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Reggie Responds #15

Welcome to Reggie Responds! Our advice column is taken over by Positive Peers this month, as part of Take Time In, which is KCLSU’s campaign on 4-21 May to support positive wellbeing for students online during this exam period.

Q: With everything that’s going on, I have no motivation to study. It feels pointless, but I wish I didn’t feel so lethargic.

CK: As I am writing this, I cannot deny that I’m going through a similar headspace as you right now, but I know we’re not the only two people who are feeling this way. As you said accurately, with everything that’s going on, it is difficult to find any motivation to study. Particularly because students this year do not have the luxury of going to libraries and study rooms as often as they would like, and we’ve been stuck in our homes all day every day for the past year. That takes a massive toll on anybody’s motivation to work, not to mention the regular stress and anxiety that comes in the exam period. For these are peculiar times, recognise and remind yourself that your lack of motivation is not your fault.

Perhaps you did not seek consolation, perhaps you wanted advice. What I can say is that you will never know when “motivation” will arrive, if ever. As I remind myself too, it will do you no favour to wait around for “motivation” to come one day for you to start working. Any progress is better than no progress at all. So start now. Not tomorrow, not the day after. Now.

Q: I feel like everyone around me managed to get an internship or work experience this summer, and I’m so behind. I wanted a break for the summer, but I also feel pressured to work and I feel like a failure.

Andrea: First of all, know that you are not alone as I am sure many of us resonate with what you are feeling, especially in these times when it is difficult to find opportunities that are relevant to you while also juggling your studies and day-to-day life. The pandemic, the lockdowns, and a whole year of online classes have no doubt put a strain on our mental wellbeing. I think, as university students, we have it so hard-wired in our brains that we must constantly be working, studying or doing something career-oriented with our time, we tend to forget to look after our wellbeing in the process. It is totally justified that a part of you wants to take a break. You totally deserve it. It has been so tough being a university student in the midst of a pandemic. So please remember that it is okay, and even necessary, to take breaks from time to time.

Try not to compare yourself to other people’s journeys because we all lead different lives and face different challenges. There are no set deadlines for you to achieve your personal milestones in life. Just because someone you know seems very successful right now and has everything working out well for them, it does not mean you are a failure. Every day that you wake up, you are making progress little by little towards achieving whatever success may look like to you. So, take a break if you have to, reconnect with yourself, look after your wellbeing and trust that all things come in good time.

If you want to submit a question, you can do so here.

If you’d like to pick up more tips and tricks to look after your wellbeing, join the Positive Peers’ Thrive sessions! You can also check out the Positive Peers website and the KCLSU Wellbeing Hub to explore what’s on offer.

Chin Kei (CK) Ma
Yun Wai (Andrea) Foo

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