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Letter #4 (Motivation in School)

Motivating myself to wake up and do my schoolwork is getting tiring, and I’m burning out even though I’m not even a senior yet. How can I remember the importance of doing my work? I hope teachers understand the stress students are in since things are so different from how school usually is.

-Anonymous

Dear Anonymous, 

We are all 100% with you! It’s so hard to find motivation to do any work, and it’s especially tempting to play a game or binge YouTube videos instead. When things get especially stressful and you feel like you’re burning out, the first thing is to try and get more sleep! A lot of students go to sleep super late and then wake up early, running on 7 or less hours of sleep per night. As hard as it can be, if you prioritize your time and try to finish your assignments as quickly as possible, you can head to bed a lot earlier. 

Second, remember to take breaks as needed. Try productive breaks like taking a walk or exercising. Exercising is proven to boost your emotional health and help you when feeling stressed. Yes—it’s hard to find motivation to exercise too but it doesn’t have to be anything intense… It could be a short 10 minute walk, jog, or bike ride! 

Third, a lot of the time, burnout and lack of motivation is caused by not knowing what your short term or long term goals are. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the amount of work you have and not take a break to reflect on why you’re actually doing the work. We highly encourage you to take some time to write down a list of short term and long term goals that will help you stay on track throughout the rest of the semester. Reaching even small milestones can help a lot! And remember to reward yourself when you reach these goals by showing yourself a little self love. You’ve been working hard so you deserve to take that short break to call friends and play a game, or do something else you haven’t been able to do!  

That’s another thing. Make sure to show yourself plenty of love! Even if it feels like you’ve been unmotivated lately, try not to be too critical of yourself. This pandemic is hard and Mira Loma is too. You should be proud of all the wonderful things you’ve achieved this year, including but certainly not limited to, surviving a pandemic! 

Finally, sometimes it can be hard to think that teachers understand what students are going through right now. They certainly do assign a lot of work and keep us on our toes! And that might be a very big understatement…  But it’s important to note that most teachers care a lot about their students. They are still trying to work their way around the hardships of the pandemic, including trying to keep up with curriculum with shortened class times, and navigating the online platform. Even if they don’t completely understand what it’s like on our end, they definitely understand how difficult it is to do school in a pandemic, and most of them are making their very best effort. 

Keep up the good work and finish this semester strong! You can do it!

Best of luck, 

ML Today Advice Column 

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