Kelly Rowland Picture thanks to wikipedia

Motivation is something I have been thinking a lot about recently, and not just because two of my friends have become unreasonably obsessed with the Kelly Rowland song by the same name, despite the fact that the song was released at least a year ago. (Just a warning for anyone who may be at work and happens to be interested, the song errs on the side of Fifty Shades of Grey.)

The real reason I have been thinking about it is because I just don’t have any right now. Like none at all. For the first time ever, I didn’t hand in an assignment, knowing full well when it was due and how I should have completed it. The assignment was a pretty basic response to assigned reading that I needed to post on my ePortfolio. In the long run, it’s not going to affect my grade that much and in fact I’ll probably be able to ameliorate the situation pretty easily because my professor doesn’t actually grade my ePortfolio until the end of the semester; she  just noted that it wasn’t there. But that makes it even worse. With such a simple assignment, why haven’t I been able to just do it?

At this point in my time as a library science student, I have been in school for the past year. It seems like it’s just enough time for the thrill and excitement of being back in school and in a stimulating environment to have worn off. What’s left for me after the thrill is gone is the realization that I’ve made a huge time and energy commitment, on top of a full-time job.  I also realized that it’s going to take me longer than I had originally planned to finish my degree so the path  ahead feels long and far away.

In addition, one of my classes requires a 25 hour library observation, over the course of the semester. I’ve worked it out so that I can observe a library in my neighborhood for an hour and a half a week. So far the observation experience has been interesting, and the librarian I observe has been incredibly helpful and friendly. An hour and a half a week has been a very manageable amount of time to observe, but it’s also been enough extra time in my mind to justify coming home at the end of the day and not doing anything that is in any way related to libraries.

Does anyone have any words to wisdom to get me out of this library school-related rut? Any big pictures ideas to remind me of why we all decided to pursue this degree and what there is to look forward to on the other side? The rational side of me knows that the time commitment and work and on-time assignments will be worth it but my emotional side still needs to be convinced.

Categories: Honesty

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11 replies

  1. I see in your profile that your full-time job is teaching little kids. Friends of mine who teach little kids have commented that they will take as much energy as you have to give them. So you need some fresh energy from another source. Do you think you will like school library work better?

    I was working full time and doing library school part time and ran completely out of energy. I had no time or energy for social life or exercise. When my employer of 11 years hired a person to work in our library (I don’t work in a library, but my institution has a library) who has an unrelated master’s degree, I quit the program. Months later, I am still trying to get my energy back.


  2. That is why I love this blog — the posts are so timely! You are in my head right now, because I feel the same way. I’ve been in school for two years now (going part-time while working full-time) and I am so ready to be done… spring 2013 is my last semester though. I’m just not feeling motivated this semester, even though I’m interested in the course topics. I have a project due tonight that I haven’t finished yet, and I’m trying to decide if I will turn it in incomplete.

    Sorry, I don’t have any wisdom right now, but I will definitely be checking back to see what others say.


  3. Thank you for your post, it’s nice to know many of us are going through the same things. I am still very excited about my course work but I find it particularly hard to keep up my motivation when people everywhere so often tell me prophesies of doom about libraries and higher education.

    I spoke to a favorite professor about this yesterday and he told me, “you have to do what you love right now because now is all there is”. So I am trying to focus less on the long hard road ahead and more on what interests me about this subject today.


  4. ….I just got back from the Philippines because my 85 year old mom had two heart attacks and Im recovering from a cold and jet lag. People may say excuses, but I say: tired and worn.
    And, if you are at SJSU SLIS hearing from others (thankfully) that they passed their competencies that can be a little in your face. Just sayin.


  5. My sentiments exactly Celia! I have started of my 2nd year so sluggish without the will/want to do work. Perhaps its the coursework that’s intimidating this semester, or maybe even the fear in knowing that this is my last year and after this I’m going to need to find a job feeling that’s sinking in. Either way, I’m having my difficulties and am trying to “get it together”. I have no useful advice, except to say the cliche of hang in there.


  6. Here’s a tip: think about those of us that would love to be in your shoes right now. I would love to be out of undergrad and pursuing my real dream of becoming a librarian. I know everyone gets burnt out at some point but don’t let it keep you down!


  7. Celia, I appreciate your honesty in this post. I think you got some good advice already. But if you want my two-cents, I will tell you a little story about my 30th birthday. My best friend had just died of breast cancer. As we had our last conversations, she asked me to do something for her: try something that I’ve always wanted to do. No, this did not lead me into pursuing a 2nd career as a librarian (that would come later). I decided to learn to play the classical guitar (what’s easier? The answer is Library school.) Anyway, when I started my lessons, this really cool 20-year-old teacher gave me some good advice: “Anything worth doing is hard.” Period. Many years have passed since I had this experience, but I go back to it all the time. If library school was easy, everybody would be doing it. How many people do you meet say it would be cool to be a librarian? Are they taking the GRE and suffering through cataloging class? No! But you are. You won’t regret the self discipline it takes to finish. That’s why everyone is smiling on their graduation pictures. You’ve got to EARN it! Through blood, sweat, and tears. Remember: “Anything worth doing is hard.”


  8. I want to hug this thread! I’ve been feeling unmotivated since the beginning of the semester (this is my third semester, and I expect to finish in either the spring or the summer). I dread the idea of looking for jobs, and I don’t feel like I’ve made enough connections to get those unadvertised jobs. I also feel like a bit of a sucker at this point, like, why am I investing all this time in a master’s degree that may have absolutely no pay-off? I’m just hoping the work experience I already have will make me somewhat desirable, and that I can add internships on top of that, because the classes themselves oftentimes feel pretty pointless. But I think it’s also fall, and everything looks more dire around this time.

    On the up-side, I think sometimes it’s hard to imagine the future being any different from the present, until you’re suddenly presented with an opportunity, maybe one you don’t feel like you deserve. My advice: grab it! They always seem to appear in flashes, and then they’re gone.


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