If your motivation to study is low at the moment, learning why this is happening can help you change things. Here are some common reasons you may be putting off your studies, and how to change that.

Short-term vs Long-term satisfaction

If you procrastinate your studies to do something enjoyable like browsing social media or talking to friends, you’re choosing your short-term satisfaction over what’s better for your long-term success. Studying may not be fun in the moment, but the long-term benefits of it - such as getting into a good varsity or winning an award - are great.

In order to combat short-term thinking, consider doing a “detox” where you switch off from all devices and distractions for a day or two. You should also consider getting rid of any habits or addictions which may be holding you back. Think about the short-term satisfaction differently, and remind yourself that it likely won’t serve you in the long run.

You don’t see the point

You may be told by your parents, teachers and community that school is important, but you may not necessarily believe this to be true. If you’re struggling to find meaning in any of your activities (even ones you used to enjoy), this could be a sign of burnout or, in some cases, mental illness.

To deal with this reason for feeling unmotivated, write down some reasons why doing well in school is important to you. Think about the life you’d like to have, or who you’d like to eventually become. Recognise that doing well in school will open up opportunities for you, and make your life after school much easier and less stressful. Your reasons don’t have to be what your parents, friends or anyone else believes. They should be your own personal goals you set for yourself. If you’re worried that your feelings may be a sign of something more serious, please visit the SA Federation for Mental Health for more information or phone one of these helplines.

You’re passionate about something else

Whether you’re a dedicated sports player, or perhaps an artist or musician, you may feel like it’s ok for studying to take the back seat to your passion. While being completely dedicated to a passion that’s not academic can be a great thing and we encourage you to go for your dreams, studying is still an important aspect of your life which you shouldn’t neglect. Getting good grades gives you a plan B, and more stability in life in case your primary passion doesn’t work out.

To balance out your passion with your studies, it’s important to create a study schedule for yourself and get organised. In this way, you won’t need to sacrifice one thing or the other, and you can succeed at both.

If any of these reasons resonate with you, don’t give up. Believe in your abilities to be a great student, and put some effort into studying every single day. For more study advice, tools and resources, check out our other High School Study articles.

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