Try and understand how the subject matter you are studying relates to real world applications. Take any areas you are interested in and see how the knowledge you are acquiring could be used to resolve or understand the major challenges in those areas.
For example, I was surprised during my work experience how a lot of my chemical engineering curriculum was applicable to understanding and solving problems in many areas of paper manufacturing. Unit operations was an especially relevant course. I wish I had known that when I was taking these courses.
In addition, I would recommend that as much as possible students interact with real world applications through internships, co-ops or even by visiting plants, medical centers, research facilities or other sites in the manufacturing - distribution chain. This will give added impetus to understanding the linkage between your courses and the real world thus making them more exciting.