The ticking of the clock sends a zap of panic as you try your hardest not to stay behind on studies. You become preoccupied with finishing your assignments with nothing less than pure determination. So you paste inspirational quotes on the walls of your dorm room in hopes that you will find the motivation to make it a great semester. And this cycle repeats every September.
But college does not have to be this hard. Finding inspiration is easier than one may think; inspiration can be the butterfly you see as you walk to class, the passage you read in your literature textbook, or the risks you take as you transition from one year to the next. With every new experience comes new inspiration.
“You find inspiration from the world around you,” said Sue Starke, Ph.D., associate professor of English. “You don’t have to have special knowledge; you just have to observe. It’s like the advice they give to writers; write what you know. Observe the world, and that will inspire you.”
Stephanie Driscoll, sophomore fine arts student, shared her inspiration-getting techniques, “I really thought it over in the summer; like what are my goals for this year, what I want to achieve, what I want to do, if I want to set aside extra time for studying than I usually do.” Planning ahead is the best skill to build as a college student, because inspiration is bound to arise as you plan for a short-term goal, such as getting an A on a test, or a long-term goal, such as going to graduate school.
“You really have to get yourself in the mindset,” Driscoll continued. “Sometimes home is too distracting, so I’ll take myself out of the situation and go to the library. I find peace there, and I’m able to work on the quiet floor.” Surrounding yourself in the studious vibe of the library with other determined students may just be the spark of inspiration you need to make this semester a great one.
Writers gain inspiration by constantly thinking about their writing, just as artists find inspiration by constantly reviewing their artwork. Getting yourself in the mindset is the first and foremost step to finding that essential inspiration. Really focus on our goals; and instead of believing that you don’t have what it takes to achieve your dreams, start believing in yourself because it will create thousands of opportunities to get inspired and fulfill anything you set your mind to.
Cameron Oakley, a sophomore health studies student, gave her input on the topic. “Something that inspires me is to be better than my previous semesters so I can achieve my graduate school and career goals,” said Oakley. “Waking up and knowing it is fall also inspires me to get up and do things. The fall aesthetic is really pleasing to me.”
Nature can be our biggest inspiration because of the ability it has to infuse our minds with a sense of peace, joy, and wonder. Because fall is a season of changes, the changing leaves, and changing weather will inspire you to change your mindset into one that will make your college years your best years.
Admiring our campus’ beautiful landscape and stopping to smell the roses will boost your motivation to write that once-dreaded essay, to review your notes for a monstrous test, and to even jump out of your comfort zone to make new friends.
Aside from nature, listening to music can be the most rewarding way of gaining inspiration for the new semester. Because music is so versatile, with a different genre for everyone, it has the power to endlessly boost creativity. And with creativity comes amazing things.
Inspiration is a wondrous thing; it can come in the most spontaneous moment when you least expect it. It has the power to turn your semester’s dread into excitement and to fulfill your most anticipated goals.
PHOTO TAKEN by Cassandra Capozzi-Smith