Choosing the Right College for You: How Will You Stay Motivated?

Stay Motivated

College is a marathon, not a sprint. Your enthusiasm will drive you toward success, but it’s unlikely that every course is going to fuel your creative juices. When choosing your college and degree program, you’ll need to anticipate those times when school will become less exhilarating, and you’ll need a game plan for staying motivated.

Remember Your Goals

You can be shortsighted at any age, so this idea applies to all learners. When you’re making the decision to return to school, you’re doing it for a reason. Whether it’s to get ahead in your career, finish your degree, or set an example to your kids, you’ve got to keep your eyes on the big picture. Do this exercise at the very beginning; write down your goals while choosing your college and keep referring back to them any time you feel school is wearing you down.

Visualize Your Success

You can take the aforementioned advice one step further and create a visual representation of your success. The concept of a vision board is not new, but these days you can take the virtual route and fashion your board online. For example, you could create a Pinterest board that highlights everything that you want, and add or subtract to the board when your priorities change.

Lean On Your Support System

There will be times when one assignment or class becomes too much for you to handle, and that’s when you need a personal support system. This support can be a network of family, friends, or fellow students. Make sure they understand why you’re going to school, what your goals are, and what success means to you. Sometimes just looking at a person’s picture will remind you why you’re going to school.

Here’s one more thing that can keep you motivated: Think about how quickly time flies. Once you finish your first class, you may realize those weeks didn’t feel like weeks, and you’ll start to believe that the path to your degree is a lot shorter than it looks.

For more advice on starting your college search, picking the right program, and staying on track for graduation, download Ashford University’s free “How to Choose the Right College for You” guide.

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Written by Jason R. Latham, Content Manager for Bridgepoint Education.

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