Motivation is a complex issue, with a number of causes and
solutions -- many of which are of interest to university
students, who usually know what they should be doing,
but occasionally complain that they "lack the motivation" to do
At this point, you get to do a little "self-diagnosis," so we can
point you in the right direction. If our first guess about what
you need isn't any help, be sure to check the other sections.
- "I did fine in high school and/or at work -- I wasn't late
and I was able to get things done on time, even if I didn't enjoy
doing them. But here, I can't seem to get organized." If this is
you, click here.
- "I get fed up with school. I tend to be apathetic, and
procrastinate a lot. Sometimes I feel alienated and school loses
meaning for me." If this is you, click here.
- "I get distracted a lot. There is always something to do
other than school -- and usually, it's more fun." If this is you,
- "Sometimes I wonder why I'm even doing this. I don't enjoy
it: it's not 'me'" If this is you, click here.
- "I get bored with studying. Often when I'm reading, my eyes
are tracking along, but nothing is sinking in, and before I know
it, my head is down on the table and I'm asleep." If this is you,
- "I have had a terrible term: something happened that was
totally out of my control (e.g. I was in an accident; my partner
dumped me; I was involved in a court case, etc.) and I was so
upset or distracted that I couldn't do my school work." If this
is you, click here.
The following handouts on writing papers are available at Counselling Services.
Self-diagnosis like this can be pretty unreliable. We are doing
our best to get you on the right track, but we recommend seeing a
Learning Counsellor for any motivational issue that interferes
with your school work. Click here for further comments on
diagnosis of motivational difficulties.
Updated: May 2012