study do's and don'ts to stay motivated for high school students

Motivation is a key element for any kind of success. It is true to say self motivation is the most powerful form of incentive to do well. Self motivation comes from within. It is that driving force within yourself.

Here is a saying that resonates well with self motivation.
“You can take a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink!”

High school students should have reached a level of maturity to understand that they need to motivate themselves in order to take advantage of their high school education. The opportunities for personal academic growth are there, but how does the average child stay motivated to get the best from their high school years.

Here are some do’s and don'ts to help students be more motivated at high school.

1. DO:

Sit down and set some personal goals. Have an idea of what your small, medium and long term goals are for the year. At the beginning of the year map out some intentional aims and think of the ways you plan to behave to reach your goals. When you have a game plan then staying motivated makes sense because you know how you are going to get to point B from point A.

2. DON’T:

Find your self drifting around the school campus with no real idea of how you are going to get the best out of the time you have at high school. Setting targets for yourself is a great way to motivate your personal journey to success.
“Don’t count the days – make the days count.” is a quote from Muhammad Ali that is worth remembering to encourage planning and focus everyday.

3. Do:

Make sure you are organised. Have the right times for your lessons and the right days for your sport or homework. Check your stationery. Do you have everything you need for your written work and studies? When you are well equipped you are motivated to work.

4. Don’t:

Wander around thinking everyone is going to come to you. Make sure you are organised. High school demands more personal responsibility of students. Don’t neglect to have your timetable and study times organised. Don’t waste time because you are disorganised and unprepared to attend the required classes.

5. Do:

Motivate yourself through a study group or pairing up with another student. Working together with other like minded people is very motivating. They can pull you up when you are struggling and help you reach goals as you work together. A study buddy is a great motivator because you can work together on different projects and work towards achieving success at school.

6. Don’t:

Ignore the help and support of your peer group. It can be very motivating to speak about your work and your difficulties with the other students in your group. They maybe struggling with the same problems and then you can reach solutions together. Don’t underestimate the power of working together.

7. Do:

Develop good listening skills and pay attention to what is being said in the classroom. When you listen carefully and stay in tune with what is happening you are motivated to follow instructions. Listening, with the intention of knowing how to perform in high school will motivate you to stay focused, and on track everyday.

8. Don’t:

Get distracted by other activites or pupils who draw your attention away from what you should be focused on. It is very easy to get pulled away from what you should be listening to and tune into something else. Keep you mind and your ears listening to what is important and pertains to the subject, or topic, you are studying.

9. Do:

Try to think differently. When you approach problems from a different angle you may suprise yourself with the results. It is called, ‘thinking out of the box.’

Albert Einstein said:
“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”

Finding ways to solve problems will motivate you to feel more confident about your work and being able to overcome obstacles. 

10. Don’t:

Fall into the trap of thinking there is nothing you can do about a given situation and therefore you will not try to overcome the obstacles in your way. Negative thinking is not motivating. Look for opportunities to work with your classmates as a positive team ethic will boost your morale and help you find solutions to the problems you may have.

Most importantly, surround yourself with all the positive aspects of school and develop the study skills you need to stay motivated. Work together with fellow students as you aim to fulfill your personal goals.


Whether your child is looking to catch up, keep up or excel, we've got a tutoring program to help. Build your child’s confidence, gain motivation and improve results with Tutor2you's personalised tutoring.

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