Staying Motivated as an Online Student

Tips to Stay Motivated as an Online Student

The flexibility of an online classroom is attractive to distance learners, but it can also end up being a downfall if students go in without a plan to help themselves stay focused.

Before beginning each course, students should map out strategies to stay motivated throughout the class. Distractions and life events will happen, but if you can make a plan and stick with it, the course load will be easier and less stressful.

Here are some tips to help you stay motivated throughout the term:

Connect with Classmates

Classmates can be an excellent resource during a course. They can support each other and hold each other accountable for assignments. Consider forming an online study group to help foster regular engagement. Fellow students can provide a different perspective on the coursework and give you a mental boost when needed. It’s vital for online students to make and maintain these connections, as this is the only way you will typically interact with fellow students.

Focus on Goals

Always be mindful of the reason you decided to seek an online degree. Is the degree the final goal, or career advancement? The goal is personal and unique, but whatever it is, set it and work toward it with discipline and focus. While on the path toward that goal, set smaller, measurable goals along the way. For example, set a goal to complete an assignment two days before the due date. A sense of accomplishment makes it easier to stay motivated.

Create a Reward System

When you complete those smaller goals, give yourself a reward. Did you complete that assignment before the due date? Treat yourself to whatever makes you happy – food, a new shirt or watching a movie you’ve really wanted to see. A planned reward system gives you something to look forward to and helps you stay on track.

Ask for Assistance

If you have a lot to do outside of school, whether it be work, children or a combination of both, then the workload school presents might seem daunting. There are many apps to help you manage time and your to-do lists. Set aside time that is specifically for schoolwork, and guard it relentlessly. If you have kids and shared parenting responsibilities, let your partner handle the duties while you finish your assignments. Family and friends will understand that you need the time to get things done. It’s not easy to stay motivated if you fall behind in work. If you feel overwhelmed, you might feel like quitting.


Keep a Positive Attitude

A negative attitude won’t help you meet your goals. In fact, it might harm your chance at success. According to an Entrepreneur article, researchers at Stanford University found that attitude is more important than intelligence. Keeping up positive vibes might not be easy, but it can help you not only through your degree program, but also throughout the rest of your life. Stay passionate about your degree and your goals. When you feel discouraged, try giving yourself a private pep talk to get you out of that emotional rut. Remind yourself of all the reasons you enrolled in school, and of all the obstacles you have overcome in life to get you where you are today.

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