What keeps students motivated in high school?


Madison Samber, Treasurer

Today in school, it’s common to hear that students are “burnt out” or “worn down.” We all lose motivation at some point whether we realize or not, but what causes that? Whether it is the loss of interest in a topic, the feeling that no matter how hard you try in an activity it isn’t enough, or is it simply that you no longer care about something you used to be passionate about; being able to have constant motivation is difficult and doesn’t always happen. Students are faced with boredom or uninterest very often throughout their school day and activities, and that leads to the question: what keeps kids motivated? 

According to healthline.com, “People search for the most prevalent trait they have and group themselves with others who have it. In a bid to make friends and fit in with their chosen groups, they mimic the behavior they see.” 

Children often follow what people around them do. If a student is a part of a social group that studies, is active in the community, and cares about education, that student is likely to do those things as well and prosper. However, if a student is around other students who do not care about school and are not participating in any extracurricular activities, that student is likely to also not participate within school. 

Students are motivated by expectations, future college opportunities, and accomplishments within academics and athletics. If a student does not have these reasons to stay motivated and work hard in school, it is unlikely that they will put in as much effort as those who do. 

“I think the reason for my good academic performance is mostly on me wanting to excel in the future and be able to hand pic what college I pick to go to. It’s also due to my friends who I want to always keep up with or be ahead of them. This is not because I want to beat them, it’s just some friendly competition,” said Joseph Cramer (9). 

Also, many students stay motivated throughout high school by thinking about what comes after graduation. 

95.8% of students said they plan on attending a college after high school. 



“Staying motivated is important to me because if I don’t, I’ll fall victim to feeling unproductive and unsuccessful, which hurts my mental health,” said Kaelyn Ripani (12). “Motivation has gotten me into my dream school, and I plan to consistently stay motivated while in Nursing School for the next 4 years.” 

All students that plan on attending further schooling, must meet their chosen colleges standards in order to be accepted. Having motivation to maintain good grades and participate in extracurricular activities is needed in order to meet the requirements of attending a college. Students striving towards more competitive schools, or even ivy league colleges, must be the best of the best from their class. 

I have a good academic performance because I push myself really hard for the sake of my future. I know that if I put in the work, it will pay off.

— Kyleigh Schaefer

It is common for students to worry about their future and want to achieve as much as they can in order to accomplish their goals. However, sometimes no matter how hard a student tries to get things done, there is not enough time in the day to do everything. An overwhelming schedule can lead to students wanting to quit and loss of motivation. 

“I play 3 sports and I am involved in 5 clubs, on top of 5+ honors classes,” said a freshman at Norwin High School. “It can become very overwhelming because I don’t always have time to study for big tests or complete homework, or get enough sleep.” 

A schedule that includes this much can be overwhelming, especially for someone in their first year of high school. Often, students want to achieve as much as they can, yet forget to pace themselves and make sure they still have time for relaxation and social activities that aren’t school related. If a student feels too overwhelmed early on in high school, it is likely they will lose motivation faster than students who do not do as much.

Almost every student will lose motivation at some point throughout high school, it is normal and it means that you are applying yourself and trying hard. However, the constant feeling of no motivation may be the result of a school day that is filled with too many advanced classes for one person to handle, too many sports that can lead to exhaustion, or too many extracurricular activities that overlap and interfere with one another.