Overhead view of group studying at a table

5 Ways to Motivate Yourself to Study

We all know a big part of college is studying. BUT knowing that you need to study and actually studying are two different things right? I don’t know about you, but I was always able to find a reason to “study later” or procrastinate until the last minute to finish an assignment or study for a test. Fortunately, I found some ways to motivate myself to study. Hope this gives you some ideas!


An elf eating snacks

Food is a great motivator! Every time I studied I would have one of my favorite snacks nearby as a way to treat myself during my studying time. After I wrote a paragraph for a paper or studied for 20-30 minutes I would pop open a bag of Skittles or a bag of Doritos and “treat” myself.

Study group

Meme of success kid

Studying in a group is a lot more fun than studying by yourself. Plus, if you don’t understand a certain concept taught in class you can ask someone who does get it to explain it to you. A study group can teach you new study habits as well as help you master the material. Note: talking with your friends while holding a textbook does not count as studying with friends!

Study with instrumental music

Screenshot of album art

Whenever you start to study, put your headphones in and turn on an Instrumental Pandora station and let it play low in the background. It will help you stay focused and keep you mind from daydreaming. I liked listening to Tycho and the Choppin station on Pandora.

Take breaks

Cat sleeping on math homework

Take a 10 minute break every hour. Your mind needs an occasional rest in order to stay alert and productive. Plus knowing you will take a break every 50 minutes gives you incentive to really focus on your study material. Get on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or even walk around during those 10 minutes; Anything to get your mind off of what you were studying. Just make sure your break isn’t too long because then it’s counterproductive.

Change up the location

Cognitive scientists suggests that alternating study spaces is a more effective way to retain information, according to New York Times. Changing your location increases the likelihood of remembering what you’ve learned. Personally, I enjoyed studying at a local Panera near campus, my sorority house and the Student Union.

What has helped/motivated you to study for your college classes? Tell us in the comments below!

About the author

Kendra Shacklett
Content Coordinator
I went to Oklahoma State University where I received my BA in Strategic Marketing and Communications. I have worked in the textbook industry for two years, and I specialize in social media marketing and content creation here at TextbookRush.