Journalist and Writer
Hilary Wilce specialising in all aspects of education
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The Quandary - 22 Jul 2009

Iím doing A levels and supposed to be aiming at university, but Iíve got no motivation for what Iím doing.

Hillary's Advice

What you need to do is have a good, hard think about your future. Suppose you drop out Ė or mess up -- now? Itís a lose-lose situation. You will have wasted a year or two at school and be leaving without qualifications.

But if you study hard and get your A levels, your options are still wide open. You could work, save and go travelling and take time to work our what you do want to do. Or you could take a job. Or think about switching to a different course at university. And whatever you choose, youíll never have to slog through A levels again, and they will always be there when you need them in the future.

Motivating yourself will also take some tough thinking. What most stops you from working? Boredom? Distraction? Pressures from friends? And what would help you overcome these problems? Working in short bursts? Drawing up a timetable? Studying with a friend? Devising treats and rewards?

Try and change the voice in your head. Donít tell yourself that your lessons are boring and a waste of time. Instead think of each of them as one more step towards your goal. Practise working one hundred per cent when you work, and relaxing one hundred per cent when you switch off.

More than anything, find someone you can talk to about this. It might be a teacher, tutor, counsellor, or even just a friend, but enlisting outside support will help you get on track.