As people reflect, grow, and aim to make 2023 a year of significant change, priorities take shape. Getting a degree may be your New Year’s education resolution, and National University is here to help. You may be asking, how do I get started and stay on track? First things first, understand that nothing can change overnight. Though it can be frustrating to feel like your goals are out of reach, they aren’t likely to elude you if you stay the course. But how?
Getting Your New Year’s Education Resolution Started
As with most large projects, goals, etc., one of the best ways to approach a lofty New Year’s education resolution is to break it down. Time and goal management will keep you honest, accountable, and motivated.
Get Your Finances in Order
We’re not quite at the point where everything is free (we can dream, right?), so setting aside money for an investment as significant as a degree is no small feat. However, it doesn’t have to be as expensive and intimidating as it appears.
Looking into scholarships is a great start, and there are so many out there. Seeking information about financial aid options is another common avenue that allows you to assess your income, get feedback, and build a personalized plan that gets you the most for what you can afford. Don’t forget that you can speak to employers about reimbursement — many employers are happy to help their workers advance their education and may pay for some or all of your education expenses.
Especially if you’re a Veteran, it’s worth your time to look into applicable opportunities — like the Post-9/11 GI Bill® —for tuition reduction. It takes time, but there’s likely to be some kind of financial assistance out there that is the perfect solution for you and breaks the costs barrier of education.
Research Your Educational Program
Are your aspirations personal? Career-specific? You may want to advance in your field or find a new occupation. Whatever you’re hoping to achieve, be sure of your path. National University has no shortage of options for you to pursue, with over 100 online degree programs — plus credentials and certificates — for you to choose from.
Set up A Space to Study
If your area is cluttered and chaotic, you may not see as much success as you would hope. That can be a setback, but it’s easily avoidable. Make sure that you have the space and resources — in a designated area — dedicated to studying, reading, writing, and other educational activities. You’ll have fewer distractions and be able to focus much better.
So, get comfortable furniture, the electronics you’ll need, some shelves, stationery, and whatever else you see fit. When you make your home as productive a space as possible, you’ll be surprised how much you get done!
Get Help From Family and Friends
The famed Beatles lyric, “I get by with a little help from my friends,” is one we can all relate to. When you embark on a new adventure or make a change, it’s good to have the support you need.
Start by setting a schedule so you know when you’ll need some assistance. That way, you’ll be able to give people specific time frames, locations, etc., so you can all prepare.
If you have children or pets that need attention, look into childcare. Your kids spending a few hours at grandma’s while you study and complete assignments can make a huge difference. You may also need help with some daily chores or other tasks. Earning a degree may be a significant decision with a lot of responsibility, but remember that you can share it with folks ready and willing to support and lift you.
Practice Healthy Habits
You aren’t set up for success if you don’t support your well-being. Physical and mental — all of it matters, and keeping up with healthy habits makes your New Year’s education resolution easier to achieve. Some tips:
- Sleep well. You don’t want to be writing a groggy draft for your professor. Plus, you’ll feel sharper, able to be more attentive, and just better overall!
- Maintain your mental health. Whether through therapy or something similar, it’s crucial to make choices that ensure your mental health gets the attention it deserves. It’s just as important as physical health.
- Eat healthily. A balanced diet proves itself time and time again as a valuable asset in your life. Make room for your favorites, as deprivation is always a no-go, but try to keep it balanced.
- Try some exercise. Make it fun: walking your pet, doing a dance class, sports with friends, name it — there are no rules, try to get out there!
Getting some healthy habits into your daily life will become second nature after some time, and you’ll be grateful for it. It’s not the easiest thing to do, so give yourself some grace and try your best.
Is College Necessary to be Successful?
Let’s address the elephant in the room: College isn’t for everyone. You may wonder if the path is for you, and that’s perfectly fine. However, there’s no denying that the benefits of earning a college degree outweigh the negatives.
More and more jobs require degrees nowadays, and you want to start strong in the job market, whether you’re trying to move up in your field, attempting something new, or looking for a different opportunity within your line of work.
Plus, if you’re advancing your degree, you’re showing motivation and passion. It may not be foolproof, but a college degree is a great tool for all levels of jobs and a way to bolster your career.
Motivational Benefits of Earning a Degree Online
You’re probably thinking, “Sure, sounds good, but is it going to make a difference if I earn my degree? Is college worth it?” You may be a bit uncertain about making your educational dreams a reality. It’s not a simple feat, but it’s worth it. Here are a few motivational benefits to think about while you work towards earning your degree.
Increased Earning Potential
Making ends meet is tough but necessary, and a college degree can make it that much easier. College degree earners will earn more in their lifetime than high school degree holders.
Increased Access to Job Opportunities
Sure, it’s possible to get a job that keeps you content without a degree — but do you want to thrive or just get by? A degree can make the difference between a job that’s “just fine” and something you become passionate about. You’re more likely to reach higher heights and do more in your line of work with a degree.
Growing Your Professional Network
You’ll never know when you need to call on someone for a quick chat about your industry, a favor, or just able to talk to someone who “gets it.” Having a network keeps you abreast of news in the industry, may make you feel less alone, and can come in handy when you’re looking for an opportunity to advance your career. Skill, talent, and work ethic matter, but there’s no denying connections play a part.
With a growing professional network and increased earning potential, you’ll find yourself on the right track for career advancement. As you grow in your career, you’ll find more and more opportunities. A deeper understanding of your field via a degree lends itself to more skills, more knowledge, and more potential.
Gaining a Specialized Skill Set
Knowing the basics of your job or field is one thing — getting specialized skills and having that extra knowledge is another. A college degree allows you to sharpen hard and soft skills. Hard skills are related to the field itself, while soft skills can help you communicate better, work with a team, and solve problems.
Increased Confidence and Self-Esteem
There’s no feeling in the world like accomplishing something monumental. It makes us feel like all the hard work was worth it — and it almost always is. When you make your New Year’s education resolution come true, you’ll see that you can follow through and make big things happen.
The more you accomplish, the more confidence you’ll feel. You’ll be able to say, “It was tough, but I made it,” and use that motivation to push yourself even further. You won’t wonder, “Is college worth it?” as you shoot for the stars. Doctorate, anyone?
National University Can Help
With National University, you don’t have to worry about a lack of support. NU is a great option for busy working adults trying to move forward in their careers because we offer:
- Convenient learning options, including online four- and eight-week course options
- A focus on whole-human education that ensures academic, career, financial, family, and emotional support resources
- Plenty of scholarships to help make a college education affordable
- Military Veteran and servicemember resources with folks who understand what it’s like to serve and transition to civilian life — or achieve your dreams while serving
- Career services that offer insights and tips to help you be successful
And that’s just the beginning of what NU can do for you. We encourage you or your employer to look into Workforce Education Solutions (WES) at NU. WES’ goal is simple: help attract, train, and retain employees through beneficial partnerships that help businesses unlock employees’ potential. Through a WES partnership, organizations can:
- Provide tuition discounts to your employees
- Create scholarships and internships
- Develop industry, organization, and job-relevant skills training
The demands of the workforce change daily, and you won’t want to miss out on the opportunities available if you don’t keep up. A WES partnership will keep employees educated, ready for what’s next, and open to new goals and challenges. Plus, these partnerships can be customized to meet any needs. No goal is too big if you have the right tools at your disposal — and we want to make sure businesses get every need met while employees are reaching their full potential.
Questions? Please reach out to [email protected].
Don’t be afraid to make 2023 the year you make a change for the better!