College life promises years of fun and excitement–and you can count on practically every college student to show up at a party. But when responsibilities call for their undivided attention, it’s not unusual for them to come up with a barrage of excuses. “Studying? There’s no fun in that,” they would say. They end up spending what could have been productive hours on social media or movie marathons.
Is it healthy to pay no mind to urgent tasks that need to be worked on and accomplished in no time? The unwritten and unspoken rules of college says it is a no-no, especially as the academic demands become more complex as your years in university progress.
It’s quite tempting to simply relax but for a college student who is expected by family and society to perform well in school and make smart choices, it can be downright stress-inducing.
Why are College Dropout Rates so high?
In college where giving up is not an option, it’s easy to lose heart. And yes, college students also lose their minds! It’s little wonder why boredom and lack of motivation are so common among college students. In fact, some of them who are so demotivated and bored find themselves on the brink of dropping out. They seriously consider taking some time off to work full time and earn instead.
Reports suggest that approximately 40% of college students leave school without obtaining a degree. Some 75% of them drop out just after two years, with about 30% more college freshmen leaving school. These statistics reveal a need for colleges to effectively deal with the high dropout rates–and deal with it fast!
While some research mainly associates financial challenges to college dropout rates, there are other reasons for this. One of the key factors for dropping out is the ridiculous expectations of family and society. When under extreme pressure, college students lose motivation and demonstrate poor study skills.
A college student’s scholastic preparation is also a major factor affecting college retention. However, getting help academically is not enough. Students need guidance and a strong support system, too, which means keeping stable relationships with friends in the college community.
College dropouts affects everyone: the student, the college, the student’s family, and the community. This is why colleges and universities seek to improve retention rates. Over the years, higher education institutions have been offering programs that encourage healthy socializing with other college students. After all, college is way beyond getting impressive grades and earning academic achievements; it is also about enjoying the college experience to give students a reason to persevere.
Online College Students and Lack of Motivation
In online education, college distance learners enjoy the freedom and the convenience that is not afforded to brick-and-mortar college students. Technically, they get to choose their schedule or decide to study at their own pace. That said, however, online students are susceptible to mental fatigue and emotional stress. The lack of actual, face-to-face interaction can alienate an online student and can result in a loss of concentration. It can be a real struggle to stay motivated.
If you’re an online student, chances are you are able to do what you must without compromising your convenience. That alone should keep you inspired to go on and give you access to the right tools to become successful in your chosen degree.
But we all know this is much easier said than done.
15 Tips to Get Inspired and Motivated in College
Aside from factoring in motivation and inspiration, success in college is highly dependent on your perseverance in times of discouragement and failure, which college students know too well.
Are you having trouble trying to balance school, work, and life? Here are 15 ways to get you pumped up and inspired in college:
Change the way you think.
Your viewpoint on college can set the mood for dealing with your courses or subjects. Some classes are of greater importance than others depending on the field you are specializing on. However, it is also true that students sign up for classes or decide on a course for greater reasons. English courses, for one, enhance their communication skills. Fundamental coursework in most topics can fill in as a basis for more fascinating specializations in the long run.
Focus on highly important activities.
The way to achieve success in college is to remain focused on your school work. List down everything that you need to do on a daily basis to get a general picture of your academic load before dealing with it. Afterward, establish a plan. Despite the fact that it is quite appealing to do the easiest assignments first, those that take require a significant amount of time and effort are presumably the ones that you need to pay more attention to
To figure out what you should prioritize, rank your daily or weekly tasks according to its level of significance. At this point, adjust your schedule and dedicate more time and energy on tasks that have the greatest effect on your grades and college degree. For instance, even though all your homework are critical, studying for a major exam should be prioritized over composing an essay for an English class. As you finish each assignment, consider it as another progression towards achieving college success. Moreover, proper prioritization of daily tasks can help lessen academic pressure and build your self-esteem.
Set attainable goals.
Complete a set of school work for a specific duration of time. Start by making cheat sheets. You can even create a list of the objectives you want to achieve so you become more inspired to accomplish those goals you have written.
For example, if you’re having trouble writing the insurmountable challenge of a 20-page paper for your History class, don’t force yourself to finish everything in one sitting. Divide your writing project into chunks and set a time frame to complete each section.
Celebrate and reward yourself.
Another approach to get yourself pumped up and inspired to finish your school work is to discover and establish a reward system. Reward yourself for the small accomplishments you have made. Take time to celebrate those achievements. Go out for a walk at the park, watch a movie, or treat yourself with your favorite snack. If you did so well and actually complete three chapters of your lesson, why not spend the remaining minutes of your time on social media or watching movies? Another strategy is placing your favorite chocolates across the pages of your textbooks or modules. When you’ve read past the pages where the chocolates were placed, go ahead and nibble some. With each accomplished task, you can proceed to the next.
While you make sure don’t totally divert from the work at hand, you actually have to give yourself more than just a pat on the back. Give in to small yet delightful treats or do interesting activities keep you on track of your goal. There are several reward systems you can utilize so you’re motivated to finish school work; you only need to find out which ones work best for you!
Be organized and practical.
Do advanced reading. Reading supplementary books, articles, or other materials every day. Integrating your knowledge with real circumstances makes all the difference.
Being organized results in better efficiency and productivity when studying. This also helps you better schedule your activities and find time for yourself without compromising your deadlines. If you’re an online student, sort your class handouts in folders. This allows you to efficiently access and track all your lessons on your notes or the computer. Listing down reminders or updates on your calendar also helps you focus on the most urgent tasks at hand.
Establish your schedule or daily routines.
It is essential to allow enough time for studying and for yourself. Establish a routine that will give you ample time to focus on your well-being so you are healthy enough to face your daily struggles in college.
When generating a schedule, make sure it is that one you can closely adhere to. Take into account your list of classes and rank them based on priority or urgency. Settling on a schedule that you think will be effective for you, instead of working under pressure, does not produce good results in the long run.
Your routine or schedule should not be viewed as an unchangeable reality. Every other week, check the tasks you completed and those that still need some work done. Every moment can be an opportunity to start fresh, provided that you’ve made changes to your routine.
Find out what it is ineffective in your daily routine and focus on resolving them. Establish clear, attainable goals for your studies. Even a major project or task can be effectively dealt with when segregated into small, attainable sections.
You may also change your strategies to keep you focused on what you actually need to do. If you’re racking your brain over a project that isn’t exactly new, try the creative approach. If you excelled in writing essays for your creative writing course the previous year, attempt to write a poem this time around. Choose a history book instead of a memoir or biography for book reports. Challenge yourself constantly to level up in your studies.
Get support from people who matter in your life.
In numerous cases, being with family and friends enables you to unwind when you feel overwhelmed, pressured, or frustrated with your academic load. Spend some time with your family and close friends and talk about your school situation. Their positive feedback and words of understanding will be of great help. If you have issues with your classes, turn to family and friends for helpful advice, encouragement, and support.
Tune in to soft music while studying.
Listening to good music is an awesome strategy that helps you concentrate on your school work. Most college students tune in to different forms of music while studying; it does wonders! When you can’t look for the appropriate kind of music to listen while studying, try scanning the playlists of music platforms on the web such as AppleMusic, Spotify or 24/7 Live College Music.
There are some who simply prefer to sit on their desks with no music at all, and that’s fine too!
Be part of a study group.
There are times when you may get too perplexed over class lessons. While you want to, you simply couldn’t get the chance to ask about it. To do this, you need to check whether anyone in your class is interested in forming a study group. Once in a while, companionship and discussions get your brain cells going and let you finish school work in no time.
You may talk to some friends or peers who can help you become more motivated. Listen and share your thoughts and ideas with them regarding your day. If you’re an online college student, search for course-related organizations and participate in their activities. Certain academic groups and organizations are specifically formed to help students overcome issues and help them succeed. Being involved may help you get your academic tasks done and encourage you to strive further in your studies.
Do not dawdle. There may be times that it happens, but don’t let laziness and procrastination get the better of you. In the event that you feel like procrastinating, remind yourself why you are still going to college. When you are in this phase, consider why it is critical for you to graduate. Contemplating your purpose will eventually get you to accomplish your tasks. Remind yourself that you are not in college for the fun in it. Excelling in your classes is a top priority.
Here is a really cool infographic on Procrastination!
Read or post inspirational quotes on your desk or wall.
Having a steady stream of motivational quotes will eventually have you wearing that giant grin on your face. This will also help generate that positive attitude as you strive for excellence. Sometimes, all we need is a reminder!
Say no to distractions.
Figure out a way to turn down anything that will divert your attention from accomplishing your tasks. While it may seem appealing to go out with your friends days before a major test, reconsider your priorities and remind yourself that leisure time can wait until you finish your school work.
Set aside anything else that you normally use but distracts you. Keep your mobile phones or any other gadgets where you don’t see them. Keeping away from these distractions helps you effectively accomplish what you need to do.
Be optimistic. Don’t let academic failures wreck your focus.
Do not allow failures in school or disappointment to keep you off track. Remember that practically all students go through academic challenges and mishaps at some point in their college lives. Don’t be disheartened if it happens on you. All successes will tell you that disappointments and failures are hidden opportunities to evaluate what went wrong along the way–and give you the chance to right that wrong. Constantly encourage yourself that you can improve on every situation no matter what happens. Fill your mind with positive thoughts. Don’t give up! Eyes on the prize, college students!
And, most importantly… Stay Healthy!
The biggest priority is yourself. Cliché as it may seem, health still is and will always be your greatest wealth. Get enough rest, eat on time, and just carry on with a positive and happy lifestyle. When you’re too busy you can’t even recall the last time you slept or ate a full meal, stop what you’re doing, and go eat and sleep. You don’t want to end up being spaced out!
It is true that being in college can be quite overwhelming at times. When you feel that inspiration, motivation, and undivided attention seem so elusive, constantly persevere and bear in mind that your hard work is never in vain. Be inspired; it is your future that is at stake! Face the challenges of finishing college head-on; it will be worth it in the end!