How to Get Back on Track in College (10 Tips That Work!)

How to get back on track in college

Are you getting caught slacking in all your college courses? These 10 tips will show you how to get back on track in college!

Before we start, you should note that these tips have worked for me when I was slowly losing sight of my school work.

Everyone will have their own way of doing things, so don’t feel overwhelmed if you see certain tips that aren’t for you.

With that being said, let’s get into it!

Why You Should Get Back on Track in College

Getting back on track in college will do a few fantastic things for you:

  1. Improve your grades (duh)
  2. Boost your mood
  3. Higher motivation for success
  4. Increased confidence
  5. Better self-development

Getting your life back together does more than just improve your grades so you can get that degree.

There’s much more to it which can make it even more worth it for you to try your absolute best in college!

Let’s get into the 10 tips that actually work…

Set Goals

Achieving anything in life starts with setting goals. How can you achieve something that you don’t even know you’re working towards, right?

Go grab a piece of paper. Here’s how you can start setting goals:

  • Write down your 5 main goals for the semester
  • Break them up into smaller “sub-goals”
  • Make a quick summary of how you plan on achieving them
  • Set a date for when these goals should be completed

By breaking things up into smaller chunks, you’re setting yourself up for less headaches down the road.

It’s totally fine to start slow and pick things up incrementally to avoid burning out or losing motivation.

Now that you have your goals, follow them up with this next tip…

Have a Schedule

If you want to know how to get back on track in college, having a schedule is going to save your life!

Without an organized day, you can’t really get anything done efficiently. Here’s an easy way to create a daily schedule:

  • Write down your daily plans the night before
  • Create at least 5 things to do
  • Categories them by time and priority
  • Check things off as you complete them

You want to include everything in your schedule for the day (class, assignments, studying, lunch, time with friends, etc).

It should only take you 5 minutes, so there’s no excuse not to do it. Some people prefer to do it with sticky notes while others use a piece of paper.

Here’s how I like to do it…

Use a Planner


If you’ve never used a planner before, it’s essentially a little journal that is already organized by date, time, and even subjects (depending on the planner).

I swear by this thing to keep me on track during school and even for other parts of my life.

The great thing about a planner is that everything is already organized for you! You can be as messy and creative as you want with this thing.

Don’t try and make it look perfect! Seriously, this is for the sole purpose of jotting things down when they come up or when you need to add in a quick note somewhere.

Work on Time Management

One of the most important skills you can learn in college is time management.

Without it, you’re sacrificing tons of hours per week that you could have been putting towards catching up with your classes.

Here are a few time management tips for college students:

  • Prioritize your to-do list
  • Minimize deadlines
  • Make a syllabus outline of all your big due dates
  • Start with the harder stuff first
  • Use the 2 minute rule

For those who don’t know, the 2 minute rule states, “if it takes 2 minutes or less, do it right now.”

Check out this post for more tips on time management that go into detail on each practice!

Reward Yourself

Giving yourself some sort of incentive is a great motivator to keep at your goals.

Humans are naturally wired to do better at tasks that incentivize reward. Which is why we study hard for A’s, train hard for gold medals, and work hard to increase salary.

When it comes to getting back on track in college, these rewards can be simple things like giving yourself a piece of candy when you’ve completed your assignments for the day.

Some alternative rewards include playing an hour of video games, hanging out with friends, partying, watching a few Youtube videos, etc.

Develop Routines

Another thing the human brain is naturally wired to is… routine. We crave routine and we feel off when we don’t have it.

These daily routines don’t even have to be for studying or anything. You can start to develop a morning routine or a specific time that you work on your hobby everyday.

Trust me, doing these things will directly correlate to your success in college and beyond. It gives you a system which keeps you in check!

A good place to start is with a morning or workout routine. They’re pretty universal and don’t require much more than an hour of your day (at most).

Study Smarter

Studying smarter instead of harder might seem like a lazy excuse not to study. It’s not… you still need to put in those hours.

However, there is a specifically designed formula to better retain information and not burn out during studying/assignments…

Pomodoro Technique

It’s called the Pomodoro Technique and here’s how it works:

  1. Work for 25 minutes
  2. Take a 5 minute break
  3. Repeat 4 times
  4. After the 4th cycle, take a longer 30 minute break

The amount of memory retention you get from this method is insane and will ultimately save you time in the long run!

I recommend setting a timer for the 25 minute cycles (instead of looking at a clock) just so you stay on track. Avoid using your phone during the breaks and instead, go grab water or a snack.

Check out some of these study hacks for a few other tips to study smarter!

Avoid Distractions

We love distractions. We love procrastination when we don’t want to do the hard work.

Here’s what I recommend you start doing now…

  • Turn your phone off for tasks that take longer than 30 minutes
  • Put your computer on full screen to avoid opening other tabs
  • Only listen to music that is designed for focus (songs without lyrics)
  • Study on a full stomach and have water next to you

Write the 4 bullet points above on a piece of paper and stick it on your wall in front of your desk so you never forget!

We get distracted by every little thing that we can, so cut them out for good when you’re studying.

Try looking up “reading music” on Youtube. That stuff puts you in the zone like no other music!

Utilize Reminders

Although I don’t advise using technology to plan out your day, reminders on your phone can be a stress-free way to manage your time.

Those little things like being reminded to get ready for class or to meet up with someone is such a crucial part of getting back on track with minimal effort.

You should still have your goals written out in a planner, but reminders can help you remember when it’s time to complete them.

For example, if you don’t have your planner with you and you just got out of class, your phone can remind you to write down the homework you were assigned or get to studying for a test.

Reminders are essentially your back up planner for things that you may forget at times.

Stay Consistent

Consistency is key to get back on track in college

Once you’ve followed all the above tips, make sure you get caught up with your work.

When you’ve caught up, keep up the good work and stay consistent with it. If anything, now is the time to get ahead (if your schedule allows it).

Consistency truly is the key to get back on track in college. These new habits should be thought of as lifestyle changes, not just school changes!

I truly believe that you can achieve great success by implementing some of these tips and continuing to follow through with them.

Don’t forget, it takes 21 days to develop a new habit. All you have to do is stick with it for 3 weeks and you’ll already be following a brand new schedule!


Hopefully these 10 tips on how to get back on track in college have helped you start your new journey to getting that degree. Best of luck in your classes and beyond!

If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions leave them down below. Thanks for reading!

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