How To Stay Motivated In Pharmacy School

We have all had days, weeks, hopefully not months where we’ve had close to zero energy to wake up and take up daily tasks and duties. You might be struggling with a class, trying to get your grades up without much success or there could be issues in your personal life, These stressors coupled with the 50 shades of intense that is pharmacy school could do a number to one’s motivation. 

When we do not feel motivated, we tend to procrastinate a lot. We put off tasks with the unrealistic expectation that the skies will have them solved for us and when they pile out of our control, it is likely we’d take the easier way out and give up. It is very possible to rise from this low, overcome the funk and get your groove back.

Here are ways on how to stay motivated in pharmacy school.

Clean your space

Look around. Is your room as clean as it can be? Is your desk neat and organized? if your answer to these two questions is NO, then you have unlocked the first gate on the quest for motivation. A messy and disorganized work place warrants unproductivity. Mess and clutter provide distractions and more time is spent rummaging through the mess to find what you need. A neat and well-organized work station on the other hand boosts morale and increases your motivation. 

This extends to your books and notes. You will be more motivated to study if your notes were well organized compared to if they were all over the place. Take time to organize your learning materials. You could use colored markers and highlighters to make them more pleasing to look at and sticky notes or tabs to color code your binder or file. These little efforts go a long way in keeping your morale and motivation high.

Find the right crowd

It is said that you are a product of the people you hang around with. Show me your friends and I will tell you who you are. If you spent most of your time with underachievers or friends who do not share in your long-term goals, it is easy to get side tracked or unmotivated. I mean, if all your friends were warm and tucked in their beds, what are the chances that you will wake up at 4 to study?

Surrounding yourself with hardworking people, people you share common goals with will keep you motivated. If you are in the library, bored or not really into the chapter you are studying and you look around only to see your friend’s heads bowed over books, instead of walking out, you will seek deep inside you for the motivation to keep studying alongside them. The right kind of friends will nudge you to success and what greater motivation than knowing you are not in this journey alone?

Envision you end goal

It is important in times like these when you are at your wits end and your energy juice is running low to take a step back and reflect on why you joined pharmacy school. Understand that what you are going through and feeling at the moment is only temporary and everyday you stay on course is a day closer to achieving your goal. Understand that your future self will thank you for the sacrifices you make today.

Remember to always make time for yourself, away from books and friends. 8 hours of sleep might be unattainable but adequate rest is key. eat healthy and balanced and pamper yourself every once in a while. A healthy bode, a healthy mind.

Exercise and work outs

Exercising is a great way to lay off steam and stay motivated. Workouts get your blood flowing right, increase your endorphins and you are able to study better.  I would be lying if I said you will find me lifting weight in the gym but catch me in the evening during my strolls or skipping rope with friends in the field. You do not have to pull a muscle in the gym in the name of exercising. You could do morning jogs, yoga, Zumba dances or join a sport like tennis or football.

An interview with my classmate and close friend who is a cyclist had this to say:

Rowlings Otieno

Hello, my name is Rawlings Otieno, a pharmacy student in Mount Kenya University and a mountain biker. This year I have cycled 279 kilometres and that is just a tip of the iceberg in what I plan to achieve this year. Cycling has given me a way to explore, meet cool people, challenge myself and commute both to work and school.

How does cycling keep me motivated in Pharm school?

Cycling teaches me a lot of discipline, persistence and endurance. Defining excellence in pharmacy is a complex judgement, but it is generally agreeable that cycling teaches the drive and determination to succeed.

A large part of athletics is making decisions and performing a specific action at a specific time and executing it to the best of my ability if not perfection. This is very similar to making time to read my books and perform well in my exam. Cycling comes in form of very intense training that would later translate into a good result in terms of the sport and general fitness. Discipline also follows suit.

Rowlings Otieno

I learn that I have to keep time and do the appropriate things at the right times. I put my studies first, then I would later on ride after the classes in the evenings or do long endurance rides on the weekends.

Cycling has really changed my life. I use it to clear my head after a long day especially in school. I use it to get outside and exercise, and I use it to explore. I have a challenge now to ride my bike for 400 kilometers this month, 81.5 km done.

Don’t forget to check out our previous blog post – 5 study tips in pharmacy school if you haven’t already and leave a comment while you’re at it. 

What are your experiences? Are there any unique motivational tips you have apart from the ones above? Please comment down below and share your thoughts.


  1. Finding something to do during my free time is what keeps me motivated, like watching my favourite series or shooting pool at the school cafeteria ????

    • Nothing beats unwinding to your favorite movie or how????????
      Medical show like the good doctor and comedy sitcoms do it for me????

  2. This stuff is cool …i like it much. Anyone who haven’t read this should read it.
    It’s worth it.
    Congratulations to you Annette and My fellow colleague ( Rawloo).

  3. Wooow..this is good stuff. I build my motivation usually by exercising my talent during my leisure hours ie playing soccer and many others.I catch up on my favorite series,watch comedy shows eg Trevor Noah’s and dance.

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