A Guide to Staying Positive
and Motivated When Completing an Online Degree
Online degrees open up the world for your education. They can also be downright hard. You don’t have the benefit of a set schedule and learning curve that you need to adhere to. Instead, you need to be more disciplined and ambitious than you might have ever been before in your life.
It can be particularly hard for those who haven’t been in school for a while. Going back after working to study is a big curveball, and it’s okay to feel out of your depth. The only thing you really need to focus on is improving your routine and following this guide to stay positive and motivated throughout your online degree.
Choose the Right Degree
You need to know how you study in order to choose the right degree for you. A full-time degree can be a great way to bunker down and finish your degree, but if you are also contending with being a full-time parent, your attention is going to be split.
If you have a hard time staying motivated when taking a part-time course, then stretching out a degree like that will only take far longer than it should. Understanding your abilities will help you learn the best way.
“Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.”
― Malcolm X
You need to choose the right degree based on your goals, your abilities, and even your budget. Those who are looking at online degrees are often later in life. They aren’t teenagers who should go to a physical college so that they can simultaneously learn life skills. They are adults who are looking to either further their career or change it entirely.
If your goal is to change careers, then you need to make sure it is necessary. Many industries have transferable job roles, but some have qualification barriers you cannot get around. If you want to become a nurse, for example, then you need both a degree and a state license.
In this instance, you would want to enroll in one of the best accelerated BSN programs online so that you can use your existing degree in your new career.
What to Prepare Before Your Degree Begins
Finding the right degree is the first important step. Knowing you need to complete that BSN if you want to kickstart your nursing career is going to do more for your motivation than all the pep talks or quotes in the world.
Your Study Space
It can be very detrimental to your productivity and your mental health if you do not have dedicated “work” spaces and “relax” spaces in your home. Studying and working from home is hard enough as it is, but if you work on your couch or in your bed, then you are not allowing yourself the frame of mind to properly wind down.
Perpetual stress is what can wreak havoc on someone’s mental health and wellbeing, especially if you cannot build a healthy, standard routine for yourself at home. That is why creating an at-home office, even if that “office” is just a corner in your living room, is so important.
Your Study Routine
Routine is key to success. It is why we can complete multiple days of 9 to 5 work, but if you went from vacation mode to one day of eight hours, it would kill you. Routine is how you work hard and still have energy left over at the end of the day to do what you personally want to do in your downtime.
A good idea is to split your day up into sections. Spend the morning getting yourself ready for the day ahead before you carry out the first stage of studying. After a break, you can then continue with the second stage before you take a break for lunch.
Once you have finished studying, you will want to set about relaxing. Have a healthy dinner before some intensive exercise, shower, and find a relaxing activity such as reading a book.
How you split up your day will depend on a few factors.
- Timetable of you degree
- Personal responsibilities
The point is you need to make your own routine that suits you best and helps you inch forward day by day towards your goal.
Healthy eating, exercise, and a good night’s rest will go far towards keeping you healthy. If you do find that your mental health is suffering, change your routine. If nothing seems to work, then finding a therapist – even one online – will do wonders. Never assume you have to get over persistent anxiety on your own. There are people, tools, and resources available.
Find the Right Study Strategies
We all learn differently. The best way to succeed when completing a difficult degree like nursing is to find the way you personally learn best. This might just be by reading. It might alternatively be by doing or by listening.
By finding the best ways that you learn, you can adopt study strategies that provide you the most benefits. If it doesn’t work, that’s okay. It just means you need to try something else.
“Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.”
― Albert Einstein
Someone who learns best through audible cues will find transcribing their notes into an audio file can do wonders towards helping them learn and retain information. Someone who learns best by doing may find it better to handwrite their notes and then convert that into text (easily done if you have a stylus and tablet).
Completing an online degree after working can throw many people off. It isn’t what you are used to, and the routine does take getting used to compared to the standard 9 to 5. That is why you need to stay positive and motivated throughout your degree and follow the tips and tricks that work best for you. The first week or two will feel exhausting, but by powering through that introduction with a great routine, you can build a new normal for yourself that will help you succeed, no matter what new dream career you are working towards.