Staying motivated throughout one’s academic career can prove to be a difficult task, especially as you climb to the higher levels of academia. At least in elementary school we have recess to look forward to, and later in high school a well-deserved lunch period breaks up the monotony of algebra and español cinco. But as schooling becomes more about how many years you have under your belt and less about the little things in life, the advantages of attending class everyday and spending hours on homework seem more obscure, and often not so worth the wait. Why is it that in our younger years it seems easier to accept that school is just part of our day, but as we reach college level courses going to class feels more like a waste of time then money well spent? Why does it feel like a better idea to go out and get belligerently drunk than stay up hitting the books?
To speak hedonistically, as college student I certainly receive more pleasure from leaving class and a considerable amount of pain in dragging myself to the library to study for an upcoming exam. Class is to uninteresting to sit through, and frankly it seems my degree won’t mean much in the job market my colleagues and I are sent to enter into. John Locke argues that the distinction between pleasure and pain is easy to make when compared side by side, but becomes more obscure when comparing present feelings with future feelings (Deckers, 26). That is to say, its easy to choose a cold beer over a warm one because you can recognize the immediate benefits of a refreshing brew, but choosing school work over well, any other activity within 20 miles of campus is nearly impossible because a degree and a well off job seem too far out of sight. But regardless of how optimistic the opportunity for gainful employment looks, shouldn’t we feel compelled to learn in the same manner as we once did?
Walk into almost any college classroom and you will see why attendance is so scarce, and motivated students so few and far between. PROFESSORS ARE BORING. No one likes to waste their time, especially not listening to an educator who presents the same information every class in the same methodic and uninteresting ways. When college students aren’t motivated in class, the tend not to attend and their grades suffer as a result (Brewer and Burgess, par. 4). Professors today need to come to the realization that lectures and PowerPoint slides don’t encourage attendance and in fact influence students not to come to class. In their study, Ernest W. Brewer and David N. Burgess found that lectures were the number one unmotivating item cited by students and even recommend that college teachers shouldn’t rely on lecturing as the primary method of teaching (pars. 36- 42). Students have changed, and what motivated college goers of the past is unable to catch our attention in the 21st century. Professors need to keep their classes more interesting and capturing today if the want to keep their seats full of the leaders of tomorrow.
Decker, L. (2010). Motivation