The complications of motivation


Megan Mallie

If you’re a high school student this routine should sound familiar. Wake up five minutes before your first Zoom call of the day. Sit through several more Zoom calls, and try your best to pay attention. Struggle through fatigue and lack of motivation as you struggle through your homework. Prepare to do it all again twice more that week. Mundane, isn’t it? 

The difficulties of online learning are often overlooked. It can be very difficult to transition between online and in-person learning several times a week, and it can be a struggle to keep up with your course load as well as your social life simultaneously. Transitioning constantly between in-person and online learning presents a challenge for students who are used to a fixed routine in order to be academically successful. 

Oftentimes, it is routine and pattern that support one’s ability to perform successfully at any given subject. Having a sense of normalcy can be essential to achievement. Due to the pandemic, however, this normalcy has been interrupted, thrown out the window even. Adjusting to change is difficult, and settling into a new routine even more so. 

Mercy has done a good job of taking it all in stride, as well as striving to improve things for both students and staff to make the transition somewhat easier. This doesn’t cancel out the negative aspects that accompany the changes, however, such as stress, lack of motivation, and discouragement. Stress accompanies the new schedule changes, worries about being prepared for in person learning. Lack of motivation is difficult to avoid when on virtual classes at home all day. And discouragement, which I find to be most prevalent, often finds me at a low point in my studying. 

However, when at this point, it can be overcome. Instead of talking down to yourself about what you can’t do, focus on what you are capable of doing and what immediate task you can focus on at the present moment. Convince yourself to take it one step at a time, and have patience with yourself through it. After all, we are all on a learning curve currently, or maybe more of a steep learning mountain. Either way, don’t be too hard on yourself when you’re overwhelmed.