How to Stay Motivated: 5 Tips from a Nontraditional College Student

A nontraditional college student shares her best motivation tips!

Everyday life has its challenges. College students, especially many nontraditional students, have multiple responsibilities to manage in addition to their education. How can you stay motivated while you’re in college? Jessica Starr, a Globe University paralegal degree student, has five tips that inspire her and motivated her to write a winning paper for a library research award!

A nontraditional student's advice for staying motivated in college

Paralegal student Jessica Starr with her winning research paper.

1. Motivation from Family

“I made a commitment to my family when I enrolled that I would graduate,” explained Starr. “In order to graduate, you need to do your homework!”

As a nontraditional student, Jessica has many commitments and people depending on her. “Though she seems very internally motivated to challenge herself, she’s also motivated by her family,” shared Becky Myer, paralegal degree instructor. “She does a wonderful job demonstrating to her two young children that hard work will pay off.” 

2. Visualize Your Goals

“The cap, gown and diploma are a huge motivation,” Starr shared. “I envision my family watching me graduate, and how proud we will all be!”

Visualizing success can create success. Imagine achieving your end goal. Sometimes the journey, like college, is long. Don’t lose sight of your end goal!

3. Make College a Full-Time Job

“I look at education as my full time job,” said Starr. “If I didn’t finish my assignments at work, I would be fired!”

With this attitude, Starr motivates herself to get to every class. Myer agrees: “Though she juggles a lot between school and family, she is always in class and always on time with quality assignments.” 

4. Reward Yourself for Reaching Goals

It’s important to celebrate reaching your goals—ittle celebrations for small goals, and larger celebrations for larger goals. “Let’s face it, we all need some mindless fun now and again,” shared Starr. “When I finish my assignments, I can play silly games or watch TV.”

Treat yourself when you accomplish a goal, even if it’s just allowing yourself to watch your favorite TV show after studying. “As a paralegal student, I think Judge Judy and People’s Court can technically be considered studying,” joked Starr.

5. Look Forward to a Better and More Stylish Career

To keep her eyes on the goal, Starr imagines herself being happy in her future career as a paralegal. How will she get there? “All of my hard work,” she said. Taking visualizing her goals of being a paralegal to the next level, Starr also is excited about “all the fabulous clothes I will need to buy for it!”

Take Jessica’s motivation advice for college success! “She’s the kind of student who inspires other students to work harder,” shared Myer. Hopefully her advice can inspire you too!


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