When you start your graduate training, you do so full of excitement about the information you are going to learn and the opportunities it will provide for you. Yet as you get into your program and face the realities of school demands, work demands, and a schedule that rarely has any extra time, you may find some of your motivation slipping. At Geneva College, we want to help you stay motivated, so consider these tips.
Keep Your Health a Priority
It’s easy to fall into the trap of burning the candle at both ends while juggling grad school and your career, but if you aren’t getting enough sleep, are skipping meals and are running yourself ragged, you will lose motivation. Also, your grades will start to suffer. Make sure you are getting enough rest, exercise and proper nutrition. Don’t neglect your spiritual health either. Make sure you’re keeping your relationship with God strong.
Stay Socially Connected
When you’re working full-time and attending school, life is busy. It’s nearly impossible to get time away. Soon you notice that your friendships are suffering as a result. This isolation can lead to struggles with depression, which will kill your motivation. To avoid this and stay motivated, decide which relationships are the most important to you, and schedule time for them. Be willing to sacrifice a few hours of study to attend an important social event.
Set and Keep a Schedule
Time management is essential at this stage of life, and the best way to manage your time well is to create and stick with a schedule. A schedule will help you stay on task while also setting aside time for breaks, meals and exercise. Remember, however, to be flexible when spontaneous opportunities arise. Variety is the spice of life, and a little break from your routine will help keep your motivation level high. Just remember to return to your schedule once you are done taking that little break.
Proper Money Management
U.S. News warns that the financial strain of grad school can sap your motivation. In fact, a full 21 percent of graduate students in one survey said that financial concerns were their most pressing concern. As you focus on achieving your goal of a graduate degree with your name on it, work to manage your money as well as you can and remember that the end goal is worth any short term financial sacrifices that might need to be made.
Give Room for Failure
No one is perfect, and you may find that at the graduate level, getting straight A’s is not as easy as it was on the undergrad level. Remember, the goal is not to have the highest GPA in the class. The goal of grad school is to get the training you need for better success in your future careers. In fact, future employers are less likely to look at your grades and more likely to look at your graduate school project and experience. Give yourself grace and a little room for failure, even if your academic career up to this point was focused on getting perfect scores.