I will be the first of many to admit that school can be very, very hard. However, I’m sure you already know this if you’re still in school like I am. I love learning and I’ve always believed education to be hugely important, so I’ve compiled 5 ways to stay motivated. I hope they help you!
1. Look at the big picture
Think ahead to where you want to be in a couple years. Whenever I feel myself losing motivation, I think of everything I’ll be able to do once I’ve finished my schooling. I start day-dreaming about colleges I want to attend, having my own place, career and the independence I’ll have when I’m no longer bound to a class schedule. Completing the schooling I need is what will help me achieve those dreams, so I know I have to just keep on going. Think of how proud of yourself you’ll be when you accomplish your own personal goals and remind yourself of those goals and the education you need to achieve them whenever you’re feeling down.
2. Don’t procrastinate
I know you have a busy life and I know there are more fun things to do than math homework or history papers, but putting school work off till the day before they’re due will not help you. It is so much easier to do work in small increments rather than save it all until the last minute and have to rush to finish. Not only will the work be easier to do if you’re not worrying about a massive pile at once, but you’ll also feel less stressed out about it after getting it out of the way. I admit that I, as well as many others, can work well under pressure, but it’s usually at the expense of my frayed nerves and already erratic sleep schedule. Also, the less you rush the more you’ll be able to ensure you have a great, solid paper as opposed to an okay paper that just barely meets the requirements.
3. Accept imperfect grades
This might seem counterintuitive (shouldn’t I be shooting for the highest grades possible?), but bear with me. Realizing that you don’t have to be an expert at every subject is vital to not beating yourself up too much in school. It took me way too long to realize this and I still struggle with it now. The first time I got a C grade (in physics) I cried. When I failed a math test in the 8th grade I hated myself for months. Now I’ve realized that math just isn’t my thing and it’s allowed me to focus more on things I can do well. Don’t stop trying to do well in classes you struggle with but also realize its okay to not be excellent at everything and everyone has different strengths both in and out of school.
4. Always at least try
It’s worse to be paralyzed with fear and not try to do something than it is to go for it anyway with the possibility of failing. Besides, teachers appreciate when students show effort and most of the time it will not go unnoticed. Teachers are also much more willing to help students that are struggling but still trying as opposed to students that are failing their class but are not doing anything to help themselves. Be proactive; tell your teacher you’d like some more help and perhaps they’ll have some resources or extra time to assist you.
5. Value yourself
Realize that no matter what, you’re more than your GPA, test scores, late homework assignment, horribly done presentation or declined college application. I’m not saying these things aren’t important, because they definitely are, but what I’m saying is that these things don’t define you. You’re still a kind, loving person even if you can’t do chemistry and you still have a whip-smart sense of humor if you struggle in English. If you can stay hopeful you will start to feel better about the work you have to do. You won’t be afraid to try and possibly fail because you’ll know you’re worth more than your grades.
Good luck to all those who are still in school, and feel free to share how you stay motivated in the comments below!