What are some important things to remember trying to stay motivated through many years of schooling?
I am an undergraduate student hoping to attend optometry school after graduation. All together, I will be in school for 8 years. Sometimes I find it difficult to stay motivated, as I feel I still have so much more to go through before I finally reach my career path. #college #schools
Good question. First let me say, you are not alone. Rarely does anything worth doing require a quick and easy path. Those who are truly at the top of their game require a lot of time and work to get there. That said, the best advice I can give you is to learn to enjoy the journey. Once you become a doctor, you will be on a path of continuous learning that never really ends. It is one of the responsibilities that doctors of all kinds take on in order to best take care of our clients and add as much to the body of science as we can. Knowing that, you should not wait until you become a doctor to start living and enjoying life. And this is the most important part of the journey that is often overlooked. You may not be able to do everything you want to do now due to limitations on your resources (time and money), but that is not a permanent situation. Find a way to learn to balance your time between academic and non-academic pursuits. Keep up with fiends and loved ones, make new friends, travel, rest, laugh, eat well, and take care of yourself. If you do these things, you will find that when you become a doctor, your career will enhance your life, but not act as a substitute for a life. Many professionals (doctors especially) who burn out make the mistake of a 100% commitment to "delayed gratification" only to find out that the career they sacrificed everything for can't take the place of a well lived life. Those that work hard but "enjoy the journey" tend to enjoy the accomplishment more because they keep it context. Becoming a medical professional is a noble goal, and the training is rigorous. But it is the experiences that you have away from formal training that will dictate what kind of clinician you will become. Your ability to empathize, relate, ask the right questions, and think outside the box are all skills critical to becoming a successful practitioner. Fortunately you can develop those skills now and once joined to your formal education (didactic and clinical), you will be unstoppable. So work work hard for the future, but don't be afraid to look up every once in a while to enjoy the now. Besides, 8 years to a medical career is not so bad. For comparison, at this point in my medical career I have had 15 years of formal training (1 bachelors degree, 2 doctoral degrees and 2 post doctoral appointments) and I still not complete. I would have never made it this far if I didn't find a way to enjoy the journey... because it has been a long one. Best of luck to you.
I've been in my career for 11 years, and have found that the periods of time where I was busy on a wide variety of interests throughout my entire life (roles at work, special interest projects or groups at work, personal interest groups, training for races, etc), can help keep you motivated even when school (or a work role) can slow down and you start to lose motivation. That is completely a natural reaction! I like to have a variety of projects and interests, so you can always have a source of motivation and interest, even when one area starts to feel slow.
My advice is to look at your life and career in total - and use this dedicated and special time (while you are in school!) to develop a wide variety of interests, healthy habits and get involved in organizations / communities! This will open your network and world to other ideas, people and paths that will undoubtedly pay off long term.
Great question! Although I can't speak from experience (my career only required an undergrad degree), I will say that I have friends who went to school for longer, and one thing that helps is that after a certain amount of classes, you will most likely be doing rotations or "residency" type programs where you learn on the job. So even though 8 years seems like a long time to be in school, there is a possibility that not all of that time will be spent in the classroom. Good luck with the rest of your undergraduate career and with the application process to optometry school!