Photos by: Eliana Candebat
Photos by: Eliana Candebat

Happy New Semester, SSA!!

How to use discipline and motivation to your advantage in finishing out the semester

The second semester has begun, the new year is in full swing and the only thing that most SSA students are thinking about is, “How many more weeks do I have until summer break?” Getting back into the school routine is unbearable for many of us. A new semester entails more assignments, more tests, more quizzes and more stress and anxiety. As the school year continues to trudge along, you’ll may yourself to be less and less “enthused” or motivated to study and get your homework done. In situations like these, motivation cannot be the only factor that pushes us to study or do our homework. You must also have discipline.

Oxford Languages defines motivation as, “the general desire or willingness of someone to do something.” Motivation is that initial “force” or reason that you do something (usually something goal-oriented or result driven like if I study for this test then I will get an A). Discipline is defined, by Oxford Languages, as “to train oneself to do something in a controlled and habitual way.” Discipline is building the habits around your goal (like organizing and reworking the way you study in order to continue making A’s). 

Motivation is not the clear-cut, “I’m just not motivated to study.” It’s a lot more than that. There are two types of motivation: intrinsic and extrinsic, and according to VeryWell Mind, each type of motivation has a “direct effect on a person’s behavior and pursuit of goals.”


Motivation plus discipline equals reaching your goals and implementing the habits and behaviors you want to establish in the new semester. Discipline can help you develop the habits to reach your goal when you don’t have any motivation to carry you along. Habits take time and overtime extrinsic rewards and your internal drive will slowly start to chip away. This is where discipline comes into the equation. The new habit or behavior you are trying to implement is unfamiliar, so you must continually practice this new habit until you have to focus less and less on it. Then it becomes part of your behavior. Motivation may be what begins your journey, but discipline gives you a direction on how to achieve your goals for the new semester, new year and the future. 


Motivation vs discipline: the Yin and Yang of health | Weight loss motivation 

Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic Motivation: What’s the Difference? 

9 Powerful Ways To Cultivate Extreme Self-Discipline

More to Discover