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Unmotivated at School? Use These 5 Tips to Power Through

Student Life

If you're anything like me, you constantly fall into ruts wherein motivation to work diligently on my school work runs dry as a desert. When I lack motivation, not only does the quality of my work suffer, but school itself begins to feel monotonous. Every day feels like a chore, something I am forced to get through. Though school is, at times, strenuous to a great degree, it is important to fill your head with positive thoughts to get through the rough moments. These five reminders will serve as the push you need to get through difficult times at school.

1. What Are You Looking Forward To?

When school feels nothing but slow and burdensome, asking yourself, "What am I looking forward to?" will push you to think of the light at the end of the tunnel. Keep in mind that, after a few stressful weeks of school, there will always be something to enjoy. Maybe you have a gathering with friends or a family dinner on the horizon, or maybe you're going to a concert you've been looking forward to; whatever it may be, there is always something to enjoy at the end of a week.

Keep in mind that the stress and abundance of work you have now are not permanent and that, in the near future, you will have the opportunity to relax and have fun. If there's nothing planned, strike up some plans or maybe just give yourself a weekend to binge watch your favorite show and eat ice cream.

2. What's the Point of all This, Anyway?

I am definitely not a math or science person. When I have a math assessment I struggle to finish or an upcoming science quiz that's taking hours to prep for, I think of the subjects that I do enjoy, such as English and history. Along the same lines, I urge myself to remember that by the end of the school year, I will have increased my skills in my English and history classes.

Your end goal might be completely different. Maybe you want to become a better photographer, or maybe you are striving to become a stronger athlete. No matter what it is, make sure to reflect on what you are working to achieve by the end of the school year. But, more importantly, remember that the rough patches you are going through are necessary to fulfill wishes for yourself.

3. You Are Not Alone!

No matter how many Instagram posts you see of influencers constantly getting work done or how many snapchat story posts of classmates talking about hanging with friends while you're stuck doing work, no one is perfect and no one is productive all the time. Content that shows influencers getting up early to work is not necessarily true. It is essential to remember that the content you are exposed to is not a holistic representation of an individual's life. Remember: social media show the highlights of someone's life, they can control what you see.

Your peers and even the influencers you see on social media experience ruts where motivation flies out the window. Rather than comparing yourself to the productivity of others, strive to solely focus on yourself and what you can do to pull yourself out of a rut.

4. Why Are You Feeling Unmotivated?

Though spending time with family, journaling, going on long walks, baking, and more are all great activities to take part in when you feel down, they are sometimes not enough to become motivated again. While these activities are important to having a work-life balance and ensuring that you are prioritizing your mental well-being, taking time to also address the root issue is just as significant. To overcome a rut, you must think deeply about why you feel unmotivated. Have you been putting too much pressure on yourself? Do you not have a balance between your social life and school? Work to address your unique situation, as this is the only way to work through a rough patch. Once you understand the specific why, you can take steps to combat the struggle.

5. Don't Fight Your Unmotivation

While it is easy to become frustrated with yourself when you lack the motivation to power through assignments, quizzes, and tests, it is important to refrain from placing blame on yourself. Feeling unmotivated is not only common, but it is also normal. Instead of forcing yourself to continue working despite being unmotivated, take your lack of motivation as an indicator that you need to establish a balance between your life and school work.


Though it may feel as though you are stuck in a rut permanently, make sure to remind yourself that you are not. More than anything, remaining patient with yourself and treating yourself with kindness through difficult times is key to getting back motivation. I know it's cliche, but there are brighter and better days ahead. It may not feel like it now, but trust me, there are. I'm not saying there's gonna always be rainbows and sunshine in the future, there definitely will be low points and that's okay, but overall it will get better and you will get out of this rut. Be patient with yourself and don't be afraid to reach out for help.

If you're feeling depressed, anxious, stressed, or any other overwhelming emotion (whether it be related to school or not) - please don't hesitate to reach out to the following resources:

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (USA) - (800)-273-8266 -

Crisis Text Line - Text HOME to 741741 (USA), Text CONNECT to 686686 (Canada), Text SHOUT to 85258 (UK), Text HELLO to 50808 (IE) -

Teen Line (talk to a fellow teen about mental health struggles) - (800)-852-8336 (6 - 10 PM PST), Text TEEN to 839863 (6 - 9 PM PST) -

Mental Health Hotlines for Other Countries (Not USA & Canada) -

Sophene Avedissian
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Sophene Avedissian is a sophomore in high school. She writes for her school newspaper, Spyglass, the Los Angeles Times High School Insider, and the Youth Civics Initiative. During her free time, Sophene enjoys reading, playing soccer, and spending time with family and friends.