Find that academic motivation you’ve lost

Quizzes! Exams! Finals! ACT! College Applications! Extracurriculars! These are just a handful of things high school students have to put up with on a daily basis. High school students deserve a lot of credit for the immense amount of stress they tolerate.

At this point of the year, school is in full swing and with such high levels of stress; it’s easy for students to lose that motivation they had at the start of school. Fortunately, there are many ways to recover that lost motivation.

Before addressing ways to recover lost motivation, students must understand how they lose motivation.

Math teacher Mrs. Sarah Schmerer, feels that one reason for this loss, is when “You don’t do as well on something that you thought you were going to.” A prime example of this is when a student performs much worse on an exam than they had anticipated.

She spoke about the feeling of defeat and how it is equivalent to being in a boxing ring, where “you’re continually getting punched and punched and punched.” This loss of motivation not only creates an overwhelming feeling of defeat, but it also causes a sense of hopelessness among students.

Of course, teachers and students have differing thoughts on this topic. Triton College sophomore, Chris Powe, feels that the reason why he loses motivation as the year progresses is because, “You’re stuck in the middle and you don’t see the outcome.”

Additionally, Powe feels that another discouraging scenario is when you devote a lot of your time and effort into something, but “then you don’t see the outcome despite all the work you put into it.”

One way to retrieve that motivation is to establish the purpose of doing your school work. You should not be doing your school work for the sole purpose of satisfying your teacher. In fact, English teacher, Mr. Steve Wiersum thinks that students should “do the work and do it well.”

However, he feels that students should consider the fact that in the grand scheme of things, “You do the work because it makes your life better, because you’re doing it ultimately for you.”

Another way of retrieving motivation is to simply come to class and be engaged. Whether you realize it or not, teachers are always motivating their students in the classroom.

Math teacher Mrs. Ruba Puorto believes that “praise is a big thing” in the classroom. She feels that if a student is struggling in her class, “even if they only do one thing great, to make sure to make that a big deal.”

Similarly, Mrs. Schmerer also helps motivate her students in the classroom. She understands that every student learns differently and tries to incorporate this idea into her classroom. Mrs. Schmerer encourages her students to “Find what they need to do to be successful.”

Now, teachers aren’t the only ones who have advice on motivating students.  College students are also in a similar situation when it comes to needing inspiration. Luckily, UIC freshman Marta Borzymowska has advice for high school students.

Borzymowska feels that one way students can find enthusiasm is to constantly stay occupied. She has found that when she has a “limited amount of time,” she finds herself “more productive” and motivated to do her school work.

ECC freshman Raychel Korn also shared some ways she kept herself motivated in high school and into college. Korn came to the realization that one source of motivation was her friends.

Instead of studying alone she felt that “having a study group” helped motivate her because it put her in a “positive, goal-oriented mindset.”

Chris Powe has found motivation with a much different method. Powe finds it helpful to “keep a journal.” In the journal, Powe thinks that it is a good idea to “write down the things that you did successful.”

At the end of the day, you can then “look back and see what you’ve accomplished today.”  Powe stresses the importance of updating it daily, because, “You can’t let the page be empty; that’s on you.”

As the year progresses, students will inevitably become discouraged and lose the enthusiasm they had at the start of the year. There are numerous ways to counteract this loss, from simply coming to class to keeping a journal.

Marta Borzymowska believes that “Although school might be hard, living a life without an education is even harder.”