In his novel The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote, “life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.” In my opinion, this statement could not be truer. For many, September signals the beginning of a new season, a fresh school year, and an adjustment between the heat of the summer and the chill of winter (depending where you live, of course).
If you did not take courses over the summer months, fall is a time for you to reacquaint yourself with the online classroom and get back into the swing of posting to discussion boards, reading required texts, and thinking critically in your classes. It could be overwhelming at some points, so here are three things to tell yourself when you need some encouragement.
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- You have all of the power.
In the classroom, it might seem like the instructor holds the keys to the kingdom. Since her or she is assigning you the work, leading the discussion, and correcting the exams, it’s easy to think that they are in charge. And to a degree, they are. However, when it comes to your success and how well you perform in the class, you are the one with all of the power. You have the power to read the text, write the paper, and think critically about the concepts. If you want to succeed, you can.
- You started for a reason.
Fall is a busy time of year. If you’re in school on top of everything else you are committed to in your life, it can become a little overwhelming. Don’t lose sight of why you started! If you find that you are becoming stressed out, make a list of all the reasons you started your degree program—career advancement, kids, family, or maybe just a change. No matter what it is, it’s definitely worth the effort. And thinking about the reasons you started just might get you through the rough patch you are experiencing.
- You shouldn’t be afraid to treat yourself.
If you’re meeting the demands of your courses, working, and taking care of all personal obligations, you deserve a reward! When you finish a big project or get a good grade this term, you have the right to treat yourself to something special—even if it’s just an extra episode on Netflix. By making time to do the things you enjoy, you’ll be more likely to stay focused on the goal and get your work done.
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