At most traditional brick-and-mortar campuses, there is a month-long holiday break beginning early December. The beauty of 100% online courses at Grantham University is that you can keep going we have start dates available almost every Wednesday!

Despite this availability, there can definitely be a desire "or need" for a mental holiday break. Some students feel as though schoolwork infringes on time with family, and could make the holidays a little less enjoyable.

Back in June, I wrote a blog about momentum and how key it is in completing your online degree program. Losing momentum from several consecutive terms of hard work could slow down progress.In fact, if a student took a break over the traditional holiday season each year (including a week off for Thanksgiving and the time between Christmas and New Year's Eve), it would take an average of six additional months to complete the program.

So what can be done to stay motivated and on track through the holidays? I'm glad you asked.

1. Set aside some time each day to study.

It may sound simple, but you don't need to take that much time away from family to get a little work done. And to be honest, sometimes that little bit of alone time each day can be incredibly therapeutic.

2. Keep your eye on the prize.

Just think, if you tough it out through the remainder of your program and take minimal breaks, holidays will be that much sweeter after graduation. You won't have a future course looming over your head, and you might land a better job opportunity due to your earned degree.

3. Munch on holiday foods that help concentration and brainpower.

Sage, pumpkin seeds, and nuts are listed as foods that help improve memory and cognition. Sage stuffing with pecans is my absolute favorite stuffing, so this is great news for me!

4. Plan ahead.

If you absolutely, no-way no-how, cannot start another session during the holidays, plan your next term in advance. Student Advisors can assist with registration agreements several months in advance. It's good practice to plan ahead, and always have a future term set up so that you don't have to worry about it later.

Last, but not least...

One more piece of advice to help stay the course or courses, as the case may be. As the old song goes, find a friend to lean on. Or, better yet, ask your friends and family to be a learning support group  individuals who will encourage, motivate and help you find time to pursue your program.

After all, tis the season for family, friends and focusing on finishing your degree program.

What are you doing to keep good going? Lend us your study tips for the holidays below.


About the author: Sarah Burgen is a Student Advisor Trainer and joined Grantham in 2010. She holds a MBA from Grantham and a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication from Winona State.

Outside of work, Sarah spends her time with her church assisting with children's ministries and volunteering in the community. She also enjoys exploring Kansas City with her wonderful family and coworkers.