being present for other people.”

Above all, Conklin said she encourages students to be gentle with themselves as the path to growth is a long, bumpy one.

“(We need to) normalize that growth is painful, and it’s okay to go at your own pace,” Conklin said. “But I think it all starts with being kind to each other and to ourselves.”

For more information on how to get motivated for the upcoming semester, contact the Texas State Counseling Center. To view the full video, visit “6 Minutes to Start Your Day Right! – Morning Motivation” on Youtube.





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