“The greatest discovery of any generation is
that human beings can alter their lives by altering their
attitudes of mind.”
Faced with the demands of different courses and a myriad of readings,
projects and assessments, you often find yourself drained of energy
and stressed out before the semester is over and you may ask yourself:
“How can I stay motivated in my studies?” The answer
lies in developing a positive attitude towards learning.
Making sense of education
It is important that you find time to reflect upon what an education
means to you. What makes an educated person? What do you expect
to get out of your time spent the university?
Your answers would determine your approach to learning. If you
take a passive approach when studying, you are likely to be engaged
in memorising and cramming information just to do well in a course.
In contrast, an active approach will see you taking initiative to
seek understanding so that your intellectual paradigm goes beyond
paper chases: you think critically, you are open to new knowledge,
and you find pleasure in learning.
Motivation to learn
The meaning you ascribe to education will serve as your driving
force (motivator) in learning. Of course, from time to time depending
on the situation, you may have other motives for learning. To find
out more about what motivates you, ask yourself the following questions:
- Do I study solely for the purpose of getting a degree to advance
my job/career prospects?
- Do I study to prove my capability through academic grades?
- Do I study to satisfy my curiosity and learn new things?
Your answers to these questions would provide you with an indication
of your purpose of studying. With this knowledge, you can clarify
your goals of learning and commit yourself to taking steps to achieve
them. To stay motivated requires intense commitment and energy:
you need to demonstrate steadfast determination—even in the
face of obstacles!
Attitude towards learning
Making sense of what an education means to you and understanding
what motivates you in learning involve assessing your preferences
and making choices. As your choices are influenced by your attitude
towards learning, it is therefore important to adopt a positive
attitude to enable you to stay motivated towards your studies and
respond favourably to your learning experiences.
Just like motivation, a positive learning attitude is difficult
to develop and maintain. However, it is possible if you commit yourself
to thinking and acting positively. For example, maintaining a quality
of openness would allow you to see things beyond your existing paradigms,
inspire you to celebrate the joys of learning, and most important
of all, empower you to take control of your learning.
Staying motivated in your studies requires a clear purpose and
positive learning attitude. It is a conscious choice that you have
to make. By spending time to reflect upon what have been discussed
above, you can find a perspective to learning that would give you
fulfilment and pleasure in your learning experiences. The choice