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With the announcement that the rest of the semester is online-only, many students have lost the motivation they once had to complete assignments


Becky Arendarczyk

When students showed up for the first day of the 2019-20 school year, they had no idea they would be asked to learn from home for the last two months of the school year. The transition to digital learning overwhelmed some students, who lost their motivation to learn as an outcome.

Stacy Correra, Copy Editor

A student wakes up to the alarm they set for 11:30 a.m. to check into their Schoology classes before noon so that they are counted in attendance. After checking in they go right back to sleep and don’t wake up for four more hours. Since they are not going back to school physically this semester, they figure that they shouldn’t have to be held responsible for their academic responsibilities anymore. Especially since it all feels like busy-work at this point. They end up going to bed that night barely looking at any assignments they were supposed to do that day, and it starts again the next day, piling up their stress about being behind just enough to where they give up completely.

Online classes were manageable for many at first since students were going into them with the belief that they would be going back to school physically, and they wanted to stay caught up for when they would return. However, when the decision was called for an online-only end to the semester, many students lost whatever spark of motivation they had left to complete their assignments. 

“Being mentally and physically unable to focus on my work at home and not being able to feel a sense of urgency I usually feel when at school is the main way I lost motivation so quickly,” explained senior Mya Cermak. “Being a senior in this situation feels so unreal that it got to a point where everything doesn’t feel real.”

“There’s just so much work,” said freshman Colton Tooke. “I do most of it throughout the day, [but] it just feels like an inconvenience, and I’m not getting anything from it.”

Although online-based learning allows students more time to complete assignments in their own time, this also allows space for students to put off their work, and then have to catch up on assignments they missed or skipped later.

“While being in five AP classes and one honors class, I try to get a lot done,” Cermak said. “Up to this point, it was a vicious, mentally-straining cycle. It was hard to do homework throughout the day, so I will literally find myself completing homework from 12 A.M. until 5 A.M. and then getting just enough sleep to be able to check-in on time for attendance that day.”

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While many students have expressed their disinterest in continuing the courses online, sophomore Kilea McCants doesn’t mind the work. “It gives me at least something to do during the quarantine,” she explained. “It’s all in time management. When you get school done early, then you have the rest of your day [to do other things].”

Some ways students think they can boost their motivation again is to make work less time-consuming and have little incentives, whether from the school or from themselves. 

“Taking personal time for meditation and yoga was a huge boost for me because if I ever got overwhelmed, I would take 30 minutes to breathe, stretch, and regather my thoughts before continuing through my school work,” Cermak said.

For many seniors especially, school at this point has taken a huge toll on their mental well-being, which also plays a role in their lack of motivation. Teachers are very understanding of the situation, and are more than likely willing to work with students who reach out in need of assistance in these hard times. Social workers, school psychologists, and counselors are also on-call if a student needs help. Teachers are all very understanding and want to see all of their students pass, but if a student does nothing in that class, there is not much the teacher can do.