Motivation: Is it all in the Family?

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Both inside and outside of the classroom, students find ways to push themselves to do their best.

There are a plethora of influences that provide varying degrees of pressure that either deter or inspire them.

One common source of pressure that pupils encounter is their family. In many cases, students blame their parents for their stress and claim that their parents just don’t understand. But for others, the pressure their family applies is a welcomed motivator.

Freshman Asiya Koli explains the indirect motivation that her grandfather gives her: “seeing how far my grandfather got without the education that I’m lucky enough to get, pushes me because it shows me that if I truly work hard and try to reach my dreams I could go places.” She added, “we seem to think that we know what we want and we’ll work for it without needing [our family] to constantly remind us, but their words are what push us even more.”

Sophomore Zayyan Alamgir also receives encouragement from his family but questions its value in comparison to more honest, blunt sources. He pointed out, “I love my parents and that can never change. What also can never change is that kindness is above honesty in the minds of my parents to keep me mentally positive.” While he acknowledges that his parents provide a motivational push him in their own way, he values the opinions of his peers more. “There is a difference between honesty and kindness, where honesty is above all. [My peers] tell me everything that breaks me and everything that empowers me. [While my family] always find a way for me to never lose in their eyes.”

Senior John Mullane said, “’My friends push me to do better but my parents deter me slightly…they have to let go sooner or later because they can’t push me when I’m an adult.” John attributes celebrities as his source of pressure as they have “dedicated their lives to be where they were and produced music that changed the world…[they] motivate me to change the world just as they have, whether it be in the same way, or in a totally different way.”

Senior Benny Simkha claimed, “my biggest motivator is my family as a whole…[but] at times it’s better for them to back off because after let’s say a bad test grade, the last thing you want to hear is them complaining…they know my capabilities and limits and they pressure me only until my limit.”

Family and other outside parties do not always serve as the most powerful driving forces for students. For some, the pressure and sense of determination they create for themselves prove to be their strongest source of motivation. In fact, Junior Benjamin Pulatov credits himself as his most substantial motivator. He stated, “I know better than anyone where my own shortcomings lie,” and argued that self drive is most beneficial because, “it provides you with full control over the outcomes you create.”

In the same way, Asiya believes that only she possesses the power to push herself when it comes to fulfilling her aspirations. She asked, “Why do I need someone else to tell me what my goals are and what I need to do to get to them?”

Junior Rifat Ahmed considers himself to be his most effective driving force and said, “I strive to be my own personal role model and understand the things I need to do in order to accomplish my goals.”

Asiya concluded,” I tend to do better and get better grades [when I seek motivation] because I stop fooling around and realize that I need to do my best if I really want to get those high grades. And that just goes to show that we need pressure to push us to work harder and do our very best.”