Whether you are looking to succeed in an internship, during the upcoming semester, or in anything else, the basics are the same. Success is something you must actively pursue and, at some points, can seem out of reach no matter what you do. To persevere, there are some things you should consider.
First things first, make sure you are surrounded by people who are also looking to succeed. Those you spend time with shape how you will also approach the world and if you are always around those who have little concern for their place in the world and are content being mediocre, you will too. By placing yourself in friend groups where everyone has a drive will push you to keep going and find new opportunities. This doesn’t mean you can’t hang out with your current friends, it just means if you want to get things done you need to be around people who will respect this and give you the time and space to do so. You can’t study with someone who just wants to talk.
Next, give yourself concrete goals that you can obtain within a reasonable time frame. For example, saying that you want to graduate with honors is great for your senior year of college but the freshman year goal should be more along the lines of getting a 4.0 or getting above a B in every subject. Don’t lower your goals for this, just make them something you can achieve within about six months. This will help you stay positive and keep your motivation up. You can absolutely have long term goals, but the short term will be what shapes your day to day life because they are something you can physically see at that point in time. Making the goals concrete, say 3.8 GPA instead of trying your best, gives you something specific that doesn’t allow for you to convince yourself that you achieved when you truly could have done better. There’s no way to measure how hard you tried.
Set a schedule and follow it. There will always be something you know you need to get done on a certain day, but there are also things you should get done or at least start so you have enough time to finish it. By setting aside time for everything to get done you make sure you are less likely to forget something and lets you know how long you need to focus on different tasks. This is very important if you need to study or finish homework because it is very easy to get distracted by friends, events, and the internet and realize that you now only have two hours before something big is due. Schedule in the time where you can be having fun and relaxing so you know that it exists, allowing yourself to focus during the times when it is necessary without worrying about missing out on anything.
Lastly, don’t accept excuses from yourself. We allow ourselves to talk us out of so many things that we shouldn’t just because we don’t want to do them. Yeah, maybe you can write that paper in one day if you really need to, but will it be any good? You know you will miss when the clock says seven o’clock so instead of then deciding that you should now wait until seven thirty, set an alarm on your phone so you are ready at seven. Make your work and things you need to get done the priority instead of putting it off until later because you will likely decide to watch one more episode until it’s too late to start. Don’t let yourself talk you out of being productive. You’ve got this.
Success comes to those who work for it. So, most of all, remember what you want and how you are going to get there. Nothing comes without time and effort but you will succeed if you put your mind to it. And remember, one unproductive day doesn’t mean you have failed.