Losing Steam and Motivation in College

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Losing Steam and Motivation in College

Post by tksaleija »

I'll preface by saying that I'm not sure if this is the best place for this, but I thought it might be relevant for the community as a whole for people to contribute to this.

I loved quiz bowl throughout high school and it served as an outlet for me to improve myself socially and intellectually. As I prepared to move onto college, I shared my concerns with a few people that I was worried the higher intensity of college life would make it hard for me to get into college quiz bowl. I was reassured that college often has more free time than college, not less, though I was admittedly skeptical. Fast forward to today, where I haven't studied for quiz bowl consistently in months, I have no idea how to, and I feel a continued disconnect from the community and the game. I still love quiz bowl because it always gave me something to strive for, but in trying to balance a job with a high class load, research, thesis stuff, and more, quiz bowl has been far down the list of things concerning me. That lack of "oomph" has made me feel like I'm letting down people on my new team because I'm not into the game nearly as much as I expected I would be and I just feel the general shame of no longer having that drive and fear of playing a tournament and being a quarter of the player I was in high school. I'm sure this is a common issue, but I would love if anyone who has felt the same way could share the strategies they had for getting back into the game and/or navigating the transition from quiz bowl being a huge part of your life to having it take passenger to important preparations. I genuinely want to feel that excitement of tournaments, games, and learning for the sake of having fun again, I just don't know how or where to start, but I'd love to get that fire again. Thanks to anybody with thoughts on this. This hasn't really been proofread, so I hope there aren't too many errors and that the point can get across.
Aleija Rodriguez
University of Michigan 202x

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Re: Losing Steam and Motivation in College

Post by Cheynem »

My advice to you is think about:

Do you still like quizbowl? Like, do you enjoy playing the game (or staffing, or being part of the team, or whatever)?

If not, if you feel like you're just playing because that's what you did in high school and what you're expected to do, then maybe you want to take some time off from quizbowl. You don't necessarily have to give up quizbowl altogether--just take some time away.

If you do still like quizbowl, regardless if you feel like you have time to study, then by all means keep doing so and don't feel "bad." There are countless people who play quizbowl and countless players who do fairly well who do not put in a lot of time studying. I am very sure your teammates don't feel upset or angry at you--as long as you are honest with your teammates about your work ethic and what you hope to accomplish, that's all anyone can do.
Mike Cheyne
Formerly U of Minnesota

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Re: Losing Steam and Motivation in College

Post by AustinlSmith »

This post is something that I struggled with when I first joined college as well. When I started college as a freshman, I was only interested in staying in quizbowl as a staffer. And for a while, that's really all that I did! I think Mike makes an excellent point about separating the different portions of quizbowl and determining what you really like. For me, staffing was a great way to re-charge my battery and stay connected to the community until I felt ready to play again.

I think an additional benefit for you is being at such an active program. It's possible for you to step back and only staff for a while, or to just take studying for quizbowl a bit less seriously. Re-assessing where you're at every couple months would be perfectly fine and you don't have to keep the same focus. Quizbowl is a great activity that's easy to come back into at any time - each semester in college, your priorities can switch and maybe one of those times you'll find yourself able to come back.
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Re: Losing Steam and Motivation in College

Post by alexdz »

I played nearly everything I could get my hands on in high school and was very active in studying and playing. When I got to college, I found that my motivation to practice specifically for quizbowl had dwindled quite a bit. Even though I enjoyed attending practices and helping the team administratively, I just wasn't as into looking up things for quizbowl and targeting practice to specific areas. I had a lot of other opportunities I wanted to take advantage of in college, and I prioritized quizbowl in ways that allowed me to stay involved without as intense of an effort.

Every time I give advice to people considering staying involved after high school, I always, always, always suggest to find the lane that works best for you. If you aren't finding active, involved participation fun and engaging for you, then it's perfectly acceptable to step back and do something else for a while. The community is better off with you in it, even at a reduced involvement, than having you burnout from trying to do too much.
Alex Dzurick
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Re: Losing Steam and Motivation in College

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed »

Arguably, quizbowl is in far greater need of people who are good at organizing tournaments, running a team, and other logistical tasks like that than people who are good at answering tossups. If you have any interest in these things (in addition to also answering tossups or not), you should explore this interest and odds are you can make a huge difference in the quizbowl community.
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