It happens every semester, you start strong but somewhere between the starting line and the finish line there is this moment or the realization that it may be impossible to finish what one has started. That word “impossible” begins to creep in our minds and it starts to weigh heavy. I know this feeling all too well because earlier this year I had this exact same experience. It was supposed to be the easiest semester I have ever had and it turned out to be the most difficult. It was a year I’ve affectionately called “My Year of Transitions” from the changes in my personal life to professional life; I felt my life resembled a roller coaster. Nelson Mandela said, “It always seems impossible until it’s done."

Photo of Nelson Mandela with the quote 'It always seems impossible until it’s done.'

Perhaps this semester feels like a roller coaster, but if you hold on and trust God in the process, I know you will find a way to move forward. To help you along the journey, here are a few tips I came across.

Remember the Successes

Many people celebrate the destinations but forget to acknowledge the process. It’s because of the hard work that goes into the process that the achievement is even worth celebrating. The bachelor’s degree by itself is a piece of a paper that may have a nice frame around it but those who have earned it, truly know that the value does not come from the material of the paper itself but the work that went into achieving that recognition. If you can remember to celebrate the small victories along the way (homework being finished on time, reading the chapter, building better habits, etc.), the big victories (earning that A on a test, or class) will be that much sweeter.

Remember the Why Behind the What

It can be repetitive, laborious, and tedious to do homework every day, read countless amount of pages and write papers. Though these activities will actually help you be a better student and ultimately a better professional, they are time consuming. It’s easy to get caught up in these activities - the what - that we forget why we are evening doing them. If we remember the why, chances are that you will feel the confidence to keep going.

Remember the Big Picture

Don’t miss seeing “the forest for the trees.” It can be tempting to focus on each individual piece of the puzzle that we forget what the actual end product will look like. Every now and then, take a break and look at the pieces you have assembled. It wasn’t long ago that you started this semester or even this online degree program. Soon you will be graduating! Soon you will be achieving your goals and dreams professionally. Soon you will work in the field of your choosing if you’re not already. Remember the big picture.

Additional Resources

Four Keys to Building your Confidence

12 Things Truly Confident People Do Differently

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