This may be, for some students, their first experience living away from their family
Attending university is an extremely fertile part of life, in terms of challenges, knowledge and personal growth. It is the transition between high school and a much bigger, more diverse reality.
This transition also requires an adjustment in studying methods, because what might have worked in high school may not guarantee success in university, as the workload is sometimes superior.
In some cases, receiving lower grades than expected may not be directly related with studying method or organisation, but with the separation anxiety felt by the student.
Texts based on workshops organised by Dr. Julia Murta and Dr. Ana Dias at FCT NOVA GAPA/GAVP in 2006 and 2007.
Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?- said Alice.
- Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here? - said the Cat
- I don't much care where... - said Alice.
- Then it doesn't matter which way you go. - said the o Cat.
- ...so long as I get SOMEWHERE - Alice added as an explanation.
- Oh, you're sure to do that. - said the Cat - if you only walk long enough.
Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
What are the causes for lack of motivation?
Usually, when a demotivated student is aware of their lack of motivation, some of the below reasons may seem familiar:
How to improve motivation?
Strategies for dealing with motivational difficulties can range from a deep self-assessment to a simple self-regulation exercise. The goals (and the task of finding/creating relevance) can be thought at different levels:
What can impact motivation?
Contemporary psychoanalysis’ approach deals with both conscious and unconscious processes a patient goes through, allowing for both personal growth and self-awareness. This therapy is used as a means towards establishing and improving relationships with others, moving on from unhealthy ones, and overcoming trauma.
With the used methods, patients and therapists develop a strong, mutual and creative bond. During the sessions, the patient is usually lying on a couch out of the therapist’s sight.
How to maintain motivation on a daily basis?
Both Intrinsic and extrinsic factors can affect an individual’s motivation.
Extrinsic Motivation – Hotivation is reward-driven by outside factors. For example:
Motivation can be impacted by extrinsic or intrinsic factors,
Intrinsic Motivation – The motivation factors are internal. For example:
How does motivation vary from person to person?
We can consider 5 motivation factors:
The individual is motivated by the pleasure of performing the task.
It’s not only about making choices…
All actions and behaviours have consequences. Doing the same actions over and over will have the same consequent consequences. Some behaviours may have both positive and negative consequences at the same time. For example, skipping class: on one hand it may increase the student’s study load which contributes to anxiety and frustration during exams (negative consequence). On the other hand, it frees up time that allows students to do more enjoyable activities (positive consequence).
When an individual faces challenges when studying or taking an exam, it is sometimes associated with intellectuals (not being smart enough), or for not being naturally good at it. These labels are what, in some cases, causes individuals to struggle with mental challenges.
Studies show that academic success tends to relate more with confidence and organization rather than study method or intelligence. Each individual uses their own method and time management (whether it is a conscious or unconscious effort) and some methods work better than others.
Where do I struggle when studying?
Study harder or study smarter?
Usually individuals tend to think the recipe for success is to study harder which tends to mean intense and longer hours. Even if it sometimes work, it might also not always be the case:
It is always good to take a moment to re-evaluate and adjust your study method if necessary. Our realities change and what might have brought good results in the past may no longer have a positive impact on our study performance. If you come to the conclusion that you need new study habits we suggest that you try to find alternative and more efficient ways of doing so.