Student’s motivation decreasing throughout the years

During high school, students are constantly under pressure to do well in school and do their assigned school work. They’re expected to do it well and on time. Some may start to think it’s pointless or not worth it, and they have a lack of motivation. Most students have dealt with this struggle.

“Yes, I have lost motivation,” freshman Jimmy Freiberger said. “Like my entire middle school years. There would be spots where I would have that motivation but for the most part, until my second half of 8th grade, I had no motivation.”

The definition of motivation is the will a person has for behaving in a certain manner or doing certain acts, it’s sort of like a goal, but in high school, it’s hard to keep.

“I lost my drive of motivation easily in middle school,” freshman Felix Galan said. “It’s because I didn’t feel like I was working towards anything, it all felt monotonous.”

There are many reasons why students lose their motivation and everyone has different opinions on why, so English teacher Emily Sherrow shares her thoughts on why she believes students lose motivation.

“I teach seniors and I have taught seniors for a very long time,” she said. “I would say to 2010-today again with Google, Alexa, and social media becoming such a distraction it’s not as important or it seems to be not as important to complete their work.”

For some students, it’s not about losing that motivation to want to do well but finding that determination inside of them.

“Honestly for me, it’s not more about losing motivation but finding it,” Freiberger said. “It’s because I didn’t have the motivation during that time.”

Graphic by Kaiya McMahan
A graph portraying the lack of motivation. “This graph is honestly how I used to feel in middle school,” Galan said.

Losing motivation can also affect how students feel about school.

“I’m going, to be honest, I didn’t necessarily hate school, but having those bad grades made me care less and less about school,” Freiberger said. “I still thought it was important but I just sort of overlooked that for that amount of time.”

Another reason why students lose motivation is because of how much they do in one day.

“I feel as if with all the school work and other stuff at home I have to take care of I don’t have enough me time,” Galan said. “I feel like most high school students don’t get to have much fun because of how busy they are.”                                 

For some students, at the start of their high school career, they try to stay focused, but with all the work they have, it can be overwhelming.

“For me, my motivation has gotten worse,” junior Jordan Davis said. “It’s gotten worse throughout the years. This year I have been trying to get more motivation and it’s been working. You just have to keep trying and not let yourself get on the wrong track.”

For others, entering high school has inspired them to try harder and get better grades.

“When I entered high school it hit me that I needed to get back on track and try harder,” Galan said. “I take pride in what I do now and I try a lot harder than I once did.”

Since Sherrow has been teaching for 13 years now, she’s seen motivation decrease over time immensely. She shares her opinion on how students can gain motivation back.

“I was watching a graduation speech one time, he was a retired admiral in the US Navy and he said the way in which he and his troops looked at every day and maintained motivation and maintained their focus was to make their bed every morning,” she said. “He said if you can accomplish one small task when you start your day then every other task that you tackle seems a whole lot easier.”