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Earning a college degree is something that most parents want for their kids, yet many students aren’t exactly looking forward to spending another two, four or even eight years of their lives on a school campus.
Indeed, many careers require lengthy degree paths that can be difficult to endure, especially in today’s world of infinite distractions and temptations that can lead you into taking a different route.
In fact, fewer than 40 percent of students who enroll in a four-year degree program are able to finish in four years, and more than 50 percent of all students who enroll in college drop out within six years.
If you want to keep yourself from becoming yet another college dropout, try using these tips to your advantage:
1. Consider the online university route
One way to make your degree path easier and more sustainable is to opt for online courses. These programs are even available for more advanced fields that will equip you with the credentials needed to become eligible for a well-paying, in-demand job.
For example, Suffolk University Online has a masters in healthcare administration program that you might want to check out.
2. Remember what you’re working towards
Sometimes just a simple reminder of your goals and aspirations will be enough to keep you on track.
When you start to feel like you’re wasting your time and life is passing you by, try to remember the reason why you chose this degree path, to begin with.
This tip can also help you become more productive in your everyday working life as an employee or an entrepreneur.
3. Use precise scheduling
Did you know that some of the most successful people in the world (i.e. – Bill Gates and Elon Musk) schedule their day into precise five or 10-minute time blocks?
By having your entire day laid out for you, you can simply focus on moving from one task to the next instead of having to determine what needs to be done in the spur of the moment.
Take about 10-20 minutes each evening to schedule out the next day and you’ll find that your academic duties will be easier to handle.
One of the main problems that college students have is engaging in excessive socialization, which can lead to losing sight of your priorities, missing assignment deadlines, and even unhealthy alcohol consumption.
While college can be a great place to meet friends, you don’t want to overdo it and wind up putting your social life in front of your school work.
5. Don’t stay up late
Spending all day working on your studies can have you yearning for some fun at the end of the day.
Unfortunately, this is the biggest challenge that college students face – when to call it a night and head to bed.
This goes back to creating a comprehensive schedule, as you should set a pre-defined curfew for each evening that will allow you to have a good time without causing you to sacrifice sleep.
Losing sleep can cause drowsiness and general fatigue, which eventually will have you wanting to quit.
6. Make school work your highest priority
So many college students are concerned about what their new boyfriend/girlfriend or classmates think about them that they become too preoccupied to stay focused on their studies.
Wanting to impress others is a perfectly natural desire for young adults, but don’t let peer pressure get in the way of your academic goals.
If you know there’s going to be a party on campus this Friday, you need to make sure your schoolwork is done by Thursday, instead of putting it off for the weekend when you might be just be hungover and exhausted from partying.
7. Know your limits
Many students think that they have what it takes to lead a double life – attending all the social events and spending many hours with their friends and then expecting to have the energy to still complete their studies in the evenings.
As a result, it’s common for students to rely on coffee and energy drinks to make last-minute pushes towards their goals.
Taking this approach will increase your chances of dropping out and, even if you persist, your grades will most likely suffer.
8. Set realistic personal deadlines
So, you have a school project that’s due in two weeks, which means you can relax for a bit because the deadline is still 14 days away, right?
Sure, if you think procrastination is a good idea. Forget about the deadline that your teacher has given you and set your own earlier date to give yourself some headroom.
This will keep you from getting caught off-guard in emergencies and give you some leeway in case the project winds up being more difficult than expected.
9. Watch motivational and self-improvement videos
YouTube is a treasure trove of motivational videos that can be used to get you out of a rut whether you’re a struggling student, full-time employee, or the stressed owner of a startup.
At first glance, it might seem silly to depend on others to motivate you, as you might feel that inspiration should come within, but allowing yourself to be encouraged and inspired by others can really work wonders if you let it.
10. Remember that you’re not alone
Finally, it can help to remind yourself that there are millions of other students out there who are going through the exact same thing you are.
Also, think about how many people have already gone before you to earn their degree and are now happily employed with desirable salaries.
Just remembering that school is a normal part of modern life can help to reduce the stressfulness of your situation when you have lots of work that needs to be done.
Make sure you’re prepared for the long road
Before you even consider any of the tips above, you need to make sure you’re mentally prepared to endure a four or eight-year degree path.
Ask yourself if that’s really what you want before you make an impulsive commitment. If you’re not sure, it might be better to stop before you start so you don’t wind up being part of the significant percentage of college students who fail to graduate.