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The Science of Motivation: How to Keep Going When School Gets Tough

The Science of Motivation: How to Keep Going When School Gets Tough

It’s no secret that school can be challenging. From demanding assignments to tough exams, there are times when it’s hard to stay motivated. However, understanding the science of motivation can help you keep going even when school gets tough.

The Science of Motivation

At its core, motivation is the driving force behind our actions. It’s what pushes us to study for that exam, complete that assignment, or pursue our goals. The science of motivation is a complex field that encompasses various theories and factors that influence our desire to achieve.

One of the key theories of motivation is the self-determination theory, which posits that humans have three basic psychological needs: autonomy, competence, and relatedness. When these needs are met, individuals are more likely to be motivated and engaged in their pursuits. For students, this means having a sense of control over their learning, feeling capable of mastering their studies, and having meaningful connections with others in their academic environment.

Real-Life Examples

Let’s consider the story of Sarah, a high school student who was struggling with her math class. Sarah felt overwhelmed by the complex formulas and equations, and her motivation was dwindling. However, with the support of her teacher and peers, Sarah was able to regain her motivation. Her teacher provided her with personalized resources to help her understand the material, and her peers offered to study with her, providing a sense of relatedness. With this support, Sarah was able to regain her sense of competence and autonomy, leading to improved motivation and performance in her math class.

Taking a Storytelling Approach

Storytelling is a powerful way to convey the science of motivation. By sharing real-life examples like Sarah’s story, we can illustrate how the principles of motivation apply in a practical context. This approach can help students better understand how motivation works, and how they can apply these principles to their own academic challenges.

How to Keep Going When School Gets Tough

So, how can you keep going when school gets tough? Here are a few strategies based on the science of motivation:

Set Clear Goals

Setting clear, specific goals can help you stay focused and motivated. Whether it’s aiming for a certain grade on an exam or completing a challenging project, having a clear goal in mind can give you a sense of purpose and direction.

Seek Support

Don’t be afraid to reach out for help when you need it. Whether it’s asking a teacher for clarification on a topic or seeking support from friends and family, having a support network can provide you with the relatedness and encouragement you need to keep going.

Find Meaning in Your Studies

Try to find meaning in your academic pursuits. Whether it’s connecting your studies to your future goals or finding personal significance in the material, finding meaning can help make your studies more engaging and motivating.


Understanding the science of motivation is key to overcoming the challenges of school. By embracing the principles of motivation, setting clear goals, seeking support, and finding meaning in your studies, you can keep going even when school gets tough. Remember, motivation is not just a feeling – it’s a science that can be harnessed to help you achieve your academic goals.


Q: What if I’m struggling to find meaning in my studies?

A: It’s normal to feel disconnected from your studies at times. Try to explore different aspects of the material that interest you, or talk to your teachers about how the material relates to real-world applications. Finding meaning can take time, but it’s worth the effort.

Q: How can I stay motivated when the workload feels overwhelming?

A: Break down your tasks into smaller, manageable chunks, and celebrate your progress along the way. This can help prevent feelings of being overwhelmed and make your workload feel more manageable.
Enthusiastic and experienced writer with a passion for motivation, personal development, and inspiring others to reach their full potential. Known for delivering engaging and insightful content that resonates with a diverse audience.


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