Keeping Motivated

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

Career Cast – August 2011 – The 10 Best Cities for Finding a Job

Student Video Testimonials:

Melissa Hidalgo – Believing in Yourself

Mario Salcedo – Keeping Motivated After the University

Back to the iFALCON home page.

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30 Responses to Keeping Motivated

  1. ■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!

    I think that it’s too general on how to keep motivated but it could help lot’s of student’s out.
    It is very hard to have friends in college because of different routines and schedules but I
    think that if you’re commited in school and your work than you could achieve it. Also, any advise on how to keep a positive mindset or how not to get overwhelmed? Statisticly, it seems accurate but it could be also be based on different careers.

    • Marvelina says:

      Hello Sandra,

      Thank you for your comments!
      You are absolutely right, there is no one size fits all when it comes to keeping motivated! My response to the student was after I had a conversation with him during a counseling appointment.
      If the questions I listed at the end of the blog do not seem to fit your situation, perhaps you can meet with me one-on-one or with another counselor you typically see.
      A conversation in person with a counselor is my advice to answering your two follow-up questions. My previous blog called Adopting a College mindset lists great resources that may be useful to you:

  2. Leslie Nguyen says:

    I’m very impressed with the message “believe in yourself” and “keeping motivated” from this article. I found those advices energize me to persevere my study in college. I think I will mark those messages in mind to follow my goal.

  3. Ciennese says:

    the questions at the end of the blog made me stop and ask myself those questions. There are really a whole lot of distractions that can really hold us back from achieving our goals. Although those distractions are there we have to believe in ourselves just like it says. Making sure we keep track of everything we do and also making sure that those distractions doesn’t hold us back. We always have to keep our goals in mind every time there’s obstacles that come our way.

  4. simona says:

    this article points out two important points that every student should follow. first one is motivate yourself. second one is believe in yourself. I like to motivate my self to reach my goal. of course like any other student i have a lot of distractions, but by motivating my self and believing in my self, i keep my self on track. Also, i believe that if you want to reach something and you work hard for it, you will get it.

  5. jerome umali says:

    I can relate to almost everything you’ve said. Getting yourself motivated is hard indeed, but keeping yourself motivated semester after semester is the hardest. Distractions always come along, and it’s a pain to keep them out of the way. But then again, you just have to always convince yourself to keep going and believe that you can get it done, even with distractions.

  6. Melissa Mirnada=) says:

    I think that this article is sending a good message to college students. keeping myself motivated is very difficult, but with the advise she gave in this article seems to be simple and helpful to understand. I now know that its time to be mature person and be well educated to have a bright future.

  7. Hector Z. says:

    I completely agree with marvelina today i believe is even harder to avoid distractions with all the technology that we have in our hands. Today with all the social networking it is very hard to stay focused in school and even harder if your thinking of personal problems your having and thinking of them while in school that is a complete distraction. Even though i believe it may be hard to avoid distractions one has to be aware of the challenges of college and leave distractions out of the box of your college life.

  8. Ariana Mejia says:

    i agree to what she says because there are alot of distractions out here and she thought and realized why she was at UCSB and found a way to accomplish her goal. At the end of the blog i asked myself all those questions to see if i am on the right track to reach my goal.

  9. Cynthia Cespedes says:

    I think this was a great blog for me to read because at times i do need something to motivate me to keep going to school, doing work, and so on. I have to have a plan and stick to it. I want to find something to motivate me and I don’t mean for a week or two, but for the whole semester and the remainder of my school years.

  10. Huy H says:

    The article was really informative. It has good advice about how to surround yourself with people with the same goals and how to have a goal in mind before hand so you have somthing to reach for. Its also intresting about the percent of people who are unemplyed and the earning of them.

  11. Patty!!(; says:

    I think this is the perfect time for me to read this article, I am very busy and sometimes i just want to give up! This is an inspirational bloog!! I can totally relate to most of the distractions you talked about! I just have to think were almost half way!(:

  12. Ismael says:

    This article really made me think about all the distractions in my life, and what i should do to stay motivated for the rest of the semester. when she stated the statistics about the unemployment rate it got me thinking about how hard it is to get a good paying job with out a degree. This blog has motivated me not to give up and to keep on working hard.

  13. SUZyy=] says:

    This blog made me realize many things. I dont know how to manage my time with commitments ( school,work,and boyfriend). Many times i just want to give up. Either its school or work. I care for my education thats why i wont give up on school, but i also care for my job bacause i have to do something for living. So its a tough decision. Its hard for a college student nowadays to keep in track and stay focoused, due to the technology we have nowadays, cell phones(smartphones) are a big distraction. Reading your blog will help me get motivated since i have difficulties on that.

  14. Bobby guzmab says:

    I can relate to this article because when I first started college I was all for it and said i would study everyday. As the semester goes on I get lazy. This article helps me to bot be lazy. It gives me motivation to do my work and study. Allni have to do is ask myself those questions that are in the text and to around myself with peers that have the same goal as me which is to get out of cerritos College in 2 years.

  15. Gabbie says:

    relating to this article was too easy, i beleive this article was written for me 😀 Im going through some difficulties and Im noticing how hard it is. Now im very afaraid to get lazy and take the easy way out from school n quit, that is my fear. By reading this I’ve gained confidence, I know I can do this. I just gotta focuz and not let the laziness get to me.

  16. Samual says:

    Je suis agée de 47 années , je ne fait pas de complexe là dessus
    Je me nomme Romaine.
    Mon travail est ingénieur agronome … Mes amis racontent parfois que je
    suis rigolote.

  17. je suis Aubrette
    Je suis agée de trente-cinq années .
    Je voudrais devenir agent immobilier ! Mon naturel est plutôt réservé.

  18. Hello; Je souffle mes quarante-trois bougies dans
    un mois .
    je suis Julie
    Mon travail accessoiriste de spectacles .
    Est-ce un défaut d’être joyeuse ?

  19. J’ai trente-huitA .
    Mes parents m’ont appellée Pauline et j’aime beaucoup ce prénom.
    je fais un stage pour devenir webmasteur ! On dit souvent de moi que je semble je m’en foutiste.

  20. salut, Je m’appelle Jacqueline.
    J’ai trente et unA !
    je suis un stage pour devenir documentaliste ! Est-ce un défaut que d’être une vraie pomme ?

  21. Je suis agée de vingt-neuf ans , je ne fait pas de complexe à ce sujet .

    je suis Fanchon
    Ce que je fais : téléprospectrice … Est-ce un défaut d’être attentionnée ?

  22. taille says:

    Blop, J’ai 37 ans .
    Mes parents m’ont appellée Auda et j’aime beaucoup ce prénom.
    Je bosse comme stagiaire ! Il est dit parfois de moi que je suis pète sec.

  23. Voyage says:

    comment va ? Valérie à votre service
    Je suis jeune de quarante-cinq printemps .
    Mon boulot, opératrice de fabrication . Je suis plutôt d’un naturel enjoué.

  24. J’ai quarante-trois ans ; je ne fait pas de retenue là dessus !
    Je porte le joli nom de Maureen.
    Ce que je fais de beau dans la vie, libraire … il semble que je suis geignarde.

  25. Voyage says:

    Hello; Mes parents m’ont appellée Claire et j’aime beaucoup ce prénom.

    Je suis une fille de 39 printemps !
    Mon travail chanteuse . Il est dit que je semble cool.

  26. Voyage says:

    Blop, Je suis une jeune fille de 31 ans .
    Mes parents m’ont appellée Nicolette et j’aime beaucoup ce prénom.

    Mon boulot, illustratrice . Je suis plutôt d’un naturel enjoué.

  27. Je viens de fêter mon quarante et unième anniversaire.
    Je porte le joli nom de Melisande.
    Je suis directrice d’hôtel . il parait que je suis timide.

  28. Amber says:

    Fayette à votre service
    Je suis agée de 26 années !
    Ce que je fais , prof du privé . On dit régulièrement de moi que je parais farceuse.

  29. Porter says:

    Good answer back inn return of this difficulty wih genuine arguments and
    describing all regarding that.

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