Grayson’s Gabs – How can students motivate themselves to do better in high school?


Grayson Joslin, Editor

Do you feel disengaged in school? If you are, you are not the only one.

Many times, high school students feel disconnected from the school students and not engaged fully in classroom conversation. According to a study done in 2003 by the National Research Council, about 40% of high school students are chronically disengaged from school. Studies also show that the United States is behind other countries whenever it comes to student motivation. Students now worry about many important state standardized tests, what they need to learn, and their own social lives, among other things.

How can students flip it around and become motivated and energetic in the classroom and their studies?

Motivation is significant if a student wants to make the most out of their high school experience. If students can flip their attitude, then they will find the task of school and sitting through all of their classes more pleasant. Students need to take control of their knowledge and their drive to learn. Students need to understand and envision on how their classes will prepare them for their adult life.

It is crucial to have a growth mindset. People who have a growth mindset believe that they can boost their skills through effort and determination. This mindset is a critical element to have if you want to have a personal drive to achieve and succeed. If students refuse to grow and believe that their level of ability is fixed, they will not be likely to improve as much as people who have a growth mindset.

School can be daunting sometimes. A good example is an important research paper that can make up a plurality of your quarter grade in a class. The idea of a research paper can overwhelm you and make you anxious. Take a deep breath and implement a strategy – set small goals for yourself. Tell yourself to get a small section of the paper done by a certain date. Break up your homework or your week for school into small increments that you can take on easily without getting overwhelmed.

Set goals for yourself and know what you’re working towards. We all think about the endgame and the quarter and semester grade, but focus your energy towards the next assignment or text. Focus on getting the best grade that you can on that assignment. Think small and take it day by day.

Find a collection of people who want to help you succeed and bring you to the next level. This doesn’t just mean your peers and acquaintances. This could also be your teachers, your family, your co-workers and your counselors. Finding a niche where people want you to succeed can motivate you and help your well-being.

Becoming organized is also an important aspect for a student to become motivated to learn. Set a clear schedule of when to do your schoolwork when you get home from school. Create a calendar or buy a planner and write down important dates of clubs, activities, games, tests, and due dates for classwork. Create a clean and quiet studying environment to work at when you have schoolwork to do. Consider if you prefer background noise (like a television or music) or quiet while you are working.

Another way to become more motivated in the school environment is being involved in school. There are numerous clubs at New Castle High School to join. Consider going to athletic events like football games and stand in the student section. Being part of extracurricular activities can help further your feeling of belonging at school. Find people that share the same interests as you. Studies show that students who are involved in their schools have increased levels of school spirit, do better academically, and are more engaged socially and civically.

High school is where most people’s lives mold as they find their interests. Maximize and optimize your time in high school by being a motivated student. One of the most critical determiners of academic achievement is motivation. By enacting your motivation to learn, you will improve not just in school, but in all areas in life.