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Learning how to learn
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2.2 Your motivation

Activity 2

Why did you decide to become a student and what do you hope to gain from your studies?

Think about this question for a few minutes and then note down your response.


Have you recorded only one reason for why you became a student or are there several reasons? Have your reasons for studying changed since you became a student? What you want to gain from studying may be something very specific (like promotion) or perhaps very personal (like increased self-confidence).

Here is what Tim wrote:

I've always worked with computers but I actually have a dream. I'd like to be a teacher. I'm particularly interested in music and history. I suppose I'm also attracted to the idea of being able to say that I've got a degree - it'll make me feel good about myself. I hope that doesn't sound as if I'm not interested in the content, because I'm also looking forward to learning new things! This year is just a starting point to achieving my long-term goals.

This is Sue's response:

Decided to be a distance learning student because I'm a nurse and work shifts. The distance learning system seemed to suit me. Wanted to do psychology degree. Chose Biology, brain and behaviour as the course title sounds good and the description appealed to me. Might do science degree. This course relevant to psychology and science degrees.

Most students have a mixture of reasons for studying, some more dominant than others. And many students find their motives change over time. It is a good idea to pause occasionally and review your motives because being aware of them may affect your attitude to study and how you organise it. When things seem to get difficult, reflecting on your reasons for being a student may help you reorganise your priorities.