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Loss of Motivation in College? 10 Ways to get Your Grind Back

No matter who you are, there will be times when you feel like doing nothing but laying in your bed and procrastinating over certain situations that are never going to happen. 

There is nothing very wrong with that. Even highly motivated and very successful people have days where they lack the energy or motivation to make a change. Some days are just about ‘taking the day off.’

However, it is the way you act after taking your day off that keeps you moving forward and powers you to accomplish great achievements. 

If you keep saying “I have no energy to do anything today” over and over again, you will tend to dwell on tasks that you’re supposed to get done. On the other hand, if you say out loud, “I will get this done today anyhow,” it’ll change the complete ideology behind your work. 

Loss of motivation in college is something a lot of students face today. As you face the demanding needs of your social, academic, and financial life, you may feel exhausted and tempted to give up. 

College life in TV shows and movies propound youngsters having parties and fun which is much different from real life college, it’s actually very hard and demanding. 

You need to put in a full workload for hours to complete assignments, getting involved on campus, passing the 75% attendance requirement, balancing work and sleep while doing your best to be financially stable. In reality, college is so much more than what you see on social media! 

In the midst of trying to grab memories and have fun, along with managing studies for upcoming semesters, your motivation may fade away quicker than expected. Students face a range of new and mixed-up emotions while living up to new experiences in their lives, which can sometimes make college life overwhelming. 

At this point, finding the motivation to get up and work for your college progress may seem uncertain. So what can you do about the loss of motivation in college? 

In this post, we’ll be talking about some ways to increase and maintain your sense of motivation to get through college confidently and with your head high up! 

Why do you lose motivation in college? 

There can be numerous reasons why someone may experience a sudden loss of motivation in college, but those are definitely fixable. Some students lose it when they have no interest whatsoever in their choice of subjects, while some get demotivated because their goals seem too significant to achieve. 

If you feel low and college doesn’t make sense anymore, a few of the reasons below will pop out to you as to why you, specifically, have lost the motivation to go through college: 

  • Unexpectedly bad classes: Your classes aren’t interesting, and they don’t excite you enough to feel motivated about them. Maybe they are too difficult, and you’re avoiding them instead of taking the challenge head-on.  
  • Too much of everything: There is just so much to do that you have no clue where to start and what you should focus on first. Your semesters keep passing by, new books keep piling, and the hope and excitement go down with nothing getting done. 
  • Lack of socialization: You worry so much about the pending college work and the upcoming exams that it feels wrong to go out or have fun. You begin spending less time with friends and family and stop doing the things that bring you joy. 
  • Lack of resources: Studying seems easier when you have everything you need on your table’s corner. But when you’re unable to find books that your semester requires, or when you do not have the payment for the next study year, emotions can quickly take a wrong turn. 
  • Deadlines: You haven’t even started working on your initial project, and your professors give the class deadlines for so many more assignments. They just keep coming, and you feel exhausted, which leads to the loss of motivation in college. Many students refer to this situation as “hell week.”
  • Overall Tired: You feel like everything is going downhill when your planned assignments, schedules, college events, routines, exam preparations, and regimens no longer work. It may feel like everything is falling apart, and college is not a place for you. 

Any or all of these reasons may be behind your loss of motivation in college. But, not a single possible reason listed here is unfixable. 

When you start thinking rationally about certain things, figure out implementable fixes of situations, and start giving more time and room to yourself, things start going in the right direction. 

10 Tips to Stay Motivated in College 

Motivation is a necessity for every one of us, especially students. But you cannot find it outside; it’s already available within you. All you have to do is—ignite it. 

If you have lost all your motivation in college, and need it back to complete your studies, here are ten sensible tips that you must follow to motivate yourself in college!

1. Reset Everything & Make Realistic Goals 

One of the major reasons why you do not feel motivated is exhaustion. There is so much you might have already done, in addition to so much more that you have to do, that makes your mind and body messy. 

If you’re feeling completely lost, re-orient yourself. You can do this by getting the energy that you need and setting achievable & realistic goals. 

Stop thinking about the troubles, dilemmas, and pending work. Find a quiet place, close your eyes, relax your whole body, and take a break. Meditate and listen to what your body and mind are asking from you. 

Consult with your professors and sincerely ask for extra time to submit assignments. Elaborate your current situation to them and they will understand you. 

Set realistic goals. 

Think about why you want to attend college, where you want to be in the future, and set small goals. Start working towards the smaller initiatives to get closer to the bigger goal. 

Success is not a one-goal stop. It is often measured by the achievement of small checkpoints instead of the endgame, focusing on steady progress to keep your motivation from diminishing. 

Look at your tasks one by one—you only have one assignment, one workout session, one online class, or one project to complete in a single day. Breaking down end goals into smaller levels can help make your progress seem less scary and more achievable.

2. Reward your own hard work

A common characteristic of the loss of motivation in college is feeling overworked, with no possible end to exhaustion. 

In order to deal with this, give yourself credit for how far you’ve come and start rewarding yourself for small accomplishments. 

  • Finally finished an assignment you’ve been working on for the last five days? Go to your favorite bakery and devour that pancake that just melts in your mouth in seconds. 
  • Came out of the examination hall after giving your exam? Go to a friend’s house and spend the complete night having fun.

Rewarding yourself with little rewards for your progress can help you feel motivated about upcoming tasks and work. However, please do not get too involved in extrinsic motivation, or it can backfire pretty quickly. 

As long as you reward yourself for the tasks that needed an extra push or strong efforts to accomplish, a little shopping, ice cream, or watching two episodes of the Vampire Diaries won’t hurt.

3. Organize your Time and Schedule

Proper organization and time management are two of the most highly important skills that define your college lifestyle. 

No matter how big or small a certain task is, if you organize your time carefully for upcoming work, it can help you stay on track and avoid leaving everything to the last second. Procrastination is real, after all. 

The first thing you should do is set your priorities. Take a pen and paper, and write down the things that come before everything else. It will be much more realistic to set achievable goals when you know your priorities. 

Then, create a simple plan and schedule to help you achieve your prioritized goals and make steady progress. Keep your schedule flexible and realistic, and avoid overloading yourself with work while planning it all. 

Move slowly, take baby steps, and make small advances until you feel motivated enough to step up your game! 

4.  Switch up your Study Environment 

Just like switching a wall color from grey to white can make it look brighter, switching up your study space may be the exact solution to feel motivated for college. 

Where do you study most of the time? Do you get sunlight and a fresh breeze in your study room? Is the place dark? Or is it bright?  

The way your study space looks and feels can have a significant effect on your sense of motivation and productivity. Some people feel motivated to study in the place they find comfortable, while others get tired of always staying in the same spot. 

Therefore, add things that make a study space more welcoming, or find spots where you feel motivated to continue grinding. Random ideas that may be your comfortable study spot: 

  • On the grass, under clear sky 
  • A friend’s room 
  • The library 
  • In the college bus 
  • A coffee shop 

Whenever you discover that your usual spot is not doing any good in motivating you to study, the solution is to switch it up. A change of scenery may help you freshen up your mind and find some college motivation!

5. Eliminate Distractions  

Whether it is the crackling voice of your fan or the constant need to check your Instagram feed every five minutes, distractions can make even the most pumped-up person less motivated. 

Try eliminating as many distractions as possible and find a non-distracting study space that allows you to concentrate on your work without any interruptions. 

  • Tell your friends about your schedule, and let them know what time you can afford to pass doing fun things. 
  • Turn off or silence your favorite electronic devices, so you do not feel motivated to check them again and again. 
  • Remember that every day you get 24 hours, and you can do whatever you want to do once you have completed your daily portion of tasks.

Once you get rid of the distractions that constantly affect your work, you may spend 2 hours completing an assignment that used to take 5 hours to get done.  

6.  Exercise your brain

Motivation comes from your thoughts, and your thoughts take place in your brain. You need to start training your brain and think of it as a muscle to get motivated for studies easily.

Training your brain to improve your focusing abilities is similar to training to be a world-class cricketer. It involves consistency, hard work, and gradual progress to get there. 

Training or exercising your brain even when you’re not studying can help improve your brain abilities. You can do this simply by reading a novel, solving puzzles, doing simple math equations, or thinking through current worldwide issues. 

The more you train your brain using a range of different activities, the stronger your brain will become. Here are some websites that offer great brain-training exercises: 

  1. BrainHQ
  2. Lumosity 
  3. NeuroNation 

Once you start exercising your brain daily, you must also ensure that you’re giving it proper rest. As with any physical workout, rest and recovery is an essential part of training. Similarly, getting at least 8 hours of sleep every night is essential to keep your mind healthy. 

7. Prioritize your Health (loss of motivation in college can come from not taking care of your health)

When you’re making a new schedule or reorganizing your timetable, ensure saving enough time and space for your health. 

You can skip a lecture or that club meeting,  but you cannot do the same with your 7 to 8 hours of sleep. Sleep is extremely necessary to have an energetic day filled with productivity. 

The regular lack of sleep, unhealthy eating habits, and poor exercise routine offer a similar addition to the loss of motivation in college, like other factors do. So, eat and drink healthy, get 9 hours of proper sleep every night, and you’ll see a drastic improvement in your daily-life productivity. 

Along with that, get 20 to 40 minutes of exercise daily because regular physical activity is vital for your brain and body to work in coordination. 

Physical activities like walking, jogging, and swimming send oxygen, blood, and nutrients to your brain. These essentials help your brain think and concentrate better! 

8. Buy Stationery Stuff

Personally, nothing has ever excited me as much as stationery stuff has. 

The smell of new notebooks, the color of empty pages, the grip of the new pens, the excitement of writing my name on the first page of a new notebook, and all the other school supplies always excite me. 

Sometimes, all you need is a little stationery for retail therapy to ignite motivation in college. You can get new notebooks, pens, colored pencils, 

highlighters, or something bigger like a faster laptop or wooden study table to get yourself back into studying. 

Here are some of my favorites that you can get off Amazon:

Journal Planner Pens
Boxclever Press Perfect Year Undated

Sharpie Tank Highlighters

9. Inspiration: Let others motivate you! 

Reading a biography, listening to music, saving a quote as your wallpaper, or watching something inspiring can be helpful when you have no motivation! 

  • Spend a minimum of 25 minutes daily reading an inspiring biography before you begin your day. By doing this, you will be starting your day with an inspired state of mind and will be able to face challenges and go through your day! 
  • Set a motivational quote like “Dream Big, Start Small, and Act Now” as your wallpaper so that your eyes catch it again and again. Quotes really can make you feel motivated even on the worst days. 
  • Listening to music can help you improve your memory. As a matter of fact, Key Changes Therapy Services state that the part of the brain that processes music is the same part of the brain that creates and stores memories. 

Additionally, seeing or reading an affirmation daily can help you instill positivity and motivate you to get through any challenge that drops down in your way. 

10. Take breaks whenever you need them

College burnout is a real thing. We even have a complete article based on what college burnout is, how it feels, and the tips to avoid college burnout. 

A lot many college students and even highly motivated professionals experience college burnout. It happens when you’re completely exhausted after studying or working for so long that you lose sight of purpose and accomplishment. 

This may be contradictory to feeling motivated in college, but if you’re burnt out, drop all of your college tasks right now. 

  • Feel free to take 20 minutes to go to your favorite garden and sit on the grass under the clear sky. 
  • Take a day off, and go to a popular sunset point to experience the 5 minutes of incredible beauty there is. 
  • Call up your friends and make an outing plan for a carnival or festival. 
  • Ask your partner to give you a head massage. 
  • Spend some time playing fetch with your pet. 

Do whatever that seems helpful to do, and just relax while you’re on it. The most important part about taking a break is not letting guilt be a part of it. Do it for yourself and renew the motivation inside you! 

Bottom Line

Staying motivated in college is a common challenge for a lot of college students. For some of them, it is like a wave that keeps moving back and forth, while for others, it may be a wave that never returns. 

If you’re going through a loss of motivation in college, these ten incredibly useful tips can help you feel motivated and get back to making progress. Follow these tips for motivation and start working towards a better future for yourself! 

If you have a tip you want to share with us that has motivated you at certain times, please let me know!

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