How To Stay Motivated In College – Grind To Succeed!

College is filled with seemingly endless assignments, exams and term papers with the distant hope of graduation usually out of sight. Even for the most intelligent or driven students, staying motivated in college can get tough!

Everyone has those days. The days when your energy is gone, you aren’t sure why you’re doing what you’re doing, and sometimes you may wonder if you should be going through with it at all!

I am here to help you get back in the grind with a new energy and an unbreakable drive for success! Let’s get you back on the winning side of life so that you can crush your goals and inspire those around you to do the same!

Where You May Have Lost Your Motivation and Some Quick Fixes!

We all slip up and have those low periods. Sometimes the challenges seem too great and overwhelm us, or they are not challenging enough and bring us to wonder why we are even pursuing our goals in the first place. Other times, chronic or cumulative fatigue can cause a lack of motivation and drive. Low energy produces only low results.

Whatever it may be, let’s go through them all and define courses of action to overcome them so that you can get back in the fight for the good life!

Physiological – If your lack of motivation stems from feeling low on energy, burnt out and fatigued, this is something we can begin addressing and solving very quickly! Sometimes the right foods, added hydration, and SLEEP can make a big difference on your drive and passion toward attaining your goals!

We all know those people that get hangry. You’re probably one of them, and I can’t judge because I am too! Who wants to write a 10-page paper when hunger strikes and your roommate ate your last cup of ramen?! A big mistake that college students often make is to reach for the calorie-dense pizza or chips for a quick burst of goodness that ends up leaving them more tired and unsatisfied than when they started!

Eating garbage will make you feel like garbage. Lack of water and increased sweets will lead to more fatigue and mental fog. In addition, when your body looks and feels worse, the dip in self-esteem is just icing on the cake (punny, am I right?).

First and foremost, take care of yourself. Chug down some water and hydrate consistently. Consume healthy, energy-rich foods such as nuts and fruits. If possible, get some much-needed sleep. These three combined can bring you back to life and get you back in the game!

Mental – If you’re bogged down by multiple stresses in life, motivation can easily suffer. There was a time when I was trying to figure out some family and financial crises while also dealing with the physiological reasons from above. My whole demeanor changed and I had no desire to work hard and achieve the grades that I had originally aspired to obtain when these other stresses were overwhelming me. I had forgotten to eat enough, drink enough water and thought grinding through with less sleep would make me get my productivity back. Nope.

Stress in small doses can be good for us. It promotes growth and development of the mind and body! However, multiple long-lasting sources of stress take a large toll on our bodies and minds that we cannot quickly recover from. If you are feeling overwhelmed, there are some quick tricks to relieve some stress and help you to feel refreshed before you dive back into college assignments!

These quick tricks include:

  • Looking at or spending time in nature
  • Taking a walk with fresh air
  • Listening to beautiful music or your favorite songs
  • Open up your arms and smile
  • Meditate
  • Be grateful for the amazing things in your life!
  • A power-nap 🙂
  • Put some lemon in your water

Emotional – If your goals, passions, and true dreams do not match up with what you are doing, this can create an emotional battle and lack of motivation! I have dealt with this and I have seen it in many of my friends. This is something that you must attack and deal with now so that you can charge after what you truly want out of life.

If you are in college and you are pursuing a degree because your parents, family, or friends told you that it is the “right way” or that you must, this can be a big emotional strain. You may have a large drive to succeed to make your family proud, but if it is not also toward your passions, life’s battles can do some serious damage to how motivated and dedicated you are. It can sap your energy!

In my case, I was pursuing a degree in my passion (physiology for myself) but I had no desire to actually work in the field. My goal was (and is) to become an officer in the United States Marine Corps. The degree is only a required item on the checklist and I knew I would not be working in a job related to it which made the less-enjoyable classes feel like I was walking in quicksand. I had a hard time staying motivated in these classes that I had no interest in while feeling burnt out and just wanting to be living my dream already!

To overcome the emotional struggles, you must decide what you want out of life. Decide who you want to be, what you want to be, and how you want to be. Notice that it does not include what other people think or want for you, and to be quite frank, what anyone else thinks or wants shouldn’t matter much to you. No matter what your culture or background is, if you are living your life according to someone else’s dream and direction, then you are not truly living and your life isn’t even yours!

A friend of mine recently changed her entire life and it was so inspiring to me. Her family had pressured her to become a doctor and she had battled through the courses, volunteer hours and pre-med requirements. She went through years of stress and struggle for a dream that wasn’t truly hers. Recently she decided to pursue her passion which is helping others in fitness! She changed her life and is now changing the lives of countless others in a field that she loves! Talk about a big shift in motivation!

If you are in a similar situation, please know and understand that your life is yours! It is yours to experience and live! Find your passion, work hard while helping others and the money will follow!

Remember Why You Are At College

Maybe you always dreamed of being an engineer or a finance guru. You could have come to college to become a doctor, lawyer, businessman or any to pursue any other career! Maybe you were pressured by your family or friends like we discussed above. No matter what surface reason, you decided to come to college for a deeper emotional and intense purpose: To learn, develop yourself and experience independence. It is up to you to decide your “why”.

I can only tell you mine and give you suggestions. Your “why” will be what carries you through the toughest times when you are sleep deprived and overwhelmed with assignments or finals. Even if you don’t really want to be at college, the simple fact that you are at college while thousands wish they could be in your place means that you should make the most of it.

I decided that my “why” was because I needed a degree to pursue my dream of serving as an officer in the military. This meant that the degree was required for me to pursue my deeper dream of contributing to the safety of my country, for serving others above myself, and giving back. The degree was required for me to be able to contribute to the freedom for my wonderful parents to go to the church they want to, the freedom for my little brother to go to college and work wherever he wants, and to provide the financial security for my future family. THIS is what got me through the tougher times when I lost motivation and energy.

You must decide the “why” behind the main reasons for going to college. One of your main reasons for being at college should be to acquire the knowledge and possibly the skills necessary to achieve what you want in life. College is a stepping stone! You will meet hundreds to thousands of people that can become your network! You never know who you might work for, work with or hire later on. College is an opportunity to decide who you want to be and a great four-year time period to work on yourself! It is a period of growth and full of so many opportunities that you should capture!

It’s like a training environment. It is a sterile trial phase. This is where you can mess up, do stupid things, try new experiences and learn before you are fully out on your own. You can act how you want, develop the habits for the success you desire and learn knowledge that you may not have had access to otherwise! It is truly a beautiful thing.

There is so much to be gained from college but you must first open yourself up to it. The amount of knowledge, life lessons, and memories that you can get outside of any classroom is truly what makes college worth the experience…whether or not you need a degree for the career you desire (more on this is a later post).

Know That You Can Gain Much More Than “Just a Degree”

I know this is cheesy but this is why I created this site! There is so much more to college than getting grades and receiving a piece of paper!

College is full of opportunities (like I’ve probably said too much in this post…brace yourself for more): Opportunities for friendships, mentoring, new ideas, life-changing experiences, networking, experimenting, falling or failing, learning to pick yourself back up without the help of your family being there, and building a resume of experiences that can serve you for years.

It can be a large turning point in your life. If you open your eyes to the possibilities around you and listen to your heart, you can achieve massive success. The people around you will scratch their heads trying to figure out why you are different and why things come easy to you.

Your success in all areas is what will allow you to lift up and help others! You can’t help other people get better grades until you do. You can’t help other people get in shape until you do. And you can’t help others become financially stable until you do! College is a great time to figure all these things out so that you can ultimately help others to transform and shape their lives for the better!

Define Who You Are and Who You Want To BE

Decide the kind of values you want to stand by. What kind of person are you? How do you want to define success and what do you want people to know you for?

Use college as a chance to gather the traits and knowledge that you want. Find people you want to be like and learn from them. Emulate traits that you want, and throw out the traits you see in people that you don’t want.

Focus on establishing more value in yourself while you have the time and resources. I promise that it will pay off for the rest of your life.

People desire value. People pay for value. People are thankful for value. YOU can be that value in the lives of others, but first you must invest in yourself!

Your Past Can’t Hold You Back, Go For What You Want In Life!

No matter where you’ve come from or where you are, one thing is for certain. Everyone has the same amount of time in a day. This means that everyone can choose to use their time however they want, and their decisions will lead to the opportunities that come! I believe in you and I am here to help you succeed!

I hope this post helped you to feel inspired and learn some tricks to boost motivation when you get a bit down! If you need further tips or want some information on another topic, let me know in the comments below or in an email. Go for what you want and never settle!

Conquer College and Dominate Life!

-Hudson, LikeTheRiver

Always remember that no matter what is going on, there is going to be some good that can come out of it. Don’t miss out on the good things that come from struggle!






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