Published: Oct. 12, 2020

We’re about halfway through the semester, and if you're finding it challenging to stay motivated in classes right now, you're not alone. Here are some tips to get your motivation back, get things done and succeed in your classes.

1. Try a new study method

Sometimes it can help to change things up and try new ways of studying. The "study cycle" is an effective strategy that can help you get back into (or start) a routine and be more efficient with your time. There are four steps to the cycle:

  1. Before class, preview the material you'll be covering. Skim the chapter, pay attention to headings and bold words, review chapter summaries and prepare any questions you have.
  2. Attend your class—take notes and ask questions.
  3. Review your notes as soon as possible after class.
  4. Schedule time in your week to study the material again. Review your notes, handouts and any other readings.

Repeat this process for each of your classes to ensure you keep content fresh and stay motivated with what you are learning. 

2. Focus on the why

It can be useful to try to think about the bigger picture or the big “why” to help you stay motivated  How is this degree going to help you? Your family? Society? The world? Even if you’re unsure of your major or what you want to do after college, dreaming of the possibilities of what you could do with what you’re learning can go a long way.

3. Participate in class

Make an effort to join and participate in lectures and group discussions. Staying engaged in class will not only help you stay focused on learning the material, but can also help you meet other students and get to know your professor better. 

Challenge yourself to speak up in class, even if it feels uncomfortable at first. It may take a few weeks to see what works and what doesn’t, but keep trying. Remember that no matter the format, participating in class can be a great asset to your learning experience. 

4. Ask for help

student studyingIf you're stuck on a problem or a concept discussed in class, ask for help. Ask a classmate, visit virtual office hours or help labs and take advantage of other free resources:

5. Stay balanced

Take care of yourself to stay balanced and keep your energy up. Aim to get 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night, eat regular and balanced meals and make time for physical activity. Taking regular breaks when studying or working on projects is a great way to recharge and avoid burnout. 

Remember - it’s normal to lose motivation at various points in the semester. Setting up routines, staying engaged and asking for help  can get you through when you aren’t feeling super motivated.