Students struggle with motivation for school

Student motivation is on a decline because of social media and lasting effects from COVID-19.

"portfolio-1024x683" by UBC Learning Commons is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Student motivation is on a decline because of social media and lasting effects from COVID-19.

The spark students had at the beginning of the school year is slowly burning out, and students’ motivation is on a decline. Recent studies have shown the concerning drop in student motivation still relates to the aftermath effects of the pandemic and students are still trying to adapt, whereas other students have found an increase of motivation as the school continues to progress. 

Studies show that upwards of 40 percent of high school students are disengaged from the classroom because it is uninteresting or repetitive and one factor responsible is students’ attention span. The attention span for students is significantly lower and continues to decline and electrical distractions are mostly to blame. In most classrooms students have easy access to their electronic devices which makes focusing in class difficult. Even when away from the classroom, the time students spend on social media platforms such as Instagram or Tik Tok impact attention span inside the classroom. Consequently, students want instant gratification more frequently, so it is harder to focus and keep motivation for school. 

“Everyone is so used to endless short, entertaining videos on almost every social media app and then you go to school with classes over an hour long so it’s hard to stay focused and motivated for schoolwork,” junior Alianys Gonzalez said. 

Another factor heavily associated with the decline in motivation involves the lasting effects of the pandemic. Last school year students had to adapt from remote to in person learning which was a struggle. However, this school year, the motivation is slowly starting to decrease towards the end of the year compared to last year. 

“I used to do all my work whether it was at home or in class, it didn’t bother me, but now I don’t even want to do it, “Gonzalez said. “Overall, the repetition of school is draining and taking a huge toll on my motivation.” 

Other students believe the lack of motivation is a yearly issue that does not reside from the pandemic. 

“It happens every school year. At the beginning of the year, I’m really confident and I think I can get everything done on time, and towards the end of the year my motivation slowly starts dwindling,” sophomore Sanaiya Pinnock said. 

Despite many students experiencing a decrease in motivation, for some it is the opposite. 

“I’ve had an increase in motivation because recently I’ve been trying to work more on myself physically and mentally and I’ve just been trying to do better in school, so I think it’s the opposite,” junior Sienna Ramirez said. 

Students who were associated with more extracurricular activities tended to have more motivation than students who are less involved with the school. 

“I think being an athlete contributes to motivation because my teammates are always there and being supportive,” Ramirez said. 

Gonzalez said when marching band was in season it gave her the motivation to do good in school because it was her main priority. She explained how she had to do good in school to be in the marching band, but after the season ended, her motivation left. 

While motivation is a huge issue currently, taking measures to limit screen time and completing assignments early can help raise determination for school.  

“I also feel like the people around you can honestly help you have better motivation,” Ramirez said. 

Pinnock explained how she needs to keep looking on the bright side of what’s happening to find a way to better manage her time. 

“After school just try to get your schoolwork done as soon as possible, so it’s out of the way and you can just do whatever you want because if you procrastinate it, you’re not going to want to do it,” Ramirez said.