Students face lack of motivation during spring semester

     As the end of the 2022 school year rapidly approaches, I find my motivation to do schoolwork waning. I have observed it in my friends, peers and even in some of my teachers at times. I have even put off writing this exact story because I had no motivation to write it.

     What I have been experiencing is commonly referred to as “senioritis”, and it is described by Southern New Hampshire University as a “common affliction describing a lack of motivation felt by students who are reaching the end of their courses.” Many seniors who experience senioritis also experience a drop in grades, a lack of interest in their classes, procrastination and a propensity to stop turning in some assignments. 

     According to Carnegie Mellon University, students’ lack of motivation in the classroom comes from six main sources. They lose motivation because they do not see value in the course, do not believe that their efforts will improve their performance, nor feel rewarded by completing assignments. Additionally they may lack motivation due to seeing the classroom environment as unsupportive, not having enough time in their schedule or attention to manage the courses’ assignments or experience some type of physical or mental affliction that can disrupt their motivation level.

     Pedagogy professor Dr. Valjeaner B. Ford and professor of educational research Dr. Douglas E. Roby did a study on the origins of a lack of motivation in 225 high school students. They found that a majority of motivation comes from the teaching practices in the classroom, and the three R’s: relevance, relationship and rigor. They suggested that teachers that are approachable and connect with their students, as well as a slightly more challenging curriculum and having peers that can establish good role models can help improve motivation.

     This lack of motivation can even follow you into college. A therapist at Brown University observed that in many first-year students, they have hesitations in motivation, where they realize that after working hard for years, they get into college just to do the same thing for the next four to six years, causing a decline in their will to work. The therapist recommended asking yourself various questions about why you feel unmotivated and where you feel your motivation comes from. They suggest that pondering these questions, writing down answers, and even discussing them with friends can be a beneficial experience. 

     For more concrete answers, Southern New Hampshire University recommends setting short and long-term goals that will motivate you. Additionally, adding incentives can be a huge help. Giving yourself rewards that you want after working can make you that much more motivated to get it finished. Staying organized and splitting up big assignments or projects can help, as well as surrounding yourself with people that want to help motivate you. Furthermore, taking breaks when you need them can be a huge help, and changing the environment you are working in can jumpstart your motivation and eliminate distractions.