How to Stay Motivated When Pursuing a College Degree
College Degree

Some students love everything about the school setting. From studying to research, writing essays to reading books, they are immersed in every aspect of the learning process. However, what about the students who just can’t seem to stay motivated in pursuit of their degree? It’s a more common struggle than you might think.

Whether a student just isn’t the school type, or whether they struggle with their mental health, there are many reasons someone can have a hard time staying motivated to learn. Below are some helpful tips students can incorporate into their lives as they pursue their college degrees. Students who have more difficulties with school may or may not benefit from these tips, but they are always worth a try. If you find yourself struggling with your mental health as you pursue your college degree, you can visit for more mental health advice.

Plan Activities to Look Forward to

Dedicate your weekdays completely to school, but make sure to plan fun activities on the weekends. These could be weekend trips, sports games, or coffee outings with friends and family. Doing so will keep you motivated throughout the week and remind you there is something fun coming up. If you have the time, you can even schedule fun activities like sports or dinners with friends at night. This will keep you motivated throughout the long days of classes, tests, and studying. Plus, picking activities that keep you moving will improve your physical and mental health, allowing you to focus better on school during the week.

 Make a To-Do List

Some people thrive off of crossing items off of a list. You can choose to make a to-do list each morning or sit down at the beginning of each week to make one. Make sure to put the most urgent things at the top and the less important items toward the bottom. That way, you put the most energy toward what matters most that day. If you forget the bottom items, hopefully it won’t be as big of a deal.

To-do lists are great when you don’t want to forget anything, plus they’ll give you the satisfaction of being able to cross something off the list each time it’s completed. There are few better feelings than being able to look back on all the things you’ve accomplished in a day. You can even write in study time so that you don’t plan too many activities in a day and forget. To-do lists are a great way to be reminded of what’s most important and stay focused on the day (or week) ahead.

Form Meaningful Relationships

You should strive to form friendships with your classmates but also form relationships with your professors. After all, your professors are the people who will be writing you letters of recommendation in the future as you go on to jobs or more advanced degrees. Your classmates will be there when you forget to take notes or miss a session of class.

Relationships in general keep us motivated because they give us energy and boost our mood. You can make friends almost anywhere—in your dorm, on a sports club team, or at the dining hall. Everyone needs friends in college so don’t be afraid to start a conversation with someone you’ve never met. The odds are they’re needing a friend too.

Reward Yourself

A trick to staying motivated is having ways to reward yourself for a job well done. Did you just pass a test with flying colors? Go grab an ice cream cone. Did you make it through finals week? Head out on a weekend adventure with friends. One way to stay determined and focused while studying is to use smaller rewards like snacks.

Reward yourself with a bowl of fruit or a few M&M’s every time you make it through a chapter. Or place a gummy bear on each page of the book you’re reading. Get creative and you’re bound to stay more focused than ever before. When you only focus on schoolwork without ever having any downtime planned or rewards set up, you’re more liable to get worn out or even give up completely. It’s better to take it slow than to get nothing done at all.

Remember Your End Goal

Do you have dreams to be a doctor? A mental health expert? A writer? An athlete? Everyone should have goals and dreams to look forward to and to keep us motivated to succeed. No goal is too small or too large, and you shouldn’t let anyone tell you otherwise. After all, it is your life, and you only get one. You can even keep a posted note or something similar (like a list of goals) hanging in your room or bathroom so that you see them each day. It’ll be a great reminder of why you wake up early, make time to study, and for all the sacrifices you make as a student. Although school can be tough to make it through, your end goals will be a reminder that it’s all worth it in the end.

What motivates one person during college might not work for another. You should get to know yourself better and learn what tricks make you more likely to succeed. The most important thing is that you keep trying and pay attention to your mental health. Staying motivated also means taking care of yourself both physically and mentally. Doing so will make the process easier on your body and mind. Getting a college degree is no easy task and the sense of accomplishment you’ll feel when you finally receive your degree will make all of the hard days and nights worth it.

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