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Monday, April 15
The Indiana Daily Student


PERSPECTIVES: Student motivation across the board following winter break


As students come back to school following three weeks of winter break, it is common that many may find it hard to maintain motivation and focus. But others do not face obstacles. This is a result of intrinsic versus extrinsic motivation.  

IU assistant professor of psychological and brain sciences Ben Motz said extrinsic motivators include some reward at the end. On the other hand, he identified intrinsic motivators as personal goals that make up one’s identity. It requires genuine effort and interest. He said that for something to be a motivator, there must be a purpose, such as public affirmations.  

“It’s harder to be a motivated person if there’s absolutely no social incentive for it,” Motz said. “If you don’t have a peer group that values the things you’re doing academically, then it would be especially hard.” 

He said finding the value in the things ones does, such as reflecting on why one takes a certain class, is a part of finding meaning and rationale in the material.  

“There’s many different means for changing students’ motivation,” Motz said. “There’s diversity.” 

IU students returning from break express their conflicting motivation status.  

Freshman Olivia Ingogli said she feels exhausted and does not enjoy going to class as much because she did not have any work to do for a while. 

“I’m not in the groove of things right now,” Ingogli said. 

To combat lack of motivation, she gets up earlier in the morning so she can get ready and go on walks to get fresh air. She said writing down what assignments she has in addition to planning when to complete them helps her feel more in control academically.  

Senior Griffin Epstein said that even though three weeks gave him time to rest and reset, he still feels a bit overwhelmed walking around campus again. Even though it is inevitable, he finds ways to get back into the swing of things. 

“It takes a little bit to get into that zone,” Epstein said. “For me, playing music and getting in a quiet place helps.”  

He recommends finding a routine and setting time aside to recover from working. He said taking care of yourself and exercising helps maintain motivation as well. 

But other students do not find themselves in such a rut. 

Freshman Noah Sanchez said that he feels comfortable with his workload and has not experienced the shock of returning to school. Focusing on doing well academically helps him stay determined and on top of things. 

“I check that Canvas app a lot,” Sanchez said. “I hate seeing that little number next to it.” he said. 

Junior Adam Mohrs said his motivation has consistently increased over the years as he gets closer to getting a job in theater. Since he feels more pressure to be successful, he has had to prioritize certain things over others. 

“I’m motivated to cut some of those things because what I’m doing is something that I love,” Mohrs said. 

He said he found it less of a challenge transitioning back into the academic realm because he was occupied during break doing work for his career. For those struggling, he suggests that people keep their main goals in mind and reflect on what they can do now to help themselves move forward. 

“A big motivator that keeps me busy is the fact that this is all going to benefit in the long run,” he said. “Doing little steps to accomplish each task is going to go a long way.” 

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