Whether you’re going to college, earning your GED, or even learning to read for the first time, earning an education as an adult takes courage and perseverance. As an adult, you may face the challenge of working a full time job or managing a family while you study. Staying motivated can be a challenge, especially if you’re spending significant amounts of time studying for the first time in years.
Happily, adults often have additional maturity and life experience that can help them stay motivated, especially if they take the following steps.
*Learn to learn
You’ll find your motivation increases once you “learn to learn.” Sometimes the skill of learning to learn is called “study skills.” It involves setting aside distractions, creating an environment that is conducive to learning, and focusing on your studying. Once you learn to learn, you’ll find your confidence increase along with your grades.
*Keep the rewards in mind
Stay motivated by remembering that you’ll make considerably more money with a better education. Think of how the money will bless your family and yourself. In fact, US government data shows that education directly corresponds to income. The better educated you are, the more money you’re likely to make. Here are government statistics for men/women (men are represented by the number on the left, women on the right):
-Less than a 9th grade education: $28,375/$21,376
-9th to 12th grade education, but without a diploma: $33,457/$22,246
-High school education: $43,493/$31,666
-Some college: $50,433/$36,019
-Associate degree: $54,830/$39,9335
-Bachelor’s degree or higher: $94,206/$60,293
*Focus on more than just grades or earning potential – learn to love learning
While an increased income and high grades are an important source of motivation, you’ll also find it easier to stay motivated if you learn to love learning. Take classes you enjoy, and look for the good in each teacher and class. Develop a love of learning for its own sake, and you’ll find that motivation isn’t an issue.
*Don’t get stressed
As an adult, you may be under the stress of raising a family and holding a job while you pursue your education. Research shows that stress harms your ability to learn and memorize facts. Of course, you can’t always avoid stress, but you can take steps to ensure it doesn’t get out of control. Some people seek solace in prayer or mediation, others prefer conversation. Whatever your method for dealing with stress, remember that stress impairs learning and should be avoided.
*Join a study group
A regular study group can make a big difference in your motivation. You’re much less likely to skip studying if you know you’re expected to be at your study group at a certain time. Moreover, a study group can make studying a much more pleasant experience. Study group members can also help one another learn by pooling knowledge. It’s also harder to forget an assignment if you have others who are working on the assignment.
*Don’t overdo it
Many adults attempt to take a full course load, work a full time job, and meet family obligations. If you’re attempting to do this, be aware that burn out is a real risk. Sometimes, it’s better to take time for yourself so that you can sustain motivation over the long haul.
In conclusion, you should be proud that you’ve decided to pursue an education. It’s true that you face challenges younger students do not, but you also probably have greater maturity and purpose. These tips will help you succeed in your commendable goal of obtaining an education.