Students in an online academic program have many advantages compared to students within the tight schedule and restrictions of a traditional, in-person school. You get to determine your own schedule, experience travel, and pursue your own interests. You can work through your program at your own pace and explore the world around you. But one thing that can be tricky is figuring out how to stay on track. How can you stay motivated in your online classes?
Excel High School has a lot of experience preparing students for life as an online student. We’ve been helping students like you achieve their goals since 2004, so we know a thing or two about how to get and stay motivated when you’re faced with the freedom and flexibility you’ve been provided as an online student.
Focus on the Positive
Your mindset guides your behavior. Think about it like riding a bike. When you’re riding a bike and turn to look off to the left or right, your entire body and the bike tend to follow that direction. When your mind is full of chaos and negative thoughts, your habits are sure to follow. In order to stay on the right path, you have to keep your mindset in check.
There are a lot of ways to keep a positive mindset, like tracking things you’re grateful for in a journal, spending time outdoors, practicing mindfulness, and getting physical exercise through running, yoga, or participating in sports. When you get your mindset in order, it’s a lot easier to find the motivation to make good choices for yourself.
With a positive mindset, you can also start to focus on the reason you’re in school. You want to graduate so that you can move on to the next step in your life. You want to be an independent adult, you want to follow a career path, or you want the chance to experience the world through your own vision of what success means to you.
Stick to a Routine
Even though you have a lot of freedom within your online program, it’s important to set up a routine for yourself. It’s nice to be able to change that routine once in a while, but a routine will create positive traits and habits that will follow you throughout your life. What does your ideal schedule look like? Sit down and figure out what days you will work on academics, where you will do the work, and for how long you will focus.
Once you’ve set your routine, you can certainly change it occasionally in order to make room in your schedule for special events and opportunities, but stick to it most of the time. You’ll find that the routine will help your mind focus on your work. When it’s time for school, put away distractions and get your work done.
You have an amazing opportunity to complete your school work without the distractions and busy work of a traditional school, so you’re going to be able to finish your school work each day in a significantly shorter amount of time than your peers in a brick-and-mortar school. This means that if you want to work every morning and take afternoons off, you can. If you want to work full days and have extra days off, you can. Whatever you decide, though, you’re going to want to stick with it in order to keep yourself motivated.
To stay motivated, you have to remember to take care of yourself. Within your set routine, schedule breaks when you get to do something special. Remember to make your breaks intentional, but don’t be afraid to take small breaks when you’re feeling frustrated or antsy, too! Set a timer and walk away from your school work. Get up and move around, take a nap, play with your pet, or call a grandparent. Taking a break should include something that will help you come back to your classwork feeling positive and hopeful about your future.
Incentivize Your Work
At the beginning of each school year and then at the start of each school week, sit down and set some goals for yourself. How much will you get done this week? What scores do you want to achieve? What interests do you want to explore? Is there somewhere you want to go or a friend you want to connect with? How about a new hobby you’ve been wanting to investigate?
Setting both academic and personal goals is a helpful way to stay focused and motivated. And then when you accomplish your goals, reward yourself in some way. A reward can be as simple as a sleep in day or a pajama day. It doesn’t have to cost money and doesn’t have to be a “thing.”
Don’t Wait to Get Help
One of the hardest things about staying motivated is doing so when you’re confused. When you’re in an online program, it’s very easy to hide when you don’t understand, but that’s also a really good way to get frustrated and lose your motivation. One advantage of being confused in an online program is that you don’t have to raise your hand in front of the class to get the help you need, so reach out to your instructor and ask for help.
If you’re a full-time student at Excel High School, your tuition comes with access to online tutoring through Train The Brain, too. So instead of waiting to ask for help, hop online and schedule a convenient one-on-one tutoring session with our experienced, highly-qualified content area experts. You don’t need to struggle and worry when you have the support of a personal tutor through TTB.
Even though your education is important, it’s also important to live a balanced life and develop your personal interests. It can be really tempting to hide away at home when you’re an online student, but it’s even more important that you get out there and explore the world around you. Take a look at what’s available in your community or nearby. Get involved in community service or community league athletics. If you enjoy theater, see what the local theater company has available.
Participating in activities outside of school will keep you refreshed, help you become a more well-rounded person, and help you maintain the positive attitude necessary to stay motivated.
Excel High School
If you’re not already a student with Excel High School but would like to learn more, feel free to check out our programs on our website. Still got questions? Feel free to reach out to us by text at 952-465-3700 or call us at 800-620-3844. Our staff will be happy to answer any questions you have and guide you to the best program for your individual needs.