This week in Psychology, we are discussing types of motivation and how various strategies could be applied to our own lives. Motivation often plays a large role in the decisions we make about our career paths, relationships and many other things throughout our life. For example, when applying to colleges I had many things which motivated me to choose the college I chose. When beginning the application process, I started out with applying to the much bigger, well-known schools in Texas. As I received acceptance letters and continued my search for the right college, I started to narrow down my options. It was starting to become apparent that I was drifting towards two particular schools in Texas. One, however, had about 40,000 students attending that college every year and the other had about 1,300. Although, this is a large difference in size, both schools had aspects that I really liked. What motivated me to choose Austin College, however, was how personal it seemed to be for the students, because of its small population size. I was also impressed by the many praises the college had gotten throughout its years. Being a liberal arts school, it covered many different areas of studies and it seemed like a perfect fit for me and my future endeavors.
Now that I have finished my first semester at Austin College and are in the middle of my second, I can definately relate to the many tired and overworked faces I often see on campus. As most students know, it can be hard to stay motivated in one’s academics throughout the year. I definitely have those weeks where schoolwork can feel very overwhelming and tedious, and almost like there’s no point in doing it. After I’ve had a week like this, I often take a step back and try to look at the bigger picture, the real reason why I am here. Although, there may be certain exams or projects adding to my stress right now, in a week I will be working towards new endeavors and goals. This mentality of pushing forward and looking beyond the present moment is what gets me through those difficult weeks of college. What motivates me greatly is the fact that I want to be here. My parents, although they encouraged it, did not force me to attend college. I am working hard in my classes, towards a degree, and although, it may feel like a struggle now, the end result and the experiences I have made and will make along the way are well worth it.
4 thoughts on “FIP – Motivation”
I had a very similar experience when going through the college decision process. I had a hard time choosing between a large university and a small liberal arts college. As you mentioned above when stating, “What motivated me to choose Austin College, however, was how personal it seemed to be for the students” — I too loved this about Austin College. I had grown used to being in a smaller school setting and to jump into a larger university would have been a not so great idea. When discussing motivation, though, I would say my college decision was based on how motivated I felt at that given moment to succeed. I think motivation “often plays a large role in the decisions we make” because it gives us the drive that we need to evaluate and execute in a way that is best for us as individuals. Overall, I enjoyed your post but I think it would have been interesting to see your thoughts on the different principals of motivation and how you may have already applied them to your life.
I really enjoyed reading your blog post! We both had a similar motivation for coming to Austin College! Like you, I wanted to attend a school were I could make personal connections with those on campus instead of getting lost in the crowd. This plays into the psychological motivation of affiliation. It describes our need to find connections with others.
You also talked about looking at the bigger picture in moments when our motivation is running low. I think this is great! Keeping the bigger goal and the purpose we want to accomplish in mind is related to the concept of self-actualization in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. This is our need to feel accomplished and achieve one’s full potential. Concentrating on this is great motivation since it refocuses our efforts on what really matters to us and our goal in life.
Your post was great and you made a lot of interesting comments and points!
I found it really interesting to hear about your experience here at AC! As a sophomore I can tell you that it does get harder to continue pushing through because the courses you start to take are higher level, but at the same time you are growing and learning what fits best with your range of interests making it easier for you to apply yourself. I also talked about seeing the “bigger picture”, and how thinking about the end result and the rewards from my hard work is what motivates me to push myself harder each day. I think that pushing yourself with this “bigger picture” in mind applies to the Incentive Theory because by moving on and pushing yourself to do good , makes you feel statisfied. According to our textbook, the Incentive Theory states that engaging in certain types of behaviors causes individuals to feel satisfied. The primary and secondary incentives are the rewards or punishments or cues that can be viewed as rewarding or punishing respectively. The satisfaction you get from “wanting to be here” are those secondary incentives because you feel rewarded as you accomplish your daily goals. You start to realize that what you are learning in college will help you get a degree , which later on will open opportunities towards a great career and earing a good salary. Then you start to associate your earning salary to all the things you can purchase with it , which in turn causes it to become cues that you see as rewarding. Like it said in the textbook money itself is not rewarding, but seeing that it can buy things that we consider rewarding is what makes it a rewarding cue. Pushing yourself is also correlated to Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs because college takes time. First you accomplished your goal of graduating high school, next the need to be accepted into college , and as you continue here at AC you are filling other needs higher up on this pyramid because you are taking higher level classes and getting closer to your highest need/end goal which is graduating with a degree.
I can really relate to your pull to attend Austin College. The small class size, ability to really get close to your professors and peers, and liberal arts focus were big factors for me, too.
Staying motivated can really be challenge sometimes. I think a lot of students at Austin College especially tend to get a bit burnt out because many of us are involved in so many things outside of challenging classes. I really liked the point you made about needing to take a step back occasionally to reevaluate why all of the work you’re doing is so important to your future goals. It can be easy to lose sight of that when you’re exhausted. This is your education and you chose to be here, so best to make the most of it!