Research, Student Life

Student motivation

March 20, 2013


During one of the meetings, student motivation came across as one of the topics.

It is always fascinating to think, what motivates another person. How could you know, you are not him/her?

I started with myself – what motivated me to study back then and how did it changed now, after working for few years.

At some point I was studying for the grades. Memory is very subjective to when it comes to remembering own experiences, but it feels it was stressful time of worries about anything lower than 4. With time passing by and many things/interests/people appearing in my life, I noticed that doing good in everything is not very motivating. Just doing good no matter what consumed a lot of energy without really providing me with sufficient payback. Then, somewhere around third study year, I found out that focusing do miracles. By focusing on something particular, all the rest becomes relevant and connected to the subject in focus. Focusing helped me to stream my energy into the field I was interested in and, after some time I noticed that Knowledge and Understanding became the key motivators for me. I remember spending few evenings with a thickest-ever-study-book in basic chemistry and having the “whooa” feeling at some point simply from the fact that suddenly pieces of the puzzle clicked together and I understood what they were trying to explain. It took me twice lukio course in chemistry (one in Russia and one in Finland), studying in Arcada and then in University of Helsinki the basics in chemistry and few years of applying these basics in my own project at work, so that that one evening reading AGAIN was it the mole concept I had a feeling that I got it (I’m probably very slow in learning :)). I mean, I was using the concept for years. But I was using it without understanding and it was BORING and then I got to understand a bit more about it and it became INTERESTING 🙂

I don’t understand a lot of things, involved in my work. Sometimes it is relations between people, subordination questions, effect of moods and characters of people that complicate the flow of work. Sometimes theory is too complicated for my level. Sometimes experiments do not go as expected or I get lost in amounts of data and don’t know how to interpret the results. Whatever it is, it does not matter, because it is interesting to know what happens next. What will be the answer, when I find it? How will we solve this problem that seems unsolvable today? Can we do anything to help our students to feel more motivated with their studies? 🙂

Questions – are my motivation today. And possibility to apply the answers in real life. To understand, to do, to create.

What motivates you?