Salute to Spouses Blog

We're excited to be blogging about the latest topics in military life. We want to keep you informed on topics such as current events, education, career advice, etc. Feel free to post comments or questions to any of our entries.
Finding Motivation

By Jenna Moede

My last class was tough. I had trouble remembering my ability to handle the workload even though I enjoyed the content and felt excited about it. Now that I have my grade and succeeded in my first class, I have tried to figure out what kept me motivated and moving.

First, those mini goals I set earlier in the beginning of this semester gave me incentive. The goals included reading my book, completing my homework before the deadline, and actively participating in class discussions. They gave me focus when I felt stuck or, when I just didn’t want to do anything at all. And trust me, I had those days.

By celebrating the mini goal victories, I started to believe I could take on the class one step at a time. I know I will doubt my success at times during my program, and I may, at some point, face failure, but I hope the little wins will help keep me moving forward.

Tracking my grades also kept me focused during the last class. In the past, I have looked often at grades but never bothered to really use them as a tool. Following my points earned helped me assess my standing in the class and what I needed to do in order to meet my goal grade which also helped me see how much I’d accomplished and learned since the beginning of the class.   

Grades also pushed me with professor feedback. Each time the professor graded an assignment, I took the time to review their comments, critiques, and scoring rubric. When I studied for my undergraduate degree, I looked at grades only to find out what I had received on assignments and if it dropped or raised my letter grade. I never read or applied the changes suggested by my professor.

Using grades and feedback, helped me boost my comprehension of the content and figure out exactly what my professor expected of my performance. The feedback clarified the expectations from the syllabus and rubric, and my classwork confidence grew because of it. I feel like I have a better grasp of graduate school expectations now with one class behind me.

My support network also helped keep my spirits up throughout the class. I sometimes over focused on the critiques rather than what I had done well in the reviews. Even though I found the value in the changes, I still had trouble feeling good about it all the time. Keeping my support network in the loop helped put grades and critiques in perspective and encouraged me to make valuable use of them.   

While all of those motivators propelled me through a lot of the work, I still just felt myself going through the motions some days. In those cases, I used my long-term goals to push through. I reminded myself over and over (a million times over) why I need to work hard, what I hope to achieve, and how much I value my goals. It worked when nothing else did.

I visualized the big picture and realized whatever my struggle was at that time only made up one part of the path. I also plan to research blogs, videos, and websites featuring people that currently have my dream career to remind me what I want to work towards and why I chose this.

I know the value of motivation when completing any type of college program, but I also know I can easily lose sight of the end goal. I remind myself that I chose this program, and I want to succeed in it. So, I will always look out for anything that keeps me excited and passionate about my choice.  

For Military Spouses
Apply for the Salute to Spouses scholarship today and begin your education! You’ll be on the way to your dream career.

Salute to Spouses Scholarship Recipients