how to get back on the wagon

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by startover, Feb 1, 2006.

  1. startover

    startover New Member

    classes taken/ passed

    us government
    intro to computers
    micro apps for business
    comp 1
    comp 2
    business ethics

    cleps taken

    analyzing interp lit

    that should put me at 21 hours + 12 clep hours / 33 hours.

    here's the problem, I've lost all motivation and struggle pretty regularly with bipolar disorder. I am working a data analyst position and in order to go anywhere in my career I'll need a degree asap.

    I have about another 4 months left on instacert.

    Metropolitan state allows you to clep one class a week if you register 2 weeks ahead.

    U MN allows you to clep weekly if you register a week in advance (up to 2 classes I think)

    I'm feeling pretty overwhelmed right now. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
  2. startover

    startover New Member

    and i am having the worst trouble finding a dantes test site here... anyone local who can clue me in? :confused:
  3. PhD2B

    PhD2B Dazed and Confused

    Without the knowledge of where you are located, here is a link to the DANTES directory of education centers.
  4. philosophicalme

    philosophicalme New Member

    I, too, suffer from Depression, Acute Anxiety Disorder and OCD to some extent. My medication has been helping lately, but I do have relapses. Gaining credit through CLEP, DANTES, and ECE exams has really helped my anxiety about school lessen. So far, since July 05, I have gained over 70 credits through CLEP and DANTES exams. I have just 13 more tests to go before I get my BS. It's really hard for me to finish studying for an exam and then realize I have to, once again, pick up a textbook and study for yet another exam. I struggle with motivation issues too.

    As for DANTES test centers, have you tried a local community college? Mine administers CLEP and DANTES exams.

    If you did well on the Humanities and Analyzing Literature exams, I recommend also taking the CLEP American Lit and CLEP British Lit exam by using Barron's EZ-101 series for study. That would be 12 more credits and your knowledge from the Humanites study will help greatly.

    Keep up the good work. Just keep a steady pace and try to relax. Approach your studies more leisurely and enjoy the learning process. Everything else will fall into place, trust me. If you ever need to talk with someone about your problems, send me a PM, I'd be happy to respond.

    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 1, 2006
  5. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Without motivation there's little anyone here can do for you. In my admittedly unqualified opinion, you don't need academic counseling, you need psychiatric counseling.

    Good luck,

  6. beholdweb

    beholdweb New Member

    Hi Startover,

    I think you should set yourself very short-term and reachable goals. Concentrate on one exam at a time. You may find it easier to focus if you know you are "just taking one exam".

    You can do that! You can study for, sit, and pass ONE exam.

    If you lose your focus for a day or so as you work towards that one short-term goal, all is not lost. Just get back into it as soon as you feel up to it.

    In terms of study time, it is easier to say to yourself, "I am just going to study for the next two hours", than it is to say, "Oh My God! I have an exam next week and I have to study for it."

    Just split things up into bite-sized chunks. Life is more pallatable that way, and it allows you the flexibility you need to 'miss a beat' and still stay on track.

    You probably already do this on a daily basis:

    "It's just one day at work, I can do this!"
    "It's just two hours, I can do this!"
    "It's just one lunch meeting to go to, I can do this!"
    "I just need to get out of bed, I can do this!"
    "First pants....then shoes, I can do this!"

    If you take the same approach to your exams, you will do fine Startover.

    The idea of earning an entire degree can be overwhelming to a lot of people. You are not alone in that! It is hard work.

    But I doubt the idea of taking just ONE exam is anywhere near as overwhelming. You can do this!

    Similarly, the idea of studying for an entire exam is often overwhelming. Setting a goal of studying just one chapter, or just one section, or studying for just two hours, however, is much more achievable. Don't you think? You can do it that way!

    The added benefit of breaking long-term goals into many short-term reachable goals, is that you have many more opportunities to feel a sense of accomplishment along the way. Each goal you accomplish will give you added encouragement and incentive to move on to the next short-term goal. Also, if you are having a bad day, or even a bad week, it is much easier to get "back on the wagon" without feeling as though you have screwed up the entire long-term goal.

    Make sense?

    You can do this!

    Your first short-term goal might simply be to decide which exam you want to pass next. That's much more do-able than to set your next goal as "earn my degree".

    We are all here if you need moral support, encouragement, or advice, okay?

    You can do this! You have already earned 33 credits, so we know you have what it takes.

    Just try not to bite off more than you can chew in one sitting, and the all-you-can-eat meal laid out before you won't seem quite so overwhelming.

    Best of luck,
  7. philosophicalme

    philosophicalme New Member

    Re: Re: how to get back on the wagon

    Wow, Beholdweb... I think you should become the official resident Degreeinfo motivational speaker! :p
  8. beholdweb

    beholdweb New Member

    Re: Re: Re: how to get back on the wagon

    Ha ha!

    If I have any advice to share, it's not because I have already done it...I am right here in the trenches with you.

    I am speaking to myself as much as to anyone else!

    I can do this, I can do this, I can do this! :p
  9. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Re: Re: Re: how to get back on the wagon

    Indeed. I have to admit you all are a heck of a lot better at it than I. Startover, I sincerely hope you weren't put off by my abrupt tone. I really do wish you the best!

  10. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member

    Well, it seems you've finished the equivalent of your freshman year. But you are suffering from bipolar disorder and you seem to be a bit depressed, quite frankly. I will admit to you that I, too, suffer from bipolar disorder and schizoaffective disorder as well. Have you been seeing a mental health practitioner about your problem and, if so, are you on meds? I would advise you that it is never a good idea to try to go off meds against medical advice. Bipolar is a very debilitating illness and your struggle is mighty and heroic. Like I told another poster here, the penalty for washing out of school is to live on forever on various internet-based distance learning discussion boards with a signature proclaiming you to be an educated derelict. (Note: I myself have thus far washed out of: Western State College's MA in Social Studies, 1984-1985, 1988; University of Colorado's MA in Mediaeval History, 1985-1986; Faith Seminary's MDiv, 1993-1994; California State University, Dominguez Hills' MA in Humanities, 1997-2003; and American Military University's MA in Civil War Studies, 2001-2003, 2005.)
  11. philosophicalme

    philosophicalme New Member

    Ted, you are quite ambitious! I have washed out of a few programs myself a few years ago. I started community college, took one semester, dropped out. Tried to take some courses at Excelsior, dropped out. Thought about taking courses here and there..Never did it. Then I found all of you lovely people at these message boards and decided to give this whole testing out thing a try. And it worked! Ted, if it was meant to be, it would be. You've got three great achievements to be proud of.

  12. beholdweb

    beholdweb New Member

    I wonder if Bipolar Disorder was an incorrect diagnosis...sounds more like Attention Deficit Disorder to me! :p

    Regardless, you have achieved great things!

    Nobody holding a BA and two MBAs can seriously be considered a "Derelict" in ANY sense of the word. Maybe you just haven't found your groove yet, that's all! :D
  13. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member

    Actually, in the deep recesses of my memory, I seem to recall accounts somewhere of people diagnosed bipolar (or manic-depressive, which is, or seems to be, essentially the old name) who turned out, in fact, to be ADD. I have other reasons to suspect, but I really cannot be too forward about it. The "Theo the Educated Derelict" will come off the signature line someday, when "MA in History," or something very close thereto, can go on the signature line.
  14. Tim D

    Tim D Member

    Actually the change took place when they switch from the DSM III-R to the DSM-IV(yes I washed out of a Psychology program(Rhode Island College 1997-1998, Ironically I only needed two more Psychology classes and about 25 credits of electives to graduate,) and I have ADD(Iwas never Hyperactive)). The Village Idiot will never come off my signature line, because there will always be people alot smarter than I am.
  15. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member

    Tim: You are not an idiot. I know you have made some accomplishments because I recall once PMing you to ask you how such an intelligent man as yourself could call himself a Village Idiot. Set a goal for yourself (like finishing a psych degree) that qualifies you to take that "Village Idiot" off the sig line. No use beating yourself up, for criminy's sake!
  16. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member

    As far as if you were ever to try to finish that psych degree, Charter Oak State College , Excelsior College , and Thomas Edison State College are probably the most generous schools with respect to incoming transfer credits and earning credit via "testing out" procedures (AP, CLEP, DANTES, ECE, PEP, TECEP, etc). If you want me to, I could dig out some old threads where I posted, with weblinks, all the accredited distance learning bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees in psychology listed in Bears' Guide.
  17. philosophicalme

    philosophicalme New Member


    I've been incorrectly diagnosed with Bi-Polar Disorder on two occasions, once when I was 15 and once when I was 23, with two different psychiatrists. I was put on Lithium, Depakote and Risperdal (not fun meds by any means). Well, it turns out I did not have Bi-polar, but instead I have a mixture of Acute Anxiety Disorder, OCD (manifests with depression), major depressive episode, and a little Social Anxiety Disorder...oh and Generalized Anxiety Disorder! Whew! If I can do this, anybody can. :p

  18. Tim D

    Tim D Member

    I would like to finish the Psych degree but unfortunately I am too focused on finishing my MBA at the moment. Of course the issue is my credts are not getting any newer so most likely they will turn into a pumpkin(most often credits older than 10 years old are not usable) before I get around to completing it. Alternatively I am considering going for an I/O degree at NCU or UNISA once I get my MBA but there is nothing definate or firm on that either.
  19. philosophicalme

    philosophicalme New Member

    I was also eyeing up the I/O Psych Master's degree at NCU. But of course, I am eyeing everything up at the moment! :p

  20. startover

    startover New Member

    Thanks all for the replies. I'm going to try doing what the one poster said, and that's jut to think about one class at a time, and see what happens.

    I heard what someone said about me needing a psych. rather than academic counseling, and well, I see a psych, therapist, and work fulltime as a data analyst.. it's not that I don't have the medical or pharmaceutical care i need. But no amount of meds will ever completely halt the symptoms of a bipolar depression, if you're lucky they're minimized.

    On the other posts regardign bipolar disorder, it seems usually doctors find out "for sure" by misdiagnosing depression and giving a SSRI to a bipolar patient. After a week or so of mania, friends/family usually run screaming back to the shrink.

    that's all, have to work now.

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