5 Tips from Erin Moriarty, Loyola Chicago’s Associate Vice President and Dean of Undergraduate Admissions, on How to Motivate Yourself to Earn a Higher Education

Originally published on Influencive.

Sometimes finding it within ourselves to reach the next level of personal performance can be a real challenge. A degree can be a lot of hard work, and it is always a large investment of time, energy, and money. But there are ways to get your mind up to the task.

Here are five tips from Erin Moriarty, Loyola's Associate Vice President and Dean of Undergraduate Admissions, on motivating yourself to earn a higher degree.

1. Create a Sense of Accomplishment

Once we become adults, there aren't as many ways to feel a sense of accomplishment as there might have been when we were kids. A great way to feel proud of your hard work and growth over the years is to attain a degree. Doing so means you have a certain level of knowledge in a given subject matter, and no one can scoff at that.

Maybe you won't go around telling people that you're a master of anything in particular, but you could say you have a Master's degree – if you wanted to go that far.

2. Think About Your Income

Those income levels open up opportunities like purchasing a home, buying a new car, or traveling for vacation more frequently. While money isn't everything in life, an increase in your income can make a significant difference in the quality of your life over time. 

3. You Can Live Longer

Speaking of quality of life, multiple studies over the years have linked a person's level of education to their ability to live a longer, healthier life. Having a higher education degree often leads to better healthcare access and the ability to make more informed choices about your health.

As an added bonus, worrying less about significant stressors like unemployment, low wages, or a lack of health insurance can improve your overall well-being.

4. Make Yourself Competitive in Your Field

Going back to school and earning a higher degree will make you stand out in a competitive field. As higher education becomes more of a standard expectation from employers, your education level will become increasingly important. In fact, many higher-level positions in most industries today won't even consider candidates who lack a bachelor's degree. Some even recommend having a master's degree to be competitive for the position.

5. Take Advantage of Scheduling Flexibility

In the past, many people never went back to school because they believed it would be too difficult to juggle their work and class schedule at the same time. With the advent of modern technology, however, universities are more flexible than ever. Many schools even offer full degrees online!

Gone are the days when your work and class schedule would have to overlap. That old go-to excuse about not having the time doesn't apply anymore. So, instead of using it as an excuse, use it as a reason to motivate yourself to sign up for classes!

Whatever way you can motivate yourself to go back to school, make it happen – you won't regret it!

About Erin Moriarity

Erin Moriarty, Loyola University Chicago’s Associate Vice President and Dean of Undergraduate Admissions, is passionate about students. She believes strongly in Loyola’s mission – to help mold young men and women to become leaders in today’s society and to seek God in all things. Outside of work, Erin can be found participating in Pedal the Cause or biking along the shores of Lake Michigan.