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How Viral Trends Are Keeping College Students Motivated

Harnessing TikTok trends can be used as a huge motivator for college students, especially those stuck in the virtual classroom funk.

Woman holding iPhone with TikTok app logo on the screen and computer in the background
Credit: Shutterstock/Nikki Meel

During the pandemic, students of all ages were pulled from in-person classes and had to transfer to virtual learning. It was a time of struggle for teachers and students alike. Adapting to turned-off cameras, minimal engagement, and spiraling mental health has been a huge hurdle. Many students stayed completely virtual post-pandemic, and while virtual learning can offer great opportunities, students often find themselves unmotivated and uninspired. Following viral TikTok trends can actually motivate students (especially in the virtual classroom) and revitalize daily life.

TikTok entered the world in 2018 and reached an all-time high in 2020. It is a hotbed of new trends, constantly changing how the world thinks. While some get tired of trying to keep up with the rapidly changing pace of trends, they can be put to good use once you get the hang of it.

Applying these trends to your daily life, especially as a virtual student, can improve motivation, encourage routine, and inspire creativity. Whether it’s Stanley Cups or “OrganizationTok,” following these trends as a virtual student can improve many areas of your life. They can help you become more organized, focused, motivated, and inspired.

Let’s jump into some popular trends to get you started.

Stanley Cups

If you’re an online student, you likely open your laptop and find yourself stuck for the day. You’re glued to classes and assignments, making it hard to prioritize basic needs like staying hydrated. Hydration is vital to keeping your energy up and decreasing stress throughout the day. However, it is extremely easy to neglect this necessity. There’s no denying the effect of Stanley Cups, a water bottle that has emerged as a TikTok trend and has since taken the world by storm.

Whether you get the hype or not, having a favorite water bottle has benefits. Maybe you have one because of the cute colors, the positive reviews, or simply because of their influence.

No matter how you got it, having your Stanley beside you is a subconscious encouragement to drink water. For virtual students, having a favorite water bottle becomes a fun and effective way to keep hydration on track. The Stanley Cup trend then becomes a healthy encouragement in your life.


A trend you’ll constantly run into on TikTok is the “Day in the Life” style videos. These are often curated to specific routines, and finding a mix of the right tips and tricks can be a game changer for virtual students. Whether watching these videos or making your own, getting into the routine side of TikTok will change your life. Seeing other people navigate their daily routines can spark inspiration to make your own. Sticking to a routine is essential in a virtual student’s life.

While being fully online, motivation is often only encouraged by an email or notification buried somewhere in your laptop. This is why creating a routine becomes a necessity when tackling virtual learning. You’re on your own when it comes to staying motivated and keeping on top of your mental health. The mental struggle of being on a screen, having fewer in-person opportunities, and falling behind are common encounters for virtual students.

A routine is one of the most important ways to stay on top of your work. Not only do routines establish a work ethic, but they also allow you to prioritize time for yourself. Curating a routine to your needs is a huge motivator. It isn’t necessary to copy an influencer’s routine, but take the things you find useful and make it work for you.


life is good 👏🏼🏃‍♀️✨🤍🥂 #fyp #grwm #college #onlineschool #vlog #worklife

♬ Surf – Mac Miller

Many influencers document keeping calendars and lists, forming skincare routines, organizing their workspaces, and many other parts of their day that might be useful to implement into your routine. Establishing a routine encourages organization and motivates you to complete daily tasks.

Recording your own daily routines can also be extremely helpful, even if you don’t post them. This is a simple way to keep yourself in check and stick to the routines you create. By embracing the “Day in the Life” trend, virtual students will not only gain beneficial tips and tricks for organization and routines but can reclaim control in their personal lives.

Get Ready With Me

One of the most common habits as a virtual student is waking up five minutes before class, logging on, and not rolling out of bed until classes are over. While this is very easy to do, it will inevitably diminish mental health quickly.

The “Get Ready With Me” trend might be the key to breaking this habit. “Get Ready With Me” has been a trend since the beginning of TikTok, which generally involves showcasing skincare routines, makeup time lapses, and creating an outfit for the day.

The act of getting up, choosing an outfit, and personal upkeep can completely change the outcome of your day. The method “look good, feel good” truly works and can inspire a positive mindset when going about your day.

Young smiling white girl in casual wear doing makeup while sitting on bed at home
Credit: Shutterstock/Dean Drobot

One’s home truly becomes the classroom, and getting up and ready is an easy way to pull yourself out of the funk and tedious routine of being at home. Confidence is a strong and powerful motivator.

Feeling fully awake and at your best will likely result in genuine excitement and preparedness for the day. These elements can also significantly increase your success in your classes. Implementing a step-by-step getting-ready process makes tackling these everyday processes much more fun and interesting.

This trend can seamlessly intertwine with your daily life, resulting in a more positive and motivated attitude towards your day.


Studying and completing assignments is an everyday requirement for students. Students generally consider music helpful for studying more effectively and retaining focus. Music generally has a huge grasp on TikTok, but more specifically, creating playlists has become an emerging trend.

Curating a playlist to your likes and needs can transform your study methods and help you focus on your tasks. Whether it’s Lofi study beats or your favorite genre, creating an easy-to-access playlist allows for immediate focus.

Creating a playlist can be a fun, creative project that will give you positive results in your study time. Playlists can also serve as more than just a work aid. Music is a fantastic stress reliever, so making playlists will help you study and benefit other parts of your day.

The power of music should never be underestimated as it can be profoundly effective in creating a positive atmosphere, motivation, and accomplishing goals. Putting your playlist on and setting your phone aside will encourage less screen time and more study time.

Music and playlists can easily become one of your greatest tools throughout your time as a student and beyond.


When most of your time is spent in class, finding time for a workout can be challenging. Virtual students are constantly busy in classes and doing their work. It is also common for virtual students to become significantly less active since they likely don’t need to leave their homes as often.

Fitness and at-home workouts have become an option for many. People who don’t have time or don’t enjoy going to the gym can follow at-home trainers and discover ways to keep up with fitness in their free time.

woman doing yoga plank and watching online tutorials on laptop, training in living room
Credit: Shutterstock/Prostock-studio

Many gyms were closed when the pandemic began, encouraging influencers to create at-home workout options. This idea stuck and became a very beneficial opportunity for many. Being in the comfort of your home can make it much easier to get a quick workout in during your busy schedule.

Following a fitness challenge or combining influencers’ routines to make your own allows you to implement fitness into your daily routine. Having a workout in your schedule is not only going to benefit your health but will make you energized and ready to tackle your day.


Although staying motivated as a virtual student can be difficult, being connected to online trends can help college students navigate through many hardships they might encounter.

Written By

English Literature, Culture, and Writing student at OU who loves reading, writing, music, animals, and gaming!

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