By Ellen Parham, director, Columbia College-Fort Stewart

Like a lot of people, I have a love/hate relationship with exercising. As I drive home, I think of excuses as to why I shouldn’t exercise that particular day. Similarly, you probably think of excuses as to why you should postpone doing homework or miss class for the night. I am sure there are times you sit and ponder the amount of time necessary to accomplish your academic endeavor while wondering if you’ll have the energy to continue working full-time or handle family priorities while going to school.

I’ve been in your position. I know how you feel. But just like with a workout regimen, going to class to complete your degree all comes down to developing self-discipline – a regimen, a pattern – and not wavering from that pattern until your goal is attained.

Fort Stewart Director Ellen Parham

Sometimes when you’re exercising, you might find yourself wanting to stop halfway through because you don’t think you can do anymore. But that’s the time to push harder and tell yourself that quitting is not an option! Unfortunately, students who decide to take a break for a session or two usually don’t return because of other life obstacles that are used as future excuses. Rather than focusing on the obstacle in your path, focus on the finish line. Get past the obstacle by mentally breaking the remainder of your academic journey into smaller parts to complete one at a time until you reach the finish line.

There is no question you have the ability to complete your degree. The question is, do you have the intense desire, the commitment, the self-discipline? I believe you do, or you wouldn’t have even bothered to enroll. Remember you are in this for the long run. It’s a marathon, not a sprint!