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How Busy Adults Can Succeed with Their Online Studies: Two Powerful Tips

Online schooling has come a long way in recent years; there are lots of strong academic programs that can prepare you for your field of study as a traditional campus program. The convenience and flexibility of distance learning makes it simpler than ever to go to school while still working full-time, raising a family and tending to other responsibilities of adult life; notice I said simpler, not easier—do not confuse the flexibility and convenience with going to school online requiring less effort. In many ways, an online program is more challenging because this mode of learning requires a greater degree of independence, time management and motivation.

Going to school as an adult is very different than when you are fresh out of high school; at this stage, your studies (and maybe a part-time job for some) is essentially your only responsibility and top priority. If you are already entrenched in the working world, have children, are caring for aging parents or have other responsibilities, successfully completing an online degree will be no easy task; failure to come up with a plan of attack can result in lots of wasted money and crushed dreams of career advancement or entering the line of work you really want to be in. Here are some tips to help you do all you need to do and accomplish your goals.

Find Your ‘’Why’’

At the core of everything we desire is the belief that acquiring it will give us the one thing we all strive for most in this world—to be happy, to live the life we want to live. If you felt motivated to get your degree, there is a reason why. Maybe you want to make more money. Maybe you want to provide a better life for your children. Maybe you want to change careers and do something you feel passionate about. Maybe you never went to college and that has always negatively affected your self-esteem, and you want to feel a sense of accomplishment.

To remain motivated to study when you do not feel like it, to keep trudging on when you think you cannot do it and you should just quit, you need to really tap into your ‘’why.’’ You need to peel back the layers of these reasons—I think of it as the reasons behind the reasons. If you want to make more money, why?If you want a better life for your kids, why?If you want to live your passions, why? As you peel back the layers, you will discover your core values and your core desires, the life you really want, the person you really want to be. Once you get clear on all of these things, you will not let anything stand in your way of getting them.


When you throw getting a degree into the mix, other things in your life that you may deem important now may have to go on the backburner for awhile. You may need to make uncomfortable decisions and sacrifice things of a lower nature for things of a higher nature, like getting that degree that will get you your dream job and more money. We are all entitled to some lazy, do nothing time but if the only way you can find time to study is to cut back on some of this precious, well-deserved time, that is what you are going to have to do. If you find yourself putting off your studies because you insist on cleaning your house top to bottom every other day, you need to decide what is more important—making sure you vacuum that rug which is perfectly clean already or starting that research paper. If you agree to volunteer at every event at your child’s school, you may need to cut back a bit—there are other parents who can help.

Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer who enjoys sharing tips and strategies to help people stay motivated in reaching their goals, whether they are professional, personal or academic. Learn more about accredited online degree programs such as organizational psychology graduate programs or forensic psychology graduate programs by following the links.

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November 14, 2012 |  by  |  Education

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