The sun is shining, cicadas chirp summer’s song and the sweet scent of frangipani mingles with the salt air. Summer beckons and you realise the HSC is almost here. Are you motivated to study or do you;
A) Grab your surf board and head down to the beach?
B) Reach for a towel and head down to the pool?
C) Shove your wallet into your pocket and hit the shops?
D) Bury your head under a pillow and wish it was tommorow?
Ok, so perhaps none of those options appeal. Perhaps you leap out of bed, land at your desk and fire up the computer ready for a day sitting in front of a screen chatting to friends or playing games.
Or, just maybe, you are geared up, energised and motivated for a couple of hours study.
Regardless of which option you would choose, which option would you like to choose and, importantly, do you realise it is your choice to make?
Can you imagine being motivated to study? Do you think being motivated to study would make studying easier, learning fun and remembering a naturally occurring process?
Sound like a dream? Is it a dream you would like to live?
Hopefully you are intrigued because intrigued is a good place to start. From this place of curiosity it is possible to find a reason to want to know more. When you want to know more, you have a reason to study. Once you have a reason to study (one you value) the motivation to study naturally follows. When you want to study, and when you believe that study can help you can achieve your dream, you will enjoy the process of studying. And, as you know, when your emotions are positively engaged, you remember.
So, what are you curious about? What do you want to know? Write a list; be imaginative and allow your mind the freedom to dream up whatever questions it likes. The aim here is to allow yourself to believe you can learn about anything you want.
Now take a serious look at your list. Can you see any links to the subjects you study? These links may not seem obvious at first; however as you allow yourself flexibility of thinking you may start to notice a pattern. Use arrows, circles and coloured pens to take note of places where your curiosity intersects with your subjects. The links will be there, even if you need to use some lateral thinking to recognise them. For example you may want to know more about how to make money. This could link to Business Studies or Economics. You may want to know how to communicate more effectively with girls /boys. Can you can see a link to English (or the themes in your prescribed texts). Do you want to improve your skill at a particular sport? Maybe you can find a link to Biology or Physics.
This exercise aims to teach you something about your own interests, values and motivations. It is simply a slightly different way of identifying a study goal. You may even find yourself discovering a path which will lead you to a university or career choice. It is important to write down what you are thinking so that you accept this is a commitment you make to yourself. You may like to write commitment statements such as I will study ________ because I know it will help me on my path to learn how to _____________.
Be flexible in your thinking and happy to accept that some of the links are likely to be a stretch. This is a good thing because it will help you realise that sometimes, even if the benefits of a particular process or event are not obvious, with imagination and determination you can find a reason to delay immediate gratification. This is possible when you are willing to trust that the work you do now will yield rewards in the future. So even if learning ‘how a sense of belonging is conveyed in your prescribed text’ may not seem useful now, your study can create a knowledge and skill base which is likely to be useful when you need to develop a cohesive team environment later.
Begin to imagine the exams are simply a step to be climbed as you walk determinedly toward finding answers to your own questions and studywill become personally relevant.