How Do I Get Motivated?


When it comes to planning for your future, working hard is really worth it. Don't be afraid of failing—just get started.

Q: I'm a senior in high school and I know that I'm supposed to be preparing for college—filling out applications, making college visits, all of it. But even though I know all of that is important, I just can't seem to get going. I'm feeling more and more anxious as time passes, and I can't get motivated. It's not that I don't want to go to college. I guess I'm just having trouble doing all the things I need to do to get there. How can I get motivated? And since I'm so late getting started, where should I start?
A: If you're like many students I've known, your fear of being rejected may be what's keeping you from applying to colleges. It's true that even the best students don't get accepted to every college they apply to. There are a lot of variables that affect the decisions admissions officers make about applicants. But it's also true that you can't get accepted to colleges if you don't apply.
If my guess is right and you're struggling with fear, I suggest talking to parents, your youth pastor or your guidance counselor about your fears. Pray with them and think of some strategies to help you cope with this stress. If you're involved in too many activities, it may be time to back away from some of them. This will allow you to make the college search a top priority.
Ask your parents, your youth pastor and guidance counselor for suggestions to help you discover three or four schools that might be a good fit. That will allow you to consider each one without becoming too overwhelmed. Research the websites, call the admissions offices to find out about important deadlines, and schedule campus visits. Hopefully, something about at least one of the schools may grab your attention and get you motivated to learn more or to fill out and send in the application. The key is to get started.
When you get to the process of applying for scholarships, think about how much money you could save by setting aside three or four hours each week to fill out applications. Even a small scholarship award might be worth a lot. For example, if you spend three hours filling out an application and win $500 as a result, that means you earned almost $170 an hour! When it comes to planning for your future, I hope you'll discover that working hard is really worth it. Don't be afraid of failing—just get started. 
Written by Judy Moseman
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