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How to Stay Motivated in College When Things Get Tough

Staying motivated in college is no walk in the park when all you can think about in the middle of studying are other, education-less jobs you would rather consider doing at the moment…if you know what I mean 😉

Nonetheless, you carry on and try to study. But then you remember you have pizza pockets and The Notebook and you live with your best friend and all of a sudden you are having a romcom movie marathon until 4 in the morning.

Hey, no shame. We have all been there before.

Sometimes the problem isn’t even staying motivated, it is getting motivated for the task at hand! Staying motivated in college seems impossible at first, but we’re here to help with a few ways you can get your life together!

How to Get Motivated in College

To stay motivated in college you first need to get motivated in college. Here are some great ways to get your energy up and conquer the semester!

1. Create. A. Routine.

You know how you’ll way up in the morning and before you know it it’s 7:00pm and you feel like you wasted the day because you got nothing done?

Yep, happens to the best of us.

Want a solution? Create a routine!

This will save you hours, if not days, of stress – it will help with keeping focused and staying motivated.

Related: How to Create the Perfect College Morning Routine

2. Revamp Your Study Space

Run to Target and grab all of the new stationery and organizers – this is your chance to have a real reason to go there!

3. Make Sure Your Goals Are Attainable

Maybe you won’t be able to make that D- to an A+ by the end of the month when the semester ends, but compromise and strive for a high C or a low B.

Then make an extra effort in your other classes to get better grades to give your GPA a little cushion that semester.

We can also help your learn how to boost your GPA in college!

4. Stay interested and figure out what works for you

That’s hard to say when your class is about numbers – but set new challenges for yourself where you can make things interesting.

Try out some different ways of studying like group study, YouTube videos, practice tests, etc, to see if that helps improve your grades.

5. Create a schedule/to-do list

You are more likely to accomplish your goals when you have a set schedule with times and dates associated with it.

Similarly, if you create a daily to-do list you’ll be more organized and get more done versus wasting time and forgetting important tasks.

Related: Causes of Poor Time Management: The Hidden Truth Behind Your Struggle

6. Get inspired

Whether you make a motivational Pinterest board or write affirmations around your work area, make sure you continuously keep yourself inspired.

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How to Stay Motivated in College

Now that you’ve taken the necessary steps to get motivated in college, here’s how to stay motivated in college!

7. Go to Sleep on Time

Do you remember when you stayed up till 3:00am watching Netflix, woke up the next morning TIREDD and didn’t have the motivation (or the strength) to get out of bed?

Yep, that’s why you need to make sure you’re getting enough sleep!

Sleep is psychologically one of the most important factors when it comes to staying focused and motivated so make sure you are getting your rest.

8. Have People Hold You Accountable

Roomies are great for two things: accountability and paying partial rent.

9. Exercise

You don’t have to be a bodybuilder, but just make sure you are up moving around and at least getting some blood flowing through the day!

Related: 20 Healthy College Meals Anyone Can Make!

10. Bite the Bullet

Put the scariest things at the top of the to-do list then work your way down to the assignments you don’t fear as much so you end on a good note.

You’ll feel a lot more accomplished if you get the hardest thing out of the way, even if you didn’t check everything off your list!

11. Make sure you reevaluate

If you are starting to hit a wall again, make sure you reevaluate your tactics to make sure you are doing what is best for you.

Think about what triggered your downhill spiral and create boundaries to prevent it from happening again if you can.

12. Eliminate distractions

Sometimes you’re going to have to turn off your phone and not have any other tabs open on your computer; you are going to have to practice a lot of self-control.

13. Take a break!

No one is telling you to work through every assignment until it’s done; you need breaks in order to realign yourself and not burnout.

We recommend using the Pomodoro technique to start off. You can read more about it in our post on how to study.

14. Make sure you’re comfortable

Whether it be in your classes or your environment, change things up if they don’t feel right so you are more likely to keep motivated.


Things to Do When You Feel Discouraged

Related: 11 Lessons You’ll Learn the Hard Way in College

15. Remember “failure” just means try something different

Easier said than done to not beat yourself up over failure, but don’t let the idea of it get you down.

Failure just means that you need to try harder and take a different approach next time. You’ll also start off with more experience this time!

16. Maintain positivity

Although you may hate that World History class, just try to remember how great it felt when you aced that pop quiz when no one else did!

If that’s not the case, remember that it’s only for a few months and then you don’t have to deal with it anymore!

17. Get support when you need it

Ask for help from your professors, student aides, and even your friends when you are feeling behind.

Related: 10 Challenges College Students Face (And How to Deal With Them)

18. Practice self-care

Make sure you aren’t talking badly about yourself and that you’re eating, drinking water, and getting enough sleep.

You can also through in a face mask or a date night with yourself too every now and then for some razzle dazzle.

19. Acknowledge Your Accomplishments


You know like I know that you’ve probably considered dropping out a few times…even if this is your first semester.

You won’t want to get anything done if you don’t get a little pat on the back for them, so make sure you do reward yourself.

20. Remember the big picture

This is only temporary and the stress of it all will soon be forgotten when you are finally holding that diploma.



Hey, remember that you’re not alone in this struggle.

Literally all college students go through tons of STRESS and even worst.

It’s not just about your classes.

You may not know how to pay for school or deal with other personal issues on top of the piling assignments and tests but you will get through it!

And you better celebrate like CRAZY when you do!!!


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Written by The Metamorphosis

The Metamorphosis is a lifestyle blog about the journey of college to adulting. Here you can find the tips for college, self-improvement, adulting, and more.

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