Are Students Losing Motivation?


Kaitlin Swift/

After a year and a half in virtual school, has the motivation of high school students returned?

 It’s a new year! Students are returning to schools, recharged and ready to learn after a much needed break. However, one crucial thing is missing from these students: motivation.

   Winter break is a blessing and a curse for students. Students get time to unwind after 3 months of vigorous education, but this time away from the classroom causes transferring back to be extremely overwhelming, not to mention end of semester stress. After such a long time away from the classroom, how can students be expected to return to classrooms as motivated as they were prior to winter break?

   “I would say I prioritize my schoolwork very well, but sometimes it’s way too overwhelming. Right after break, we came back not only online, but with so many new assignments that it was hard to keep up. Talk about a new year”, said freshman Shaniya Stevens.

   “I put school before a lot of things because teachers make it seem like the end of the world if you don’t. So, I’ve become more anxious if I don’t do anything and everything school related”, said a source who requested to remain anonymous.

   “I’m guessing this is mostly senioritis kicking in, but the fatigue of college applications and hard classes is really catching up. After being forced to be productive for the entire first semester, I don’t have much motivation to continue on to the second semester”, said senior Antonia Zong

   Virtual schooling had an impact on many aspects of student learning, but it can be especially seen in students’ work ethic. Being online made it easier for students to find shortcuts in their learning, and essentially cheat the system.

   “I definitely have gotten better at cutting corners when I can”, said junior Frankie Gilbert.

   “Virtual school definitely increased how often I procrastinate”, said sophomore Niah Lutz.

   Virtual schooling also had a large impact on student motivation. Students didn’t have the pressure that they would have in a regular school environment, and because of this, weren’t motivated to complete assignments.

    I don’t have as much motivation as I did before online school started. Nothing much has changed since in-person school started up again, and I’m not sure when I’ll be able to get my motivation back to normal”, said sophomore Caroline Becker.

   “Virtual school decreased my productivity and motivation, as I lost connection to my teachers and classmates, and found it extremely difficult to motivate myself to produce quality work”, said senior Arianna Morales.

   Although the transfer from online school back to in-person was a challenge, students have been thriving, in and outside the classroom. 

   I’m definitely less productive than I was before online school started regarding grades, but I’ve taken on sports so I’m more productive in that sense”, said Becker.

   “I’m actually more productive than I was before COVID, though it depends on the situation”, said freshman Blake Ilagan.

   “Virtual schooling and COVID have impacted the amount of assignments I can get done within a short amount of time, but I am still able to achieve the same amount of productivity throughout the day that I could pre-COVID”, said freshman Brianna Panchal.

   When asked whether they prefer in-person or virtual schooling, 80% of students surveyed answered that they preferred learning in person. Being back in the classroom environment has given students a sense of normalcy, allowing them to socialize and experience high school in a way that virtual schooling didn’t allow them to.

   “I feel more motivated to learn in person. The pressure of deadlines feels more real during in-person school”, said Zong.

  “ My classes each have a personality, so most school days in-person are fun and interesting. I am very easily motivated to produce work that I’m proud of when in the classroom”, said Morales. “I don’t feel frequently exhausted even though I’m just as overworked”.

  The return to a traditional classroom has proven to be beneficial for students. Getting to see teachers and friends, participating in school activities, and conducting school in a classroom has made students feel more motivated to learn. Now that they are back, students are ready for new beginnings and a fresh start in semester two.