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Maintaining Motivation: A Student Perspective

Do Not Give Up written in scrabble letters

This piece was written by communication intern Britney Rodriguez. Britney Rodriguez is currently undecided in what major she wants to pursue. She sees it as a learning opportunity to discover more about the pathways available at Bakersfield College. During her free time she likes to play games, watch anime, and spend time with family. Britney’s dream one day is to make her own Webtoon.

What is motivation? It is something that keeps our spirits up during challenging times. It is the coffee that keeps us functioning during long stressful days. Something that gives us purpose to keep moving forward in life. It could also be how far we are willing to push ourselves to achieve results. Motivation is different for everyone. Some of us are motivated by a good grade, better health, and/or the beings in our lives such as friends, pets, family, partners, and coworkers.  

As a student,  there are times when I question myself. Is college really for a person such as me? Am I the only one who is falling behind? What am I even doing here? It is easy to think negative thoughts, but if I change my mindset things become more positive. I have to reword my thoughts. College is for everyone: no matter our age or gender. Everyone learns differently, some at a faster or slower pace than others. If I am struggling, then I will keep on trying until I succeed. And I am going to school to improve the quality of my own life. 

I have been struggling to keep motivated during this semester. I feel that I could be doing a lot better than I currently am. I underestimated the difficulties of my classes and assumed they would not be that bad. Even so, I do the best I can and instead of feeling bad, I reflect. What is it that is affecting me more than usual? It could be the pressure I am feeling, or it could be unknowingly putting myself down. A lot of times when I’m facing this internal conflict I find it helps talk to someone so I can let off all the pent-up feelings instead of letting them grow further. We can also journal to find that peace of mind. 

Currently, I am enrolled in a math class which is a subject with which I struggle. I recently had a big exam.. As I prepared myself for the exam,I spent hours studying the course materials and lecture videos. On the day of the exam, I started getting nervous and my mind went blank. I could not think. And I was about to give up. After a while of overthinking, I calmed down and continued the test. I thought, “If I fail, then so be it. At least I put in the effort and finished the exam.” I came close to crying in class, but when I was in the safety of my car, I started laughing. I spoke with my mother, and she told me something important: “It doesn’t matter how many times you fail, what matters is that you get up and try again.” 

At times, no matter how disciplined or motivated we are, we can still face struggles in our classes. Mental health can get in the way of our motivation causing us to not concentrate or forget information. All the stress can eventually lead to burnout which affects school or work making it a necessity to make sure you are taking care of yourself mentally and physically. It is important to think positively and be optimistic about our efforts. If by chance you are struggling to find motivation, please remember that sometimes it is okay to fail at times and that life is unpredictable. 

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