By Danika Rockett
So you’ve decided to take some college courses – congratulations! This decision can be life-changing, and we’re here to guide you along the way. Our courses are designed to help you succeed, but staying motivated is perhaps the single most important element if you want to see your personal, professional, and academic dreams come true.
Here are three tips for staying motivated as you work through your online college courses:
1 - Visualize the outcome.
Consider why you’re taking college courses, and write down those reasons. What is your ultimate goal? Getting promoted at work? Finding a better job altogether? Earning a degree? Making your family proud?
If you visualize what you hope to ultimately achieve by furthering your education, and if you keep this goal in sight, you’ll be more likely to stay motivated and focused. And even if you don’t write them down, simply acknowledging your goals can serve as a powerful motivator.
2 - Create a schedule that works for you.
This can help you avoid the out-of-sight, out-of-mind pitfall. Our self-paced courses make it easy for you to study on your own terms – just be sure that you have a plan for completing your courses.
At StraighterLine, we have found that students who log in to their courses on a regular basis are much more likely to succeed, and every success will help you stay motivated and on-track to achieve your ultimate goals. Just one caveat: While it is important to log in to your courses regularly, you should schedule time for yourself, too, which brings us to the final tip:
3 - Aim for adequate work-life balance.
If you let yourself become burned out or overwhelmed, you are more likely to lose sight of your goals and lose motivation. Particularly for adult learners, going back to school while raising a family and pursuing a career can seem overwhelming. Luckily, students can now take advantage of affordable, self-paced courses help alleviate this challenge, but don’t forget to take a break periodically and focus on what’s important in your personal life.
So try to keep focused on your goals, and remember why you’ve decided to go to college in the first place – you’ve already taken the first important step by making that decision!
About the Author: Danika Rockett, Ph.D., is a course manager at StraighterLine specializing in English composition and communication. As a former English and Technical Communication professor, she manages all courses that involve qualitative assessment; she also helps develop and improve course content. She has nearly 10 years of university teaching experience, both online and in the classroom. Her publications include an article dealing with the digital divide and how to broaden access to technology for educational purposes, and a co-authored book chapter focusing on strategies for teaching technology to adult learners.