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Losing all of my intrinsic motivation right before I'm about to start college?


Replies to: Losing all of my intrinsic motivation right before I'm about to start college?

  • wis75wis75 Registered User Posts: 13,892 Senior Member
    Ditto on the above. Always remember you belong there. Half of the students need to be in the lower half by definition. They intend for you to succeed. Most college students will get lower grades in college than in HS. They took the best and that crème de la crème will sort itself out again. You are one of those- who knows if you may again be among the top students. Just be sure to take advantage of any help from tutoring to writing labs to adjusting to life at your school. Congratulations on being an elite student!
  • oldfortoldfort Registered User Posts: 23,005 Senior Member
    Most students who come from large and below average public schools do not think they have the right to ask their teachers for extra help. Whereas students from small private schools are accustom and expect to ask their teachers for help whenever they need/want it.
    My kids went to a small private high school and a very large Uni. Their teachers in high school gave out their cell, home numbers and emails to their students, and they met with the students before and after school for extra help. My kids continued to seek out help from their professors when they went to college because that's what they were accustom to.
    D1 was not as a good of a writer in high school, she was more of a STEM student, but as a student at an A&S school, she had many research papers to write. She would meet with her professor to go over her topic, outline and paper before she turned it in. It was a very good learning opportunity for her, but she also got a lot of brownie points for meeting with her professors. She got very good grades for her effort, and after all, with that much input from the professor, there is no reason why it wouldn't be a good paper.
    One thing I always told my kids was to not to fall behind, don't try to cram everything in the last minute, and be prepared so they could get more out of class lectures.
    The first year maybe tougher for students who came from less rigorous high school, but it will level out after a year or two. Adcoms are pretty good at identifying students who could excel at their school.
  • MiamiDAPMiamiDAP Registered User Posts: 16,184 Senior Member
    Motivation is only one tool that could be utilized in lack of all others. If you lost it, do not focus on this fact. Just go to every lecture and be prepared for every class. Do your homework! You homework is not only certain assignments, it is also very helpful for some classes to read ahead or do whatever it takes.to understand all concepts in the class. including all academic help available at college.
    Now, if you think that all employees always have some motivation to get up in a morning and go to work, you are wrong! So, welcome to the real world, not everything is driven by motivation, forget about it. Some of it is a habit, some of it is pure sense of responsibility. You are investing ton of money and time into 4 years of college, be responsible ADULT to NOT WASTE these precious resources that could have been devoted to something else (so, there is also a huge opportunity cost).
    If you enjoy a process, great! If not, then still have to go thru because YOU CHOOSE to do so.
    Have a plan and take one day at a time. Do not look too far and too deep. It is a straight forward process. Do your best in everything that is on your plate for today and sleep well knowing that you had a great day no matter what obstacles (lack of motivation is one of them) and how many were on your way.
    Forget motivation, it is not what it takes! Best wishes!
  • madamecrabstermadamecrabster Registered User Posts: 182 Junior Member
    How you do in college is absolutely in your control!
    That is the simple answer.

    My advice is not to overload yourself with really difficult courses that first semester. Give yourself time to adjust to the freshman experience which will most likely be more academically challenging than high school. Do chose courses that you find interesting and exciting so you can give yourself the chance to get into that intellectual mindset that you enjoy. Look for a mentor, which is often assigned to incoming students anyway, so you have someone to talk to about any worries you have as you go through that adjustment.
  • JHSJHS Registered User Posts: 18,344 Senior Member
    1. My wife could have written almost exactly why you did the summer before she started college. Her standardized test scores were nothing special. She had been a good student -- never the best student -- at a pretty terrible high school where all but a handful of her classmates, if they went to college at all, went to community college or a not-so-well regarded in-state public university. She had never written anything longer than five pages, handwritten (not typed). She didn't know a lot of cultural things, except for music (which she was really good at). She was certain everyone at her college would be smarter and more cultured than she.

    She graduated summa cum laude, and was admitted to Phi Beta Kappa as a junior. She never lost her sense that she had to work twice as hard as everyone else just to keep up. But when she put in the work, she did a great job of learning what she had to learn. She never became a beautiful writer, but she learned how to communicate ideas effectively. And she found she had ideas; there were things she cared about.

    2. The whole idea of grade deflation (and inflation) is completely over-hyped, on CC and elsewhere. There may be a minimal difference between median GPAs at Princeton (famous for grade deflation) and Brown or Harvard (famous for the opposite), but that hardly means that Princeton graduates do not do absolutely fine in the real world and in the competition for places in graduate schools. You can get a perfectly fine GPA at a college known for academic rigor and tough grading.

    3. What you don't need from college is a perfect GPA. You don't have to be the best in your class in college to have a successful college career and -- much more important -- a successful life. The world is really big, and there are places and satisfying careers waiting for anyone who is smart, works hard, retains focus, and knows how to learn things well.
  • MiamiDAPMiamiDAP Registered User Posts: 16,184 Senior Member
    " What you don't need from college is a perfect GPA. "
    - in some tracks, perfect or close to perfect GPA is a must or you are derailed. And this is the fact that some students are faced from day #1. There is no way that this group succeed if they do not have at least a goal of A in every single class. It may not happen, but the goal cannot be lower. So, while it is not for everybody, there are certain groups that have to strive for perfection or be out.
  • MarianMarian Registered User Posts: 13,218 Senior Member
    in some tracks, perfect or close to perfect GPA is a must or you are derailed.

    Premedical and preveterinary, yes, but is there anything else that fits this description?

  • MiamiDAPMiamiDAP Registered User Posts: 16,184 Senior Member
    I knew only about pre-meds, I do not know anything else. However, why not to strive to do your best whatever you are doing? It is a great habit to have and it is extremely rewarding personally, so reward yourself in a way that nobody else can, be your best friend.
  • MarianMarian Registered User Posts: 13,218 Senior Member
    However, why not to strive to do your best whatever you are doing?

    Because you can't do your best at everything. You have to make choices and set priorities.

    And because "doing your best" can easily degenerate into "protecting your GPA" -- by which I mean avoiding taking courses that you might not do well in.

  • compmomcompmom Registered User Posts: 10,613 Senior Member
    edited June 2015
    I just reread your post and wanted to share that as a parent, reading about the curriculum and expectations at the schools where my kids were going, i felt anxiety so I can understand how you are feeling. It really is just pre-entry anxiety. Once on campus, you will be dealing with actual human beings not imagined ones, the classes will be stimulating, and things will be fine. If you continue to feel anxiety seek help early- people can both help and accommodate you if asked.

    When we went to an accepted students day at an Ivy, I would say half the kids we met said "I don't know why they accepted me." The other half was more confident and informed us of how they were choosing between MIT, HYP etc. I found the first group a lot more appealing :) They have all graduated by now.

    Again, you are a great writer and should do fine. Don't worry about grad school. Most don't expect A's in everything but look for true interest in the subject being studied. LIve in the present for awhile, explore, and thing of it as pleasantly challenging.
  • MiamiDAPMiamiDAP Registered User Posts: 16,184 Senior Member
    "Because you can't do your best at everything. " - Why not?
    it is just a matter of choice. If you choose to do so, then of course, you can. If you choose not to do so, then you will not. Just saying in general that "you can't" is wrong, it is saying that there is no reason to try impossible. It is NOT impossible. Do not close this door automatically.
  • JHSJHS Registered User Posts: 18,344 Senior Member
    I don't think it's accurate at all to say that people who want to go to medical school or veterinary school (or law school, for that matter) need anything like a "perfect" GPA. They need good GPAs, yes, especially in core prerequisite courses. They need good MCAT or other relevant test scores. But a B+, or even two, in an important course is not a kiss of death. (Friends on medical school admissions committees insist that a C+ in Organic Chemistry is not fatal, either. I'm not sure about that, although I'm sure they are expressing what they would like to be true.
  • MarianMarian Registered User Posts: 13,218 Senior Member
    "Because you can't do your best at everything. " - Why not?

    Because there are only 24 hours in a day.
  • Elizabeth1315Elizabeth1315 Registered User Posts: 177 Junior Member
    edited June 2015
    As a rising college freshman entering an elite school, I feel the same in a lot of ways. One of the reasons I chose my school is that I felt many of the students shared my passion for learning. I come from a public school in one of the worst counties in terms of education in the state, my scores were just below the 25th percentile, and I often find myself feeling inadequate when I think about what some of my future classmates have already done. While I can't necessarily help alleviate some of the stress and anxiety because I'm not sure how to do it myself, I'd like to share with you some advice I've gotten from others.

    1.) After I was accepted into this school ED, I messaged a former classmate of mine who is now attending Duke. Including her and myself, only three people from my school in the last several years have attended a top 20 school, so I wanted her perspective on how well-prepared she was. She said that while the work was hard, it was by no means impossible. As she said, there is a prevalent notion at top schools that some students are effortlessly perfect, meaning they get A's without studying too much. This is simply not true. While there may be some students who are able to do this, the vast majority (nearly all) who are successful, must work very hard. One thing that is important to recognize is that it's okay that you're struggling or feeling inadequate because everyone, seriously everyone, struggles at some point. However, you must not let it define you. As others on this thread have mentioned, you must be confident in your abilities.

    2.) Another thing she shared with me was something I hadn't heard many (if anyone) say before. During your first semester, don't join too many extracurricular activities. Join one or two, but you want to focus primarily on making the academic and emotional transitions first. College is a big change, one that we can't necessarily prepare ourselves for. There's no need to do everything in your first semester and make it even more overwhelming.

    3.) I talked about my fears with one of my teachers, as well. My teacher stressed the importance of going in with my eyes open, meaning recognizing the challenge ahead of me, which is something I think you're doing. It's important that we are aware that, yes, college will be harder and we will have to work hard, maybe even harder than some others. There will be people who are smarter than you, but it is always that way in life. And knowing this going in is beneficial because now we can focus on making the transition and being "our best," rather than worrying about being "the best." It's important not to compare yourself too much to others, especially in college. Be competitive primarily with yourself, not others.

    4.) Finally, my teacher also wanted to be sure that I talk with my professors. I often went into this teacher's classroom to discuss an assignment or ask for help in improving my writing, and I can't tell you enough how much that helped me. My teacher reassured me that it is no different in college. Your professors have office hours- use them.

    As someone who shares your love of learning, I want to express that I sincerely hope you don't let yourself lose that part of you because of pre - college fears. I've talked with some of my future college classmates who feel the same way as you and me. Everyone experiences this fear, but you were admitted to this school because they believe you can succeed there, and you can. Relax for now, enjoy your summer, and get excited for the next four years!
  • MiamiDAPMiamiDAP Registered User Posts: 16,184 Senior Member
    "Because you can't do your best at everything. " - Why not?
    Because there are only 24 hours in a day.
    - Amount of time spent on something does not quarantine it to be done in the worst or best possible way. Everybody knows that. 24 hours in a day has nothing to do with the goal of being best at everything. this goal is just a matter of choice and nothing else and setting artificial limitations for yourself is NOT a good way to start anything, let alone such important thing as college. Nope, you have to have a fire within yourself instead of putting yourself in a box. Thank goodness that many thousands of college students do have this fire and achieve at their very best and not only academically.
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