One of the more challenging aspects of the shift to online classes can be loss of motivation. While in school the routine of getting up, dressed and leaving the house, the prospect of meeting friends and making new ones, all contribute to our desire to engage with our school work on a regular basis. This new reality means you need to try different ways to create and maintain motivation.

Some of the reasons why studying online may make you feel demotivated:

  • It may require more effort; it is harder to ask for support and you need to monitor your progress more on your own.
  • No face-to-face interaction with your professors and peers means that you can’t share enthusiasm and common goals.
  • Distractions are harder to avoid than in the class.
  • You may feeling anonymous when you don’t get to chat informally with others.

Some strategies to help you stay motivated:

  • Remind yourself of your goals and why you care about them.
  • Talk about it with someone you care about and respect. Even if your big goal is unclear, create smaller goals – for a day or for a week.
  • Choose one thing you can do today to get started.
  • Study with classmates who are motivated – they will share their enthusiasm and model how to keep on going.
  • Remember the times when you were motivated and think of what worked for you then.
  • Use your strengths and your skills to energize yourself.
  • Think of fun or creative ways to approach the task, find a personal connection to it, or relate it to an experience of someone you know.
  • Routines can put you on an auto-pilot and instill a sense of discipline. Start small.
  • Reward yourself… after completing a significant task.


I know I have to do my work, but I can’t seem to push myself to do it.

Try to break your work into smaller steps. Don’t thing about the whole chapter because that is too long, too scary. Just think about the very first step and do it. In this case, the very first step is to open your book at the beginning of the chapter. Then just read the first paragraph.

I have a hard time returning to continue my work on the same day.

Try to leave a part of your task undone or just start the next one. Unfinished work tends to stay on our mind and is easier to go back to.

If you have two chapters to read, do not stop after chapter one. Start the second one to so that you can return to it easily that day. Start a new problem or a new question before stopping your work.

I have a hard time with courses I have no interest in.

Spend some time learning bout the subject before deciding that you have no interest in it. Learning is about making a connection. If you stop thinking about the subject as soon as your class is done, you will never appreciate the subject like someone who is “into it”. Try to find someone who is really enthusiastic who can show you that the subject can be fun or why it matters. Be like this person for a semester.

I don’t know what I am doing in CEGEP and in my program.

Long-term planning, like getting an overview of your program, can help to see the pertinence of every course and the finality of your program.

  • If you want to take a look an discuss your progression, see your academic advisor.
  • If you don’t have precise plans for your future, you may want to book an appointment with a guidance or career counsellor.
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