How to Stay Motivated in College During Lockdown

By Gemma Creagh - Last update

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How to Stay Motivated in College During Lockdown: With the reality of colleges moving their classes online, it is imperative that now, more than ever, we make sure that students don’t become disorientated with their studies, lack motivation, get left behind and slip through the cracks.

Little research has come out so far of students’ experience of their remote college life since the academic year and universities opened their virtual doors. But one thing that we can be sure about is that some students will find it more difficult to adjust to learning online than others and are suffering from the additional pressures as a direct result of the pandemic.

We have discussed elsewhere how important more than ever it is that universities monitor students’ wellbeing and make the correct intervention as early as possible. In this article, we’ll take a look at some ways students themselves can stay motivated in college in the Coronavirus Era of remote learning.

How to Stay Motivated in College During Lockdown

Get Social

Research has shown that students who form social bonds in their first year in college tend to be more motivated and stick with a course and not drop out. It’s important to take into account that a vital part of your college experience is not happening at the moment. All the social activities that you would normally be a part of are not there for you and this can affect your motivation. Even the little things like chatting to colleagues in between lectures, making new friends, grabbing that coffee to catch up with friends. Although this part of campus life is hard to reproduce in a virtual world, that doesn’t mean that you can’t connect with others. Reach out to fellow students and suggest getting together and having a virtual coffee. Find classmates with similar interests and meet up – these things seem to happen naturally in the real world but can also happen online. It’s just a case that online socialising takes a bit more active work! 

Virtual Study Groups

Study groups are a great way to keep you motivated and stay connected with classmates. They also improve academic performance. Not a bad set of reasons to set one up! Schedule a regular time to meet via Zoom or Google Hangouts. You can use this time to share resources and material, go over lectures, explore topics, helping each other along the way. You’ll be surprised how motivated you become when you start to share your learning journey with others. Also it’s a great way to get to know your classmates better and, who knows, maybe there’s a lifelong friend in there waiting to be met!

Ask for Help

Don’t be afraid to reach out to your college if you are finding it difficult to stay motivated. Knowing that support is there will help you address your needs and keep you on the learning track. Your college will have support mechanisms in place if you reach out – don’t be afraid to talk about things if you start to feel a lack of motivation. Don’t let it get the better of you and hold you back. Reach out as early as possible and get the help you need to get the fire back in your belly. It’s important to know that many students are struggling with the current situation we find ourselves in and remote learning is not ideal for many, many different reasons, each one of which can be a factor in causing a lack of motivation in students. 

Schedule & Space

It’s really important to have a study routine in place and if you can, finding a quiet study spot at home. Both of these are great to help you maintain focus and get you motivated with your studies. Schedule out a timetable and put it in your calendar. By doing this you commit yourself and your time to studying. It becomes an appointment you stick to. It’s far easier to stay motivated if you are following a schedule rather than studying when you feel like it – which is a vicious circle as the more demotivated you become the less you will decide it’s time to study. So take the impulsive decision of when to study out of your hands and set it down in stone – and if you don’t have the tools, a calendar will do. 

Set Goals 

Be it long term or short term, setting goals is a killer way to boost your motivation levels. Whether those goals are final grades or setting out what you want from a study session, it’s always beneficial to have a target to aim for. Also, be sure to reward yourself when you hit those at-home learning targets  

The Study Cycle

The study cycle is a 5-step approach to learning designed to help students become more efficient learners. It is said to work the way your brain learns best. Many students have said that it is a great tool to keep them motivated and confident about their learning. You can learn more about this technique here but basically the five steps of the study cycle are:

Preview your text and other study materials before class.

Attend class. 

Review your class notes. 

Study the new material you learned during class to reinforce it.

Assess, reflect and evaluate your understanding of the material you learned and studied.

Be Positive

Finally, it’s good to remind yourself why you are studying. Take in the bigger picture. See the light at the end of the tunnel. Create positive energy in the knowledge that you are doing this to achieve your goals. Reminding yourself of this will enhance your study time and not make it seem as much of a chore as it becomes a positive means to a successful end. 





Gemma Creagh

Study Science at College
Computers For Beginners


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