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Losing Motivation

What you can do if senioritis takes over, especially if you’re not a senior

Published: Friday, February 8, 2013

Updated: Friday, February 8, 2013 19:02

When staff members like Elizabeth Rainey, director of Retention and Student Success, try to assist students who are struggling with a lack of motivation, they suggest the students ask themselves: Why did you come here? What do you hope to get out of your time here?
Brooks Zitzmann, staff counselor at the University Counseling Center, said helpful questions a student can ask when struggling with a lack of motivation are similar to Rainey’s: Where do I want to go? Why did I come to Loyola in the first place? Am I on track to reach those goals? How am I being a barrier to myself?
The trend Rainey has noticed with students losing motivation relates to adjustment. She said that when students live at home, their motivators are most often their parents. When they transition to college, even if living with parents, students are challenged to develop their own motivation and find out what their motivators are.

Though Rainey said she tries to motivate students to find their reasons for being here, preventive methods sometimes don’t work. “Most of the students come back to me and say, ‘I had to learn for myself.’ I think you need to have a stumble to learn from,” said Rainey.

Two factors Rainey said she sees influencing students who are losing motivation are faculty connections and involvement on campus. If a student has a good relationship with a professor or is in an extracurricular organization, that student is more likely to not lose motivation compared to a student who is not as involved on campus.

Zitzmann said she thinks lack of motivation is a sign of a deeper issue.

“Is it something about depression, a loss of interest in major, family problems or not wanting to be in the city anymore?” she said. According to her, distinguishing the difference in reasons behind loss of motivation is important in its treatment.

Zitzmann said sometimes a student’s lack of focus could stem from the student having more in his or her life than just being a student. “It can be stress-related to family or to work or illness. Sometimes it’s difficult to stay focused on being a student,” she said.

If this sounds familiar, a student should prioritize the issues that are affecting their work as a student in order to be able to focus on being a student, Zitzmann said. “By prioritizing those things first, it should make you a better student. That’s why it’s understandable when people take leaves of absence.”

Given the different situations and experiences students can have in college, Rainey said they should think deeply about why they are at Loyola. “Because there will be a hiccup, so you need to know what motivates you,” she said.

 

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