Experiential College Courses Available for Students Struggling with Low MotivationApril 9, 2020
With our nation’s recent shift towards online college classes, many college students are struggling to stay on track academically. Overwhelmed with low motivation and low self-esteem, they may consider withdrawing from their classes for the semester as an alternative to finishing classes online. After years of working with young adults, we recognize that young adults struggling with low motivation benefit from experiential learning and collaboration with others in both a classroom setting and in other areas of their lives and that many students struggle with distance learning. As an alternative to traditional wilderness therapy programs, Trails Momentum offers college credits for courses related to outdoor leadership and recreation therapy which help students struggling with low motivation rediscover a passion for learning in creative ways.
Learning Styles Can Significantly Affect College Experience
Many young adults leave small high schools to go to big state schools and easily become overwhelmed by new social demands and the lack of individualized attention they receive from teachers. Especially in a lecture hall with hundreds of classmates, it can be hard to speak up or ask questions. While high school teachers have more opportunities to present material in creative ways, college professors have spend less time with students per week and have more pressure to stick to the facts of course material.
Students who struggle with time management, organization, and perfectionism are more likely to experience low motivation and hopelessness about their academic performance. While academics are only one part of the college experience, feeling self-doubt about one’s academic performance can lead to social isolation and depression, which cloud the rest of their experience. Without understanding their unique learning style and how to advocate for themselves in a classroom setting, it is common for college students to feel like they are falling behind.
Why do Young Adults Benefit from Experiential Learning?
While researching different learning styles, Psychologist David Kolb proposed that many young people learn best through experiential learning. This involves both hands-on learning and personal reflection. It is important for young adults to not only actively participate in learning opportunities, but also to understand why it applies to them and their lives. For example, it is one thing to write an essay analyzing a book assigned in class, but another thing to write a reflection on a book they chose that spoke to them. Young adults are motivated by learning when they feel they have some sort of buy-in.
Experiential learning also involves a person learning from their mistakes. Many young adults have the rational capacity to understand that “education can launch their career” or that “substances aren’t a healthy way of coping,” but they’d rather learn this from experience than take other people’s advice at face value. Young people often defend their terminal uniqueness, even as they see other people in their life struggle with the consequences of low motivation and hopeless thinking.
Experiential College Courses Offered at Trails Momentum
At Trails Momentum, students can choose to earn six elective credits from Western Colorado University for participating in our academic seminars, Principles of Outdoor Recreation and Outdoor Adventure Introduction to Communication and Leadership.
These courses invite students to learn and discuss various concepts, including the following:
- Communicating Emotions
- Managing Conflict
- Improving Verbal and Non-Verbal Communication
- Enhancing Leadership Presence
- Empowering Others
- Coaching and Giving Feedback
- Practicing Leave No Trace Principles
- Navigating with Map and Compass
- Planning a Backcountry Expedition
Through our work with young adults, we have learned that formal education isn’t for everyone, but that most individuals benefit from experiential learning and creative ways of learning life skills. If your college-age student is struggling to be self-motivated in school and it has taken a toll on their learning, taking time off to reflect on their goals and what they are passionate about can help them become empowered by their experiences, rather than discouraged.
Trails Momentum Can Help
Trails Momentum is a wilderness therapy program for young adults ages 18-25 who struggle with anxiety and depression. The program’s goal is to inspire change in young adults that draws on a sense of community and adventure that helps shift the narrative about a young adult’s trajectory. Students are taught how to connect with the greater world, foster real relationships, and personally develop their own identity. Trails Momentum gives students struggling with low motivation the opportunity and tools they need to recreate themselves, becoming more independent from their parents, and get on track to a healthy, happy, and successful future.
Contact us at 877-296-8711.