6 Powerful Tips for Staying Motivated in College
Staying motivated in college can seem like an insurmountable task, especially as you struggle to make time for class, work, and social life. Often, it can feel like the future is so far away that you’ll never get to it. If you’re struggling to maintain motivation as you go through college, here are a few tips that will help encourage you to keep going.
- Learn Metacognition
Metacognition is a term for the awareness and understanding of your own thought processes. Basically, it’s knowing how you think. Once you know how you learn and how you recall information, you’ll be able to control and improve your learning much more. For example, if you know that you learn well through watching videos that you can pause and rewind, make a list of concepts from your class that you need to search up on YouTube. That way, you can supplement your in-class learning with a method that works better than taking only taking notes.
- Challenge Yourself
Taking the easy way out is a fine way to make sure you get good grades for a semester, but it isn’t sustainable for your entire time in college. Taking easy classes or subjects that come naturally to you means that you will get bored faster, and when you’re bored, you’re less likely to put in much effort. Grades will start to fall, and you’ll enter a nasty cycle of failure. Stay motivated by taking classes that scare you just a little. You’ll have to push yourself harder to succeed, which will get you into a good habit of making an effort.
- Set Goals
The act of setting goals helps your mind have something to focus on. When you have a destination in mind, like a 3.5 GPA or the Dean’s List, you’ll know which direction you need to take to get there. Long-term goals, like graduating with honors or going to grad school will make sure you stay on track to reach them. Short-term goals help keep you motivated daily, so you go to class and complete assignments on time.
- Find New Interests
If your college requires that each student take a basic science class for General Education, and you loved biology in high school, why not try something different and take geology or astronomy instead? Sitting through a class where you already know the information is a surefire way to get bored and lose motivation to even go to class. Additionally, taking French even though you took Spanish in high school could lead to a path you hadn’t thought of before, like a love for French films. You need not stress yourself out with too many new subjects, but be open to new concepts and fields of study. Don’t forget: the more interested you are in something, the more likely you are to follow through with it.
- Re-Evaluate Often
After every semester, evaluate how well you did and how motivated you feel to keep going. It’s ok to acknowledge that maybe you shouldn’t have taken ballroom dance instead of swimming, or that you didn’t put in that much effort on your English essay. Reevaluating your choices and progress will encourage you to find what works, and when you’re looking at your experiences instead of just gliding past them, you’ll be able to identify what keeps you motivated.
- Seek Support
If you’re still finding it difficult to stay motivated through college, seek out support from others. Family members who have survived college can give you some tips and encouragement to keep going. If you’re finding it difficult to get through a class, build up a study group and hold each other accountable. Counseling services are also a great place to turn if you’re having doubts about yourself and your abilities.
Maintaining motivation to do hard things is not the simplest task in the world. However, these tips will hopefully help you learn a few strategies that will assist you in your path to graduation. As long as you keep pushing yourself and are aware of your own strengths and weaknesses, you will be able to push through.