Marvelina Barcelo is the co-director of the Transfer Center and a member of the iFALCON grant team.
As school enters its 5th week of the semester, some of you have already felt the pinch of managing school and personal obligations. The question now is, how do you keep motivated as a college student for 18-weeks in a semester? Recently I had a student ask me, what tip would you give me to keep motivated? My response was this:
- surround yourself with others who share your same educational goal(s)
- avoid distractions
- stay connected to university representatives and other Transfer Center services
- follow-up with a counselor every semester
- STICK TO THE PLAN we created!
Above all he believed in himself! And so did I.
Everyone has an internal motivation to get to Cerritos College, but keeping the motivation semester after semester can be a challenge that can be derailed at anytime. In my first year in college, the transition of being away from home and living with three roommates was a challenge in itself. Then came my academics, and I did not shine there, either. By my second year, I was forced to reflect on my role as a college student. My internal motivations were well defined (upward progress in life and first to attend the university), I had friends with the same goals (graduate from UCSB and stay focused), I kept track of my graduation requirements, but I had distractions. No, it was not Facebook or any other social media, or the irresistible features of a Smartphone that all of you have these days.
I did not know how to manage my time with commitments (boyfriend and student club involvement) and school. This was my first reality check. During my sophomore year, my father passed away. This was my second reality check. When I returned from a leave of absence, I came back with a more mature mindset about why I was at UCSB in the first place. Thinking of my internal motivations kept me energized, but most importantly my belief of graduating kept me alive.
It takes more than your internal motivation(s) and surroundings; it also takes BELIEVING IN YOURSELF. It’s tough out there, and not having a degree will make it more difficult. Make yourself marketable and confident to relocate if needed. Here are some facts to consider for life outside of college:
- 9.2% unemployment rate for those persons age 25 and over with some college but no degree;
- 7% unemployment rate for those who hold an AA degree;
- 5.4 % unemployment rate for those who hold a Bachelor’s degree;
- 7.2% increase in median weekly earnings for those who hold an AA degree compared to those with some college, no degree;
- 26.2% increase in median weekly earnings for those who hold a Bachelor’s degree compared to those with an AA degree.
Here are some questions to think about as you complete your educational goal and look for the motivation to succeed:
- What are your reasons for attending college?
- What is your educational goal and how long will it take you to achieve this goal?
- How many of your friends share your same educational goal(s)?
- What distractions do you have in your life, if any? (be truthful)
- Do you believe in yourself?
Online Resource: Bureau of Labor and Statistics-Employment Projections 2010 Data
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