Mirador Investigates Miramonte Motives

Mirador Investigates Miramonte Motives

L. Berndt

Ali Pietrykowski, Photo Editor

Every day students talk about how they spent six hours writing a paper for English or stayed up until 2 a.m. studying for a test. There are many factors that motivate Miramonte students to do these things, but these often change over the course of high school.

After surveying a random sample of students, the number one motivating factor was college. Fourty nine percent of students are working for their future.

“The fear of not getting a good job and becoming an alcoholic homeless man motivates me,” one junior said.

Sixty-seven percent of freshmen said that college is the number one thing that motivates them. Upon entering high school, the talk of AP and honors classes as well as exposure to upperclassmen who talk about nothing but college, freshmen begin to understand what their grades mean.

Thirty-nine percent of sophomores agreed with the freshman that they are working for college. However, the second factor most motivating to them was the satisfaction of a job well done.

The results are unsurprising. But is it a good or bad thing that college is the number one motivator? Is getting into college all that matters in life?

Schools like Miramonte tend to inflict this view onto their students. The fact of the matter is that school (specifically college) isn’t everything. In the long run, all that matters is a student’s happiness.

But Miramonte students disagree. Sixty-seven percent of juniors chose college as the number one thing that motivates them, while only 11 percent chose the satisfaction of a job well done option.

If the students are working for nothing more than a college acceptance letter, then what stops them from plagiarizing or cheating? It seems many students don’t value their work. They consider it busy work and nothing more.

Learning is no longer the goal, and that is rather upsetting.

Many students also wrote that fear motivates them. Be it fear of failure, not getting a job, “my parents wrath” or something of the like.

It is blatantly clear why so many students are unhappy and constantly stressed. To them, enjoying the material and thinking about what they are learning in a sense that goes beyond busy work is unimportant. They need their A and that’s all that matters.

While all of this is true, things do get better with age. For seniors, 37 percent said that college motivates them the most and an equal 37 percent said that the satisfaction of a job well done motivates them.

As time goes on and students actually get into college, they realize the value of their work. They will go to college with this motivating them and will most likely be more fulfilled in their future endeavors.

Miramonte does a great job of encouraging students to start thinking about their futures early on. But students desperately need to realize that taking a step back and absorbing the things they are learning will bring them far greater success and happiness than mindless memorization to get an A.