Students studying (with masks)

It seems to be a pretty universal experience among college students that all-online classes can quickly decrease motivation. 

Although most days look the same, we’re dealing with a sort of uncertainty in our world that feels incompatible with school, and it can feel difficult to keep academics at the top of your priority list. 

Here are some tips on how to stay motivated this semester. 

Stay organized 

Of course, one of the best ways to stay motivated is to stay organized in order to maximize your efficiency. It’s easy to feel unmotivated when you don’t have a set schedule or plan in place for completing assignments and studying for exams. 

By creating to-do lists and scheduling your time, you give yourself a more concrete plan and this alone can help increase motivation and also give a sense of accomplishment when you do complete tasks. 

A great way to do this is to create a spreadsheet of assignments and deadline and check them off as you go. This way, you stay focused and organized. The more you get done, the better and more confident you’re likely to feel about your progress in classes. 

Lean on friends, classmates and professors

We’ve heard it time and time again, but we really are all in this together, and online classes are impacting each of us in different ways. 

Although it’s best not to hold gatherings during this time, it’s still possible to stay connected and lean on them for motivation. Sometimes just knowing you’re not alone can be a major influence on staying motivated and not giving up on school. 

Don’t be afraid to reach out to friends or classmates and ask to go over ideas, create study material together, or even just talk about how online classes are going. If you’re confused about a topic, chances are someone else is too, and reaching out to a classmate will likely help both of you stay motivated. 

Professors, too, are more than happy to help students even during this time and can schedule office hours over Zoom to talk. They’re struggling in their own ways with online classes, and clarifying topics in a class can help you feel more confident in your understanding. 

Keep a healthy balance between school and free time

Although social gatherings are at a standstill right now, it’s still important to have a healthy balance between schoolwork and free time. It can feel overwhelming to work on school too much, so try to give yourself some free time in order to avoid burnout. 

Relaxing with a good book and music, talking to a friend over the phone or FaceTime, watching a movie, going on a walk, doing some art or cooking yourself a good meal are all good ways to spend free time. 

If you’re refreshed, you’ll feel more motivated for classes because you know there’s the option of free time ahead. 

Keep your goals in mind

One of the most important aspects in staying motivated is remembering goals, both short-term and long-term. Remind yourself why you’re in school, why you’re in your major and why you’re working towards a degree. 

Maybe you’ve found your calling in your major. Maybe you’re working towards your dream career or graduate school, or moving to your favorite city in the next few years. Whatever the goal is, remind yourself that there is, in fact, a goal. 

A great way to do this is to create something as simple as a mood board or even a Pinterest board. Include photos and affirmations about what your goals are and look at it often as a way to remind yourself that there’s a future to look forward to. 

No matter how you choose to stay motivated, remember that we are together in this experience and that this semester can still be successful despite the distractions around us.

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