I had the same problem: rarely had to study in high school, but the first time around in college I had a rude awakening :trout: I did graduate, but not with a great GPA (2.7), nor I didn't make the most of my college years (academically anyway).
What is motivating me this time around (hopefully some of these will motivate you too):
1. It's my money on the line, not my parents. Seriously, when I'm the one writing the tuition check, it really sinks in that I need to do well.
2. I learned how competitive these programs can be, and that admission decisions can really come down to tenths and hundredths of a point. So if I want to get as far as I can, I need to do the best that I can in these pre-reqs no two ways around it.
3. I'm making the effort to study every day. It's not hours every day, but it's at least 30 minutes a day. And it's not always 30 minutes in a row: some days it's 3 10 minute bouts, others it's 2 15s, and sometimes I skip a day and make up for it with an hour the next day (or two days later). And yes, many days, it's painful to have to go and study especially if I hate the class. But I think to myself, "I'm one more day closer to the end."
4. When it's very hard to find those 30 minutes, I just do my best. I don't limit studying to sitting at the desk with a book. I walk around with flashcards and review them as I cook dinner. I talk to myself in the car. I try to explain what I learned to the cat. I lecture the baby (I call it the Anatomy for Toddlers Bedtime Lecture Series--puts him to sleep right away
). All those little bits do add up.
5. Last, the greatest motivator for me is my GPA this time around. It's a 4.0, and the longer it stays a 4.0, the harder I want to work to keep it like that. I know it will eventually fall and I'm aiming to delay that moment as long as possible, possibly forever if I can
Also, the better you're doing in a class that you hate, the less painful the class seems. You may even find yourself liking it at the end (that's what happened with me and Psychology).
Like Jules says, it's great you're trying to work on this now instead of waiting, or learning the hard way like I did (I still cringe over the fact that I could have done so much better when I was so much younger!). You can do it!