Studying to get your degree in higher education is a marathon. As a student, you need to keep motivated, as well as maintain good stamina to keep continue on.
On top of that, you will need to keep a balance between your study and your other responsibilities such as your work, taking care of your family, running a business, and so on.
It’s easy to lose motivation and feel stuck, or even worse, feel lost and lose your will to carry on. It happens to many students.
According to this article at Forbes, the number of college dropouts is huge, more than a million students drop out every year, while less than half of college students graduate on time.
Each and every one of them certainly have their own reason to drop out of college or have some setback that prevents them from graduating on time.
For adult students and student moms and dads, the pressure of trying to balance their studies with work and taking care of their families could be overwhelming.
It could lead to stress, burnout, losing motivation, and in the end, could cause them to have a setback or even drop out of school entirely.
If that happens, all those blood, sweat, and tears you shed so far will be for nothing. All the precious time that you could have to spend with your family but you used for studying instead will also be wasted.
Not to mention all your previous efforts and the money you spent for the tuition and other things needed relating to your study will also be going down the drain.
To prevent that from happening, you need to do these things to keep you motivated and back on track in your study :
1. Find Out the Reason for Your Stress or Burn Out
Before you could work on any solution to cure your stress, burnout, and this feeling of being down and unmotivated, first you need to find out the reason why you have them in the first place.
If you are overwhelmed with your duty, assignment and tasks, try to find a solution by delegating more. Trust your spouse more with the household chores and let him or her be in charge of your child(ren).
If you are an adult student, let your teammates make an important decision. Step back a little and let them take charge. Just because you are older that doesn’t mean you always know better anyway.
This way, you will have more free time, and at the same time. Your spouse and your teammates in class will feel empowered, knowing that you trust them more with bigger decisions.
If your problem is with your time management, manage your schedule better. Prioritize everything and try to focus on solving and finishing everything one by one instead of trying to finish them all as soon as possible.
That will only increase your chance of not being able to do it perfectly, not being satisfied with the results, and in the end, adding more stress to you.
2. Take Time to Have a Break
Knowing when to have a break is crucial. When you start to feel like stress out, take a break from everything for a while, before things got worse.
Take some “Me Time” to do something you like and make you relax. Leave all your trouble behind and try to fully enjoy the moment.
If you couldn’t take a long break due to your busy schedule, try to sneak in some time to do your favorite things.
Enjoy the book you haven’t got a chance to read, take a stroll in a park, swim or jog, go to the gym to work out, and so on. Anything that will help you be happy.
Therefore, you will be back from your break feeling fresh and rejuvenated, ready to tackle all your worries and problems, and will have the chance to see your problems from different perspectives, with fresh eyes and a clear head.
3. Do Something Nice for Yourself
Once in a while, reward yourself with something nice, especially after you finish taking care of a problem. This will give you a sense of satisfaction, as well as gives you motivation.
In the future, you will be more motivated to finish your tasks, and assignments, sort out your problems et cetera when you know that you will have something nice waiting for you in the end.
As a student, maybe you don’t have plenty of budgets to splurge. It doesn’t have to be something expensive, something nice and simple will do, as long as it could make you happy and boost your mood.
It also doesn’t need to be a physical thing. If you like to travel, you could try to take a break and go on your dream vacation.
Or, If you study abroad or in another city, you could take a break from school and visit your family back home.
The love and support from the people who love you unconditionally could be the exact mood booster you need. Besides, meeting and spending time with your loved one will give you the motivation to keep continue on.
Most likely you don’t want to disappoint the people who are close to you, who always love and support you, and most importantly, who always believe in you.
4. Change Your Environment or Create a New One
There’s a chance that you feel unmotivated because you were bored with your daily routine. Doing pretty much the same things over and over again for a significant amount of time can be draining, especially if those activities are something you need to do such as studying and working.
If so, breaking your routine could be a good way to avoid boredom, which could lead to stress, losing motivation, burnout, depression, and so on.
Unfortunately, breaking a routine could be difficult to do, especially if it’s something that has already been scheduled by other parties such as your school and work-related schedules.
Thus, one of the things you could do is to change your environment or create a new one. If you use to study and work on your school assignment at home, try to do them in public places.
Or you could try to redecorate your study space. Make a few changes here and there, and buy some little trinkets to add an extra personal touch to the space.
Clean up your study space, organize your things, and declutter your space. Get rid of things you don’t need anymore. Take this opportunity as a chance to clean your space, as well as to clear your mind.
Whichever you do, you will get the chance to try on something new. Who knows, you might like it and the changes turn out to be exactly what you need to boost your mood and get you motivated again.
5. Try to Stay Positive
None of the changes you make will matter if you don’t start from within yourself. No matter how hard things might be for you at school, don’t ever think to give up.
It’s normal to feel down once in a while, but pull yourself together back again as soon as you can. When I went back to school at 33 years old, as an adult student, a student mom, and an international student, I couldn’t remember how many times I sat down and looked around at my younger classmates and wondered “what am I doing here?” since I felt completely lost and out of place.
When things get tough, I remember that I used to think “I’ve just gone crazy, what was I thinking? Why did I put myself into this situation? Oh no, what have I done?
I even think about giving up, thinking that I’ve made a colossal mistake by continuing my education where I should just take a baking course instead (baking is my passion, but I have to accept the fact that unfortunately I only have the passion and not the talent ).
But I realized I had two choices, keep drowning in my pity party or try to maintain a positive outlook, that whatever the hardships and problems I had right now, this too shall pass.
I chose the second option, take control of what I can and stop worrying about what I can’t, and learn to accept that some things are within my control, and let go of the other things which aren’t.
Things may not always work out properly, but you have the option to refuse to worry too much about things that are beyond your control.
Face your problems one by one. You will see that each time you recover and bounce back from a blow, you’ll come back stronger and stronger.
The sooner you get over your setbacks and failures, the quicker you move on and the bigger your chance to get the victory you deserve.
6. Remind Yourself of Your Goal.
Whenever you are feeling down and want to give up, remind yourself why you want to do it in the first place.
Try to remember that the opportunity to have an education, to go back to school to continue your education is a privilege that you should never take for granted.
When you have that mindset, giving up is not an option. You want to pursue your education because you have certain goals to achieve; want to change your career, to have a better life for yourself and your loved ones, to fulfill a lifelong dream of studying abroad, to keep upgrading yourself, and so on.
Whatever it is, keep it inside you and use it as a fire to lift you up when you are down. Remind yourself that you are on the right track and that each step you take, no matter how small it is, it will bring you one step closer to your goal.
Write down your goal if you have to. Write out an affirmation that you can say daily and put it up somewhere that you are sure to see every day, like your bathroom mirror or your refrigerator.
Carry it around with you if you think it will help you to motivate yourself to do better. Infusing your mind with positive thoughts such as your goals will enforce you to produce more positive results in your life.
Over to You…
Studying and working towards achieving your goals can be exhausting and overwhelming, even physically challenging and mentally draining.
Throughout your study, there must be moments when you are down, losing motivation, or even wanting to give up completely.
It is absolutely normal to have that feeling every now and then. Nobody said it was easy anyway.
But what you should never do is dwell on your sorrow, constantly worry about your problems and feel miserable all the time.
Instead, try to be kind to yourself. Figure out what is the source of your problems and unhappiness and works toward healing yourself, lift yourself back up again.
You can take a break from your routine and do something nice for yourself. You could also change your environment or create a new one to fix boredom.
But no matter what you do, don’t forget to always try to stay positive and remind yourself of your goals, to motivate yourself to get back up again.
A positive attitude can change your entire life. Purposely infusing your life with positive thoughts and perspectives will keep you motivated and eliminate all the negative sources from your life.
If you ever felt down, unmotivated, and wanted to give up, could you kindly share what you did to cheer yourself up in the comment section down below? I know for sure I could use some tips
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