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  • Staff Writer

How You Can Help Your Student Stay Motivated in College

As a parent of a college student, you want them to succeed on the path they choose. Success in college requires consistent and continuous effort to slowly complete classes and receive a degree. However, this consistency requires that your student stays motivated throughout their college journey. Your student may feel unmotivated to do their classwork, show up to class, or organize themselves.

As a parent, you are in a unique role to help them stay motivated and ultimately succeed in their goal to graduate from college. These skills will vary, but building habits, recharging, and focusing on the big picture can all help. If you are struggling to help, that is ok. Parent coaching can help you learn how to help them. Remember, it is a learning process for both you and your student.

Importance of Your Student Being Motivated in College

College is a long experience for your student. They will need to go to class, finish homework, and solve many issues that will come up. Their level of motivation will impact how well they do these things and that they continue to do them until they graduate. Research has shown that individuals who expect to do well and value doing well in school are motivated and more likely to have academic success. Therefore, by helping your student stay motivated, you are improving their success in college.

Additionally, motivation is a skill that will help your student to do well in their life after college as well. After your student graduates from college, they will likely be working. To be successful as a working professional, they will need to stay motivated to go to work and complete tasks for which they are responsible. This is also true in their personal life. By building skills that help them to feel motivated, they are more likely to succeed in whatever they put their mind to.

Helping Your Student Stay Motivated

As a parent, there are multiple ways that you can help your student with motivation. By encouraging them to build habits, recharge, and zoom out to the big picture, you are providing them with skills that can help them to stay in school and succeed in getting their degree.

Build Habits

Motivation is a sense of desire to do something. While your student has goals and dreams, the sensation of motivation may vary from day to day. However, your student can build habits that support their long-term goals. These habits will help them to get through times when they do not feel as excited by the work they are doing.

Building habits, like making a weekly schedule and sticking with it, will help your student to continue to accomplish tasks regardless of how they feel. However, the process of building a new habit takes time. You can help your student to choose helpful habits and practice them, encouraging them to continue to incorporate them into their life, knowing they will get easier over time.


It is natural that in college your student will experience fatigue, and may not know how to recharge when necessary. As a parent, you can help them to find ways that feel healing and restful. This might look like taking naps, meditation, or activities they find joy in.

Recharging is an important part of renewing motivation. By getting rest, your student can go to class or complete the new project with renewed energy and motivation. Whereas a lack of rest can result in a lack of motivation due to fatigue.

Zoom Out

In the day-to-day of college, your student might lose track of why they are in college. The feeling of the daily drudgery of going to class can cause a lapse in motivation. However, by zooming out, your student can reframe the situation.

Helping your student to zoom out can be done in many ways. Simple solutions that can help include talking with your student about why they want to complete college. If they want to be a doctor, they could photoshop a photo of themselves in a medical coat and paste it next to the door. This can serve as a reminder of why they are putting in the effort now to be where they want in the future.

Supporting Skill Development to Stay Motivated

Motivation is a feeling. However, the skill set that helps your student to feel motivated includes learning to build habits, zoom out, care for themselves, and reframe situations. When you help your student build these skills, you are supporting their skill development. In doing so, you are providing them with the skills to be successful in college. However, you are also improving their ability to stay motivated throughout their adult life. This might include challenging relationships, graduate school, or a career. The skills they learn now as young adults will carry forward into their lives, helping them to thrive as adults.

As a parent, you want your student to stay motivated, finish college, and thrive. However, many college students lose motivation. At Northwest College Support, we believe that students can build the skills that help them to stay motivated. Our program is aimed to help students transition smoothly into adulthood and thrive in college. This includes learning to identify their deep motivations and build habits that support them. We also offer support for parents to learn how to best help their young adults transition. To learn more about our programs, how we can help your student, and how we can help you, call us today at (877) 485-2776. We can make the transition into adulthood easier for you and your student.

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