Simple Ways College and University Students Can Stay Motivated and Survive School


When I was in high school I could not wait to go to college. Once I graduated high school and was finally in college, I thought I was living the dream. I had freedom. I was having fun. My first semester did not seem like it was going to be bad at all.

Then, I saw my midterm grades. It was at that moment, I realized that college would be a lot more work than I imagined.

So let’s dive deep into my college survival guide! This is an infallible guide to help college students like you stay motivated.

How to Stay Motivated in College the Right Way

There are several strategies that help students stay motivated in college. These strategies also help students manage stress and keep students from giving up.

In this article, I will provide the strategies students use to stay motivated in college. Some strategies may work for you. All may work for you, but I guarantee in this article you will find the strategy that keeps you motivated.

The key to staying focused is the  Six R’s. They are:

  • Recognize
  • Remember
  • Reinforce
  • Restructure
  • Reward
  • Relax
  • Repeat

These Six R’s will result in college success, help you survive, and will change your life.  I will soon reveal to you these six R’s, and once you know them all, you will never suffer from a lack of motivation again.  

RECOGNIZE What You Want to Achieve as a College Student

One of the biggest reasons college students aren’t motivated is because they don’t know what they want to do or be.

You must take time in college to find yourself. Identify who you are as a person and who you want to become. Also, identify the long and short-term goals you have for yourself.

Once you have identified who you are and your goals, write them down.

7 Thing You Need to Write Down and Keep Track Of:

  • Your Strengths
  • Your Weaknesses
  • Life Goals
  • College Goals
  • Dreams
  • Career Aspirations
  • Plan of Action

REMEMBER Why You’re Going to School and What You Hope to Gain 

After identifying who you are and establishing your goals, you cannot forget.

Remembering that you are in college with purpose is important to staying motivated.You are in college to get your degree and you belong no matter what.

Reflect on the journey you have been through so far. You have faced many obstacles and there are many people who have helped you to make it this far.

Remember this when you want to give up.

REINFORCE Your Motivation with Positive Reminders


Surround yourself with constant positive reminders.  They can be anything as long as they remind you of your mission. Here are some tricks to help you always stay motivated:

  1. Stick notes on your walls and mirrors to keep you motivated!  Reminders to keep going will be everywhere you turn.
  2. Screenshot some of your goals and make them your lock screens and screensavers.  You will see your goals whenever you use your phone.
  3. Put your favorite motivational quotes in your social media bios.  You will see motivation every time you log on.
  4. Record yourself reciting your goals and make it your alarm in the morning.  You’d have no choice but to get up and start working towards achieving your goals.
  5. Tape your inspiration right above your head on the ceiling. It will be a constant reminder every night before you go to sleep.

5 Quotes to Encourage You and Help You Stay Motivated in School

Here are five great motivational quotes that are great reminders to keep going:

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” –Nelson Mandela

“You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing that we call ‘failure’ is not the falling down, but the staying down.” –Mary Pickford

“Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough.” –Og Mandino

“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” –Confucius  

“If you can dream it, you can do it.” –Walt Disney

RESTRUCTURE Your Study Habits to Match Your Academic Goals


Organization is very important to success.  Once you set goals, you must restructure many things in your life to keep you motivated and focused.

The removal of distractions from your life is essential. You must arrange your priorities in a way that is beneficial to your success.

Make sure that you set up strong study habits to help you stay focused and avoid distractions.

Do not go a day without working towards your goals.  An hour of your time at least once a day could change your whole life.

Establishing a productive routine will help keep you on track.  Surround yourself with a support group who will help you stay on track as well.

4 Steps to Restructure Your Priorities

  • Write down your daily activities along with the people that you interact with daily.
  • Think about your daily activities that are productive and where you can add more time to focus on work.
  • Think about the people in your life who are holding you back with negativity.
  • Once you have figured out the things and people holding you back, remove them.

Follow these steps and you’re well on your way to stay focused on school and staying on track to achieving your goals.


REWARD Yourself to Help You Stay Focused


With any healthy relationship, there must be a balance.  Structure is important to stay focused and motivated in college, but you must have fun too.  

Since fun is healthy and necessary to make it through college, make a reward system for yourself. It is a win-win motivation strategy.  You can achieve goals and have fun at the same time, so take time to reward yourself when you achieve your goals.  

Do not abuse having fun though, because it can become a distraction.  But using fun as a reward for your hard work is a wonderful motivation strategy.

Whatever your definition of fun may be, incorporate it into your studies. Make studying a game.

Get your friends together and whoever gets the lowest grade on their exam has to buy pizza for everybody.  Do a GPA challenge and whoever has the highest GPA gets a prize at the end of the semester.

If you like saving money, save $5 in a rewards jar for every A you get.

There are thousands of ways to motivate yourself and have fun while doing it.  You deserve to reward yourself with some fun in your downtime.

5 More Ways to Reward Yourself

Here are some more ideas on ways to reward yourself for achieving your goals:

  • Go on a weekend vacation if you submit your research paper before the deadline.
  • Have a spa day when you finish the semester.
  • Buy your favorite meal after you complete your big assignment.
  • Get a new pair of shoes when you get an A on an exam.
  • Have a candy jar filled with your favorite candy.  Hide it and only take a piece when you are present and on time for every class the whole week.

RELAX and Recover from the Stresses of Studying and School


The same way that you need to have some fun in college to balance out the hard work, you also need to take some time to relax.

Rest and relaxation are essential in life, no matter what stage of life you are in.  It will keep your mind clear and keep your body rejuvenated.

Take the time to separate yourself from the world around you in whatever way you see fit.

6 Ways to Relax and Take a Break from Your Studies and Schoolwork

  • Pray
  • Meditate
  • Practice Yoga
  • Read a Book
  • Watch a Movie
  • Take a Spa Day


Whatever helps you relax, just take some time for yourself to escape and have some peace.


I like to listen to music when I need to escape.  In fact, here are some great songs that I like to listen to when I need a little time to relax:

  1. “Lovely Day” by Bill Withers
  2. “Here Comes the Sun” by The Beatles
  3. “Be Thankful for What You Got” by William DeVaughn
  4. “Over the Rainbow” by Israel Kamakawiwo’Ole
  5. “Life is Wonderful” by Jason Mraz

REPEAT These Steps Till They Become a Habit 

Repetition is the last thing that you have to remember.  To stay motivated you must stay consistent.

Consistency is the key to perfecting anything. And the more times you repeat a task, the more likely that it will become a natural, unconscious habit. 

Before you know it, all the things you do to stay motivated in school will become second nature. Which is great because that means it won’t be as hard to convince yourself to stick to your plan and work toward your goals.


Final Thoughts on How to Be Successful in College

Let’s do a little recap! 

College is hard and many people lose the motivation to keep going. But, you will never have to worry about being one of those people. Why not?

You read this college motivation guide and learned the Six R System:

RECOGNIZE your purpose.

REMEMBER your goals.

RESTRUCTURE your priorities.

REWARD yourself.

RELAX your mind. And finally…

REPEAT the process.

Now, I will close with some personal motivation from me to you.

You can do this. You have got to keep fighting and remember that nothing can hold you back from achieving your dreams. Stick to your goals.

Do this for your family and challenge your friends to be the best that they can be too. Think about your future. Make your loved ones proud. You’re going to be successful. Go make it happen.

Good luck on your journey!

Ivan Rome

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *