Pithy prose for pepper-up post-its
January 4, 2017 9:07 PM   Subscribe

I'm studying for the USMLE Step 1 (aka medical school boards). It's grueling. I want to write motivational notes to myself on post-its that I can put up in my apartment, car, etc. What short bits of motivational text should I put on them?

Short, both so it'll fit on the note and so it won't take long to write. Time is a pretty precious commodity for me at the moment.
posted by ocherdraco to Grab Bag (26 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:42 PM on January 4, 2017 [1 favorite]

"You have come this far. You can do this."
posted by seawallrunner at 10:13 PM on January 4, 2017

100% of MS2s think they are going to fail. Only 4% of them actually do. (OK maybe that's not THAT motivational, but it's true). (Also: Ocherdraco, fuck yeah!)
posted by The Elusive Architeuthis at 10:15 PM on January 4, 2017 [2 favorites]

Just keep swimming,
Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming.
posted by calgirl at 10:32 PM on January 4, 2017 [1 favorite]

These are not peppy, but i find them useful in managing procrastination, which is a big barrier to motivation for me:

"You don't have to like it, you just have to do it"
"Be a good friend to Ocherdraco-of-the-future"
"You've done this before, you can do it again" (to get this far you must have passed lots of big exams already, what's one more?)
posted by une_heure_pleine at 10:35 PM on January 4, 2017

Nothing will work unless you do. - Maya Angelou
... the best way out is always through - Robert Frost (from A Servant to Servants)
Kick it in the ass. - Kim Manners

everything will be okay
in the end.
if it's not okay,
it's not the end. - unattributed
posted by furtive_jackanapes at 10:57 PM on January 4, 2017 [1 favorite]

"If Britney Spears survived 2007, I can survive the boards,"
posted by kinddieserzeit at 10:57 PM on January 4, 2017 [1 favorite]

Dislike the gender politics of this one but love COWBOY UP. I also just named the spreadsheet for my job applications (ugh ugh ugh) SI SE PUEDE (aka YES WE CAN).

posted by athirstforsalt at 1:54 AM on January 5, 2017 [1 favorite]

My mother, who was not the type for exhortations, used to say "BUCK UP, LIL' CAMPER" enough for me to remember her saying it. It makes me laugh and I say it to myself often. You got this!!!
posted by missmary6 at 2:45 AM on January 5, 2017

posted by ellieBOA at 3:35 AM on January 5, 2017

"If you're going through hell, keep on going"

"Roger Bannister ran the four minute mile by training at lunch in med school. If he can do that, I can pass the boards."

"I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have. ~Thomas Jefferson"

"The successful warrior is the average [wo]man, with laser-like focus. ~Bruce Lee"

Set up specific times during the day for studying and set timers for breaks. I used to do pushups and situps between study sets.
posted by eglenner at 4:19 AM on January 5, 2017

Git er done

I am Dr. Ocherdraco

(Welcome to the cult of Post-It People. We have cookies.)
posted by The Almighty Mommy Goddess at 4:29 AM on January 5, 2017 [1 favorite]

nolite te bastardes carborundorum
posted by phunniemee at 4:45 AM on January 5, 2017 [2 favorites]

This is maybe not as short as you want, but it's what drove me to finish my novel:

"People who are unable to motivate themselves must be content with mediocrity, no matter how impressive their other talents." - Andrew Carnegie

Mostly it made me inner-rage "FUCK YOU ANDREW CARNEGIE YOU GARBAGE-PERSON ANTI-SEMITE" but rage worked for me.
posted by Mchelly at 5:13 AM on January 5, 2017 [1 favorite]

"It can be helpful to keep going no matter what" -Jenny Holzer truism.

Or buy yourself some crossstitch from this Etsy seller when her store is back up!
posted by MadamM at 5:30 AM on January 5, 2017

PARTY TIP: Life isn't supposed to get easier; you're supposed to get more hardcore. Andrew WK
posted by mchorn at 6:46 AM on January 5, 2017 [1 favorite]

Grit is perseverance because you know it'll be worth it in the end.

Good luck to you!
posted by a good beginning at 8:49 AM on January 5, 2017

Dr. Oz did this and so can I.

I had postits everywhere when I was studying for the bar, I wish I could remember more of them.
posted by notjustthefish at 9:00 AM on January 5, 2017

This isn't peppy, but what I found reassuring in the days leading up to Step 1 was realizing that at that point it was more of a mental game than holding on to any more tidbits of information. You've made it this far, and this next test will be hard, but in a way just more of the same-- based on your presumably good record for years and years, it'd be unreasonable to expect anything but a very good performance! Good luck!
posted by gemutlichkeit at 9:46 AM on January 5, 2017

All things pass (and exams will be over sooner than you know)
posted by quercus23 at 10:10 AM on January 5, 2017

What was your favorite cartoon growing up?

I did what you're doing when I was sequestered in my apartment writing my doctoral dissertation.

Seeing and imagining whatever tagline my favorite cartoon character(s) were saying might not be literally inspirational, but it did give me an amusing moment of "I got this!" whenever my will was waning. My fave was Thundercats, so... Thundercats, hoooooo! (I'd even raise my arm sometimes like Lion-O did! Very silly, yes, but it worked for me!

He-Man: By the power of Grayskull!

Speedy Gonzales: Andale, andale! Arriba, arriba!

TMNT: Cowabunga, dude!

Voltron: Let's go, Voltron Force!

Power Rangers: Go, go Power Rangers! / It's Morphin Time!

posted by Everydayville at 11:00 AM on January 5, 2017

Response by poster: Ooh! I might throw some Steven Universe quotes in the mix. Good idea, Everydayville!
posted by ocherdraco at 12:50 PM on January 5, 2017 [1 favorite]

When I was studying for my licensure test, I made a binder with a picture of David Tennant on it giving that goofy grin and a thumbs up or something, and above it "YOU CAN DO IT!"

Pretty sure the Doctor helped me pass licensure!
posted by fairlynearlyready at 2:10 PM on January 5, 2017

If you'd consider printing something, may I recommend the Tiny Foxtato. You can do the thing!
posted by Cheese Monster at 8:17 PM on January 5, 2017

When I was slogging through a grueling task that was going to be ongoing for an unknown period of time (but at least several months), a friend said to me simply, "Eyes on the prize" and I was amazed by how much it helped.
posted by anderjen at 8:10 AM on January 7, 2017

Response by poster: a strong female character reminded me of the existence of thelatestkate.tumblr.com, which has many images that are perfect for this.
posted by ocherdraco at 6:33 AM on January 13, 2017

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