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You’ve taken the first step toward crossing off a huge goal on your bucket list: you’ve decided to look into going back to school. You’re ready to put the pedal to the metal and speed through any roadblocks on the way to where you want to go. Whether that means you’ve already enrolled in a program or you’re still researching options, you are well on your way! That is, until you run out of gas. You’re ready to move forward, sure, but the doubts that you can succeed start to creep in. Going back to school has always seemed difficult because you’re not sure what to do about your everyday life. Do you have room in your life to take on something new? Before you turn back, check out these three essential things to help you rock your way to your new career.

Drive and Determination. Drive and determination go hand in hand. Drive is that desire to reach your destination, the feeling that pushes you forward and keeps you motivated even when the road to your end goal seems too long. Determination is what’s going to get you through the tough spots along the way to come out on the other side like a champion. Together, they’re a powerful combo. They’re what will help you get started and make your way through the accomplishments and challenges that get you to graduation. If you’ve started your journey and are enrolled in an online program, these two are essential to keep you on track even if you feel like you aren’t smart enough or fear you won’t succeed. If you haven’t found the perfect program for you yet, they’re what keeps you motivated to search for something that will fit with your talents and interests. Drive and determination alone, though, aren’t enough to keep you pushing forward when all you want to do is fall back. You need something to guide you when you’re lost.

A Road Map. The biggest obstacle you’re facing is the doubt that you can make time to study or even that you remember how to study. You need a plan, a map that can guide you around and over the problem to get back on track. At Penn Foster, we know that you have a million responsibilities to juggle and we want to help. We’ve got an easy to use, printable goal setting worksheet to help you plan ahead and stay on top of your studies, even when your to-do list seems five miles long. Putting a plan together before you’re on the road, or even when you’re just starting out, will give you something to refer to when you get a bit lost. From creating a study schedule to making a to-do list, the Penn Foster Student Community has the resources to help you stay on task.

Besides planning ahead, you’re worried about being out of practice when it comes to studying. That can make your drive toward your end goal seem slow. Will you ever get there? Though the benefit of self-paced and flexible education is that it’s absolutely okay to take the scenic route to finish your education, it’s normal to want to move a little faster toward your end goal. Though it’s run by the Penn Foster High School department, this Study Tips YouTube Channel offers tips and tricks that are useful to students in any school or program. With video tutorials on the best note taking practices and how to absorb the information you’re reading, you can crush the worries that are holding you back from success.

Support. You’ve got the drive and the determination, your study road map is ready to go, and you’re taking advantage of the tips and tricks out there to help you move forward. Every now and then though, you may stall and come to a complete stop. Knowing you have support from friends, family, coworkers, and your school can take a lot of weight off of your shoulders. Study support can be found in the instructors and teaching assistants dedicated to helping you make the most of your education or in your peers working through their own struggles. Support can also be the spouse or parent who gives you a pep talk when you can’t get moving, the person who believes you’ll fix this problem and get to the next milestone on your journey in no time. Besides the Student Community, which offers a real connection to Penn Foster students outside of practical resources and documents, connecting through social media pages like Facebook  and Instagram (@pennfoster) lets you feel like you’re part of something bigger, a group of students, alumni, and faculty that spans the country. You aren’t really lost if you have friends and family wherever you go.

You’re at the beginning of your journey and, wherever your goals take you and whatever road you’re looking to travel, we’re here to make the trip a bit better for you. You’ve got all of the essentials we talked about in your back pocket so tackle your doubts and take on your dreams. We’ve got you. You’ve got this.