A Vicious Demotivation Cycle Is Stopping Students From Realising Their Potential

Posted by Joel Vilanilam Zachariah in Campus Watch
July 23, 2018

Life in college is no walk in the park!

From the long hours spent in class each day to the avalanche of assignments, keeping up with academics is no easy task. Yet, we manage to take a chill pill and find easy ways out of our problems.

Stagnation of work in the club you’re a part of? Relax, someone else will do it. Assignment submissions tomorrow? We can figure it out tomorrow itself. Five days for the exam? Let’s wait till the evening.

Yet, in this escapist and laid-back attitude, there is silent acceptance of the fact that we are not tapping into our full potential. Being at your full potential means finding a sense of purpose with a burning will to achieve it. This is missing in quite a number of students because something stood in the path of success at some point. This hurdle convinced them that the path forward was meaningless, and turning away was the right thing to do. These issues are very serious because our entire nation gets affected when its youth do not reach their full potential.

So what are the issues faced by students? I present to you, the vicious demotivation cycle!


Students are afraid of what others would think if they pursued their goals.

The log kya sochenge (what will people think) attitude keeps many from even trying because they know that over a dozen eyes would be following each move. This is not quite the motivation one needs while climbing the hill of perseverance. This reminds me of the fable where two frogs had to race up a steep mountain, and both of them were scared but only one made it to the top because he was deaf and couldn’t listen to the fear and screams of the “cheering” crowd behind.

Students procrastinate due to the lack of purpose.

There is little incentive and motivation for many to pursue their tasks and stick to it till its completion. This, in turn, affects the output they produce. With no source of motivation, the student puts off tasks for another day because nothing seems to be working out for them.

Students feel they are inferior and give up entirely.

From time to time, these students see their highly skilled classmates and assume that they were born with their proficiency, be it in public speaking, or academic excellence. They feel like they can never match up. Alternatively, when they realise that it took these students years to reach this level of expertise, the laid-back student thinks, “No way will I finish this soon enough,” and moves on without even trying.

The key problem is that these thoughts bury deep into their minds and ruins their already low self-confidence. India loses several students who are unable to handle the stress. It all begins with the college’s competitive environment.

What is the solution?

The solution to these issues lies in helping students escape this vicious cycle and gain more confidence and self-esteem. College plays a great role in this transformative journey. Students must be provided with an environment that allows mistakes and offers a word of support when things fall apart. And finally, provide students with a purpose to move forward when they have tasks assigned, and reward them with at least a pat on their back when they complete it.

It takes time and effort to help them stand on their feet and gain confidence. Mental stability will create a strong foundation when others put in their insights and help out. We can gain a lot if we do our duty to unlock each student’s potential to make the world a better place, in any small manner.

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