Out of Juice: Students’ motivation declines in March


Credit: Elizabeth Zhong

The month of March has only a few days off from school, leading many students to fall into a static routine and a loss of motivation. “I have so much less motivation because I feel like everything piled up,” Donovan said. “[After] February break, I feel like it’s hard to get back into the swing of things and take things as seriously as I did at the beginning of the year.”

Sidney O'Rourke

With March well underway, many students have begun to lose motivation to keep up with grades and their activities. In March, there are only a few holidays off from school, and no restful weeks off to break up the month. By March, many students feel ‘burnt out’, and this year’s hybrid schedule that involves a strenuous amount of time with screens has only exacerbated the problem.

The beginning of the school year brought a little excitement for some students, as it gave them the chance to interact with others after a summer in quarantine.

“I was really happy for school, and I was excited to get back into the academic process,” junior Isabella Donovan said. “I was pretty excited about colleges and getting good grades in.”

Although the start of school year might have allowed for a break from the monotony that COVID-19 brought, some students believe their work ethic has tapered off as the year progresses.

“I went into [the beginning of] school really motivated, and I’ve slowly been [losing] motivation,” freshman Selena Liu said.

The lack of curriculum changes led some students to grow bored of the schoolwork they are asked to do. Junior Madeeha Syeda believes that the positivity she felt at the start of the year shifted as her days became the same.

“At the beginning of the year, I was excited to see how everything [was] going to work, but now it’s stagnant,” Syeda said. “There’s been nothing new or exciting.”

Donovan agrees with Liu about her motivation level decreasing as the year pushes ahead. She attributes the number of tasks she has to do with her drop in productivity.

“I have so much less motivation because I feel like everything piled up,” Donovan said. “[After] February break, I feel like it’s hard to get back into the swing of things and take things as seriously as I did at the beginning of the year.”

While Donovan acknowledges February break as a contributor to her declining motivation, Syeda is glad for the time off.

“I think February break was a much-needed break from all of the screen time we were having,” Syeda said. “We were just meeting deadlines for assessments and assignments, so it was a good break not to think about that.”

March progresses without many breaks from classes, but a positive change comes with rising temperatures. Warmer days would allow students to spend more time outdoors, which can also be helpful for COVID-19 guidelines.

“Right now, there has been nothing to look forward to, because you couldn’t go anywhere because you can’t hang out with a lot of people inside,” Syeda said. “But the warmer weather would make it so we could be outside more. That’s safer in terms of [COVID-19].”

While the warmth is an upcoming positive factor for some students, others believe that with COVID-19 still looming, there isn’t much else to look forward to for the rest of the year.

“Because of [COVID-19], there’s not much I’m [excited for] because there’s genuinely nothing we can do with [COVID-19],” Donovan said.

The school committee announced on Mar. 10 that both the middle school and high school would go back fully in person on Apr. 27. In-person learning will allow for a change in the hybrid schedule and possibly aid the motivation of students.

“[In-person learning] will motivate me,” Liu said. “I love talking with [teachers], and I feel like it’s easier to learn when you’re with them.

Both the COVID-19’s longevity and the long month of March have contributed to the lack of productivity in some students. Still, warmer weather and the return of in-person learning will impact many students’ lives in the future.

“[My lack of motivation] is definitely exacerbated because of [COVID-19],” Donovan said. “If [COVID-19] wasn’t a thing and we were all together, I feel like it would be easier to get through the school year because half of my friends aren’t there.”