Campus Life

Help for College Student Unmotivated to Finish Classes

Question: I’m currently a first year college student. Throughout the year, I haven’t had the proper mindset to study, but in two days, it will be my first final year paper. Considering the way I am now, I really do not have any motivation to do or even start studying for it and the three other papers in the coming month. Should I just take a breather right now and re-try once more in the new school term?

It’s impossible to tell from your question if you’re bored with school, stressed by school, or if you’re actually suffering from a clinical depression. But, whatever the reason behind your lack of motivation, I think that as soon as you read this message you should get yourself to your college’s counseling services. Almost every college has professional therapists on staff who will be able assist you (at no charge beyond what you’re already paying for tuition). This counselor can help you to sort out why you are so uninterested in your work and what your next steps should be.

If you don’t complete your classes, you will lose all the money that you’ve spent for this semester as well as the credit for the work you’ve done so far. It’s also possible that you will not be able to go back to school in the fall, even if you want to.


Moreover, if you leave school now with Incompletes or F’s on your transcript, these marks will stay on your record when you try to return to this college or transfer to another one. Although a transcript full of Incompletes or F’s certainly isn’t an automatic deal-breaker that will ruin your life, you can never “wipe the slate clean” by applying to a new college without mentioning your history at a previous one.

But if you see a counselor right away, he or she might be able to help you to cross the finish line this semester or–if not—the counselor could very possibly wangle you a mental-health leave-of-absence. This may allow you to get an extension on completing your final papers and exams so you don’t lose credit (and money) for all your courses.  At the very least, the counselor will provide support as you figure out your best plan for in the days just ahead … and beyond.

This sounds like a problem you can’t solve on your own, nor should you have to.  Many others have felt just like you do, and counselors are typically experienced in guiding confused students through this quagmire.

So call the counseling services NOW to make an appointment … or go there in person! Write back if you have any trouble doing this … and best of luck.