Somewhere along the degree journey, you get stuck. It happens to everyone.
Everything just becomes monotonous. Each course feels like a drop in the endless degree bucket, the end is nowhere in sight, and you’re ready for something to change.
When I was halfway through my degree, I experienced that moment. THEN, something switched in my mind, and I started earning credits twice as fast as before. What happened? What were the secrets to suddenly hitting goals twice as fast?
Here are a few:
Remember your “why.”
Few things can boost your motivation more than remembering why you’re pursuing your degree. Why did you choose to go to college? What will you be able to do once you have your degree that you can’t do now? Write down your “why” and read it again every time you feel stuck. Keeping your vision fresh on your mind helps kickstart those dreaded study sessions!
Seek out accountability.
Though the A-word can be big and scary, the truth is: it’s a huge player in success. Pursuing your degree online requires a lot of self discipline, but sometimes self discipline looks like reaching out and asking someone to hold you accountable. Join the Facebook group and find the accountability groups for your target graduation year. Join the Anthill study groups if you need daily accountability. Join the student forums and find study buddies. We’ve found that students who participate in the student community tend to finish their degree faster than those who aren’t, so jump in the student community and pick up the pace!
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Take breaks wisely.
Sometimes the secret to going faster is knowing when you need to stop and catch your breath. But it’s important to take a controlled break instead of one of those I-should-be-studying-but-I-don’t-want-to breaks. Set good boundaries for your breaks–work hard until your break start date/time, but when you’re on a break let yourself fully rest GUILT FREE. Sometimes a true controlled break is all you need to go faster with less frustration!
Find the light at the end of the tunnel.
In other words, turn your goal of getting a degree into a SMART (Specific, Measured, Action Oriented, Realistic, Timely) goal. This was essential for me to earn my credits faster. Talk with your coach about setting a tentative graduation date and set some benchmark goals along the way. You may be surprised how much a timeline will help! Then you have something to shoot for, something to race, and most importantly, you can celebrate the small victories!
You’ve got this friend! I’m rooting for you!
Kasey Friske is a former Student Life Project Leader for Unbound. Kasey is a 2012 Unbound alumna with a BA in Communications. She married her favorite Unbound student, Rich, in 2014 and they now have a spunky 2 year old daughter and live and work on the family farm in beautiful Northern Michigan. When she isn’t trying new recipes for her farmer or chasing her toddler, she loves to spend her time brainstorming new ideas to solve problems and make life better.