Stay Away From Clichés – Create Your Own Motivators

Going back to school as an adult is hard enough on your own but what happens when you throw in a toddler, full time job and deployed husband? It could be the perfect recipe for a disaster if you don’t have a good plan. Most importantly when you put too much pressure on yourself you will start to notice a pattern of “Keep Calm and Carry On” motivational quote clichés. This won’t work in your favor, trust me. We are all unique individuals with different situations in which why we decided to go back to school. You need to be able to find the motivators that speak directly to you. If not, it’s more like a leaf in the wind and not something that will keep you motivated and focused.

In my personal experience, as a military spouse with A LOT on her plate while going back to school, motivation comes from what matters most to you in life. Personal experience and ideas. Consider these options before covering your bulletin board with pictures of cute kitty cats saying “Hang in There”. These ideas may be a bit more helpful and keep you focused accomplishing your major goal, graduation day.

My Top 5 Personal Motivators for Online Learning

1.      Keep your family in mind. For me, going back to school was all about keeping busy and making my family proud. I printed a picture of my family and placed it on my bulletin board directly over my desk. When things got tough and I wanted to give up, I looked up and remembered who I was doing this for.

2.      Every now and then I came up with a great saying or advice that I gave a friend. To make sure I followed through with this great advice, I took notes. Keep a notebook of these sayings and advice you give others. Sometimes the best advice is your own.

3.      If you come across any quotes or discussion board comments that speak to you – write them down! A good motivator is seeing what other students in your class are saying – perhaps they are having the same struggles, we can all learn from each other.

4.      One thing I enjoyed was taking bits and pieces of my own work from papers turned in and turning them into quotes I could hang up. There was no better motivator than seeing my work up on my bulletin board, I remembered the hard work that went into it and immediately felt proud of what I had accomplished.

5.      Keep a personal journal of your struggles and how you overcame them. I didn’t stop at my undergraduate degree; I wanted to make sure I pushed myself to continue on in attaining my graduate degree. I struggled, sure I did. But looking back at that journal helped me to see that no matter how big that problem was at the time, there was always a solution.


By: Angela Caban