12 Motivational Activities For College Students

Sometimes, students need a little push to keep them going in their academic life. If you are a college professor, here are 12 motivational activities for college students that you can easily and quickly organize to keep them motivated and guide them in the right direction.

When I first resumed as a fresher, we were over 80 freshmen in my department but in the final year, we were less than 70. That is, over 10 students dropped out due to one reason or another other, and a lack of motivation must have been one of them. I also had a close friend, who was active from their first year up till their final year and even motivated me not to drop out, but she dropped out in the second semester of her final year.

Of course, I tried to talk her out of it and tried motivating her but she wouldn’t budge, her mind was already made up. Now, when I came across this topic, I immediately thought about her and how it would have been different if one of the college authorities like a professor or the course adviser had spoken to her.

Truth is, a college education can be hard and stressful which takes its toll negatively on students especially when they are in a situation where their grades hit rock bottom and it seems like they can never be revived no matter how hard they tried. At this point, despair and depression set in and they feel unmotivated towards pursuing their academics. They just want to give up and go home.

As a college professor, it is important that you form a bonding with your students. Know when their grades are in trouble, know when they are feeling down, and learn how best to help them. It is very easy for college students to feel unmotivated but with the help of their professor they can get that little push they need to see their academic path clearly and become motivated again to continue their journey toward achieving the goals that they set out to meet and excel both academically and professionally.

College students are the citizens that will build the future and motivating them to work hard and perform excellently in their academics is important. There are certain motivational activities that college professors can try out with their students to help boost their motivation and encourage them to keep working hard.

I wouldn’t like for any more college students to drop out of college out of lack of motivation or enthusiasm, so, you too –the college student – also have to take up matters into your own hands and help yourself regain the motivation that you once had.

In this blog post, I have curated a list of motivational activities for college students and also for college professors to try out with their students to give them that little push that will set them in the right direction.

How Motivational Activities Help Students Build Self-Confidence

Through motivational activities, students are encouraged to step outside their comfort zone and go through new tasks and projects which can help them gain self-confidence, as well as, develop new skills and strengths which can boost their self-esteem and confidence.

motivational activities for college students

What Type Of Activities Will Motivate Students?

There are various motivational activities for college students to implement that will level up their motivation and confidence. These activities include:

  • Switch Roles
  • Field Trips
  • Join Conversation Stations
  • Leadership Responsibility
  • Give Rewards for Achievements
  • Give Tasks
  • Motivational Quotes
  • Assign Classroom Jobs
  • Seminars on Motivation
  • Set an Example
  • Experience-based Learning
  • Welcome their Ideas

1.     Switch Roles

This is for college professors and it is a motivational activity whereby the lecturer and the student switch roles for a few hours or for a few minutes every day. By taking up the role of a teacher, students will understand the dedication it takes to carry out the job. This will help students sit up after they must have switched back, and take their studies more seriously.

2.     Field Trips

We all know about field trips and must have gone for a few. College authorities can organize field trips for students every semester. It can also be organized among students too. Aside from being fun and exciting, college field trips give students a lot of motivation to get ahead in their studies.

To spice things up, students may be given a list of goals to achieve at the end of each trip depending on the chosen field, making the trip more interesting.

3.     Join Conversation Stations

This is one of the motivational activities for college students, and if you are a college lecturer reading this, you may also recommend it to your student(s) who may need a little push in their academic life. A conversation station is an activity that comprises groups of 4—6 students where they hold discussions about a course, video, or case study.

The perk of this activity is that it gives students new knowledge and equips them with teamwork skills. The activity also helps students build academic relationships with others which can help improve their academic life.

4.     Leadership Responsibility

Being a leader comes with a lot of responsibility and commitment, there’s no room for slacking on the job. College professors can use this as a motivational tool among students by giving every student a chance to lead during the course or direct the responsibility on a student they feel is slacking off.

Taking up a leadership role will help students take up responsibilities and be motivated to take on risky and challenging life roles.

5.     Give Rewards for Achievements

When you recognize a person’s work by rewarding them either with gifts, a pat on the back, or a thumbs up they feel motivated to do better. This is basic psychology, if you want more out of a person, reward them and they will be happy to do more.

As a college professor, recognize the achievement of your students and appreciate it in any way you can to keep their spirits up. Doing this will motivate them to become better and sit up.

6.     Give Tasks

Every college student respect college professors and always sees them as a higher figure and they are always ready to please them. You can take advantage of this to motivate students by setting them up with some responsible takes. This will help them develop a sense of responsibility and help them feel confident and motivated to take up important roles in life.

7.     Motivational Quotes

Both students and college authorities can be involved in this little motivational activity. It involves collecting inspirational quotes, making posters with them, and pasting them in classrooms, information boards, hallways, offices, etc. Pasting them around will help students find motivation on the go. The quotes can be replaced once a week by students.

8.     Assign Classroom Jobs

As I mentioned earlier, it is important that teachers form a bond with their students and not keep that student-teacher barrier as it motivates them less. One of the ways to create this student-teacher relationship is by assigning classroom jobs to every student and they report back to you once a week.

 By doing this, students won’t feel left out and will like to bring up some matters that trouble them to you for advice.

9.     Seminars on Motivation

Departments and faculties can organize motivational seminars where, preferably alumni of that specific department, will be present to give motivational speeches to students. The seminar has to be an interactive one for students to ask questions and discuss with professionals.

This kind of motivational activity will help students who are losing their confidence and motivation to see their path clearly and see themselves in a new light. Seminars like this can be organized once in a while to boost encouragement among students.

10.  Set an Example

Students look up to their teachers and in one way aim to be like them later in life. As a teacher, it is best that you tell your story to your students once in a while, and have them know the hurdles you crossed to get to your current position. Use yourself and your past experience as an example and guide them, by doing this, students will gain more encouragement and sit up to meet their goals just like you did.

11.  Experience-based Learning

Personally, I find theoretical work boring and I’m never good at them. I love demonstrations, practical, experiential learning, and any kind of learning that is being experimented on or done as it is taught. Experience-based learning may just be what your students need to feel motivated in that course again. So, begin making plans to introduce practical learning to students.

12.  Welcome their Ideas

Last but not least motivational activities for college students are for college professors to welcome students’ ideas in the classroom. Always encourage your students to tell you their ideas and discuss them with the class. This gives students a sense of belonging and acceptance and encourages them to think of bright new ideas.

College professors and other students can organize any of these motivational activities to encourage every student and help them achieve their academic goals.