Yesterday — Monday Aug. 29, 2016 — marked my last first day of school — possibly forever and at least for a long time.

I should be nostalgic, but I’m really just antsy; even worse, I’m completely unmotivated to make it through the next four months.

Since the beginning of August, I’ve recognized my lack of motivation, which is so unlike me to have. I’m motivated to get out of bed before dawn each day to run, but where’s that same spirit when it comes to school?

Hopefully this first week excites me. I’m starting a new internship with The Vegetarian Resource Group. I get to write about being a vegetarian … what could be better?

I’ll tell you what could be better: it being December already. I cannot wait to graduate, get married, jet off on my honeymoon, and then move across the country. Once that first magical date arrives– the graduation I’ve been anticipating since the first day of college — I can start the next phase of my life.

I feel like the next four months are a purgatory state I must sit through before I get to graduate. I feel like I’m being punished for all the excitement and newness I have ahead of me. I feel like I’m going to pull my hair out if I flip through my calendar one more time; the days, weeks and months look endless.

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My fiance says it’ll go by quickly, but I have doubts.

I’m trying to rally, though, and find ways to rediscover the motivation that has me on track to an early graduation.

Here’s what I have so far:

  • One fun weekend trip/activity a month

Having something to look forward to keeps me going when I’m feeling burnt out. This weekend I’m attending the wedding of a longtime friend, and who doesn’t love going to a wedding? Mid-October I’m racing in my first marathon. In November I’m hoping that I’ll be attending a wedding shower/engagement party (there’s been talk of my mom and future mother-in-law planning one). In December my best friend and I are planning a spa day to act as a bachelorette party for me, and, of course, December is finally my graduation and wedding month!

Most of the monthly activities have been on the calendar for a while, so I’m planning to add in some more spontaneous ones if possible. I love taking day trips to towns and cities nearby; I often incorporate a hike or bike ride into the day trips, too. We’ll see what kind of time I have this fall to add in some extra trips!

  • Setting aside time to apply for jobs

This is a less fun motivator, but it’s necessary, especially since my fiance and I are planning to relocate to Denver, and it’s not as easy to procrastinate when I set aside time each week to do so. My goal is to spend two hours a week applying to jobs. As of now, I’m planning on starting in mid-October right after the Baltimore Marathon. Since my fiance needs to apply, too, we’ve talked abut doing it together for one hour on Fridays and one hour on Sundays. To make it more enjoyable, I suggested going to a coffee shop, bookstore, or even just the library.

  • Taking a class I’ll really enjoy

Originally, I wasn’t going to take Travel Writing this semester because it is only offered on Fridays, and it’s almost a four-hour class. I realized, though, that it would be stupid not to take it because I want to pursue writing, and I’ve always loved the idea of travel writing. Plus, I’ll have to take a mini trip somewhere new to write my big assignment for the class! (I’m thinking of going to Old Town Alexandria.) Rather than taking a class with a better time slot that I wouldn’t have enjoyed, I chose to take a class that interests me and aligns with my career goals.

  • Scheduling races throughout the fall

As I mentioned, I’m motivated to run, especially because I’m training for a marathon. That motivation gets me up early, so I have the whole day ahead of me to get schoolwork done, too. I don’t want that motivation to wane after the marathon, so I’m planning to sign up for a 10k shortly after the marathon. The training will be less intense, but it’ll still require me to stick with a plan. My fiance and I have already signed up for a holiday 5k in December!

So there it is. Wish me luck as I start my last first semester!

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If you have any other tips for staying motivated and senioritis free, comment below!

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