How to Stay Motivated in College

By Karen Palmer on April 2021
Category: College Life

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Motivation is the key element of productivity and the best helper in achieving your goals. Being a student means working hard and setting your priorities while also trying to make yourself work on assignments that are not always that interesting. But how can one find the motivation and how to bring it back if you faced burnout? Here are a few tips for you on how you can stay motivated while studying in college.

Understand Yourself

It’s completely normal to feel overwhelmed and frustrated sometimes. College is a challenging period in everyone’s life, and it requires lots of energy and effort. Many students face burnout while studying in college, and some fight depression over the course of their college years.

You always should remember that feeling down sometimes is a part of our lives. There can be no development without these tough moments because they make you grow. If you are feeling like college is just too much and it gives you hard times, just give yourself some time to cope with stress. We all go through such moments, and we all make decisions that help us move on and avoid running away from the challenges.

Many students prefer taking a break when they feel exhausted and drained. Sometimes a gap year is the best decision – to give yourself a little break to reload your system and have some time to understand what you really need. However, you should know that taking a gap year might totally change your perception of college, and you might not want to come back.

So, make sure you listen to yourself and know what is best for you.

Start Slowly

Whenever you have a big task to complete, the best way to do it is to break it into smaller steps. This is the same approach you need to take in order to boost your motivation and self-belief. In other words, you need to take small steps in order to make progress and reach your goals.

The hardest thing about any task is to get started. When you set smaller goals, create a vivid plan, it becomes much easier to move on. Start with things that you don’t necessarily consider as part of your bigger plan. Like, for example, cleaning and organizing your study space. It might not have that obvious connection to the bigger goal – finishing college, but it will make a difference. You will definitely feel that you have made a contribution to your present and future. Even if it is that small, it still counts.

So, what you need to do is to create a habit of doing some little tasks now and then that help you improve your everyday life and your study routine. Once you start, you can see the difference that helps you understand that your effort put you out of stagnation. Completing such small tasks is better than doing nothing at all.

Stop Comparing Yourself

It’s easy to feel down when you look around you and notice people that are more successful than you are. Comparing yourself with others is now more harmful yet common than ever. It happens because of the development of social media that allows us to look at someone else’s lifestyle and achievements. Think of it – we start our day scrolling through Instagram while having breakfast and looking at pictures of happy couples, successful businessmen, travelers, etc. We don’t see the whole picture of their life, only the bright side that they are showing to us, but we still make our conclusions about our imperfections and fails.

So, this constant comparison follows us everywhere we go, including college. We see these perfect students with high grades and think that their skills are more polished and their minds are sharper. However, it’s not always true. 

We are all different, and if studying gives you pain, it’s not because you are in some way worse than someone. It might be because you don’t know what kind of learner you are, what your true passion in life is, or just because you haven’t found the type of learning routine that works for you. 

Don’t compare yourself with others because you are not in their shoes. Compare yourself at the moment with yourself a month or a year ago. Notice yourself growing, learning new, and maturing. This is the right way to develop instead of just being jealous of someone’s achievements.

Celebrate All of Your Victories

Motivation often comes from success as it gives you energy and self-belief. You know that you are worthy when you finish something that you planned. It’s obvious, but many of us forget to appreciate our own effort when completing tasks becomes a routine.

Celebrate all of your small and big victories, notice how much you do every day to achieve your goals, and simply keep up with your life. Don’t ever underestimate your achievements even if they seem very small, like, for example, finishing another essay. It might look like an ordinary thing, but you should look at it from an angle of putting yourself together, creating something new, and putting your time and energy into it.

Change It Until You Find It

There is nothing in the world that would be an equally good fit for everyone. We all are different, and we all find motivation in different ways. If you feel that now you are struggling with productivity and interest, then you should start thinking outside of the box.

Re-evaluate your routine and your approach regularly until you find what works for you. You might try various study techniques or try something new by changing your daily schedule – you never know how it will turn out to help you with your blocks. For example, if you always schedule your classes in the morning, maybe you will find having the majority of classes in the afternoon more convenient and effective. 

In other words, you should not keep up with the same lifestyle because when we are doing something over and over again the same old way, we should not expect to get different results. Stagnation sometimes is just a product of our comfort zone that restrains us from growing and developing.

Prioritize

When you are trying to work on all of your tasks at the same time, it’s obvious that you might feel frustrated and stressed. Time management is the key, and one of the golden rules of it is to learn how to prioritize tasks instead of being multitasking.

We all tend to procrastinate a lot when it comes to working on some dull and challenging task. However, once you set a rule of working on the most time-consuming tasks first, you will see that it’s much easier to be organized and focused.

If you feel that you now are too stressed because of your studies, you need to prioritize yourself and your health. Self-care is a must if you want to live a happy life; that’s why you should never forget to put yourself in the first place and take care of your health. Sleep well, eat healthy meals, and try to avoid stressing about your grades.

 

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