Developing a sense of connection with others starts with developing a connection with yourself, your goals, and your purpose. It may not always seem like it, but often there’s a support system out there for you. The ability to form or strengthen that system can be reflected by how well you understand yourself. It starts with you.
Finding a sense of belonging can be difficult and sometimes you may feel a bit lost — that’s normal. This is especially true as a student. You may find yourself asking “Is this really what I want to do?” “Am I cut out for this?” Remember, while it’s OK to have these thoughts, there are other questions you can ask yourself to remain motivated and to rekindle that sense of purpose.
As a student, you have instructors, advisors, student Facebook pages, peer study groups, and more when looking for places to turn when you need some help. UMA strives to offer a supportive environment just like this where our students can develop a strong sense of belonging and feel inspired.
But we know that our students can have moments where that spark seems like it’s dwindling. And these concerns aren’t limited to school. You may also experience the same feelings in the workplace or in your personal life.
To be a part of something and play an active role in your own life, developing a sense of purpose is key. Here are six questions you can ask yourself to keep your spark burning bright.
Why do you feel uncertain?
Check in with yourself to pinpoint why you might be feeling lost. Is it due to a specific incident, or has this been an ever-present thought? Can you define your responsibilities and who you care about the most? Can you list your goals, whether they be financial, academic, or personal? Do you want to make more money, be happy, be healthy, have friends, or meet life milestones? When you realize how much you are needed and what you are capable of, you may not feel so out of place.
What do you really love to do?
If you had to fill in the bumper sticker, “I’d rather be _____,” what would you say? Fishing, running, baking, dancing, surfing, shopping — although your response may not be your life’s purpose, it is most likely something that makes you happy. Use it as a go-to reminder when you need a positive reboot and a better perspective on life.
Who do you admire?
Pick a person or a list of people you wish to be more like and then make a list of the things about them you wish to emulate. Perhaps it’s someone you know or a celebrity you admire. Research this person’s story and how they achieved success and maybe you’ll discover what continues to motivate them. Invite the person you know for coffee or lunch to ask for sincere advice.
Are you a people person?
Try this quiz. If the results show you to be a solo-flyer and to prefer more “me time” to get things done, this is just as okay as preferring group activity. There are merits to both social and solitary learning, or personal interaction. If you think you must be outgoing to succeed in school, think again.
Where can you help others?
Establishing who you are can occur as you put in the work to support others. Supporting an organization with a cause close to your heart may help you find an immediate sense of purpose. It can also boost your confidence by allowing you to showcase your strengths and uncover hidden skills. You will also find camaraderie with people who share your belief in the organization.
How would you like to be remembered?
Consider your life’s purpose in relation to how you would like to be described. Do you want to be known for your job; for the type of friend you were, for how much money you had, or for what you did for others? This reflection can often demonstrate that you already know your purpose.
Other helpful resources:
- 7 Tips for Finding Your Purpose in Life
- 5 Questions to Help You Find Your Sense of Purpose
- The Psychology of Belonging and Why it Matters
- Social vs Solitary Learning: What Makes Studying Effective?
UMA knows that many students juggle work and family life while going to school. That’s why we have a built-in support system. Our Learner Services Advisors are here for you. Call 888-216-0544. We encourage you to reach out with questions and concerns.
UMA Cares handles important student issues that may need to be addressed with special attention. UMA Cares takes all inquiries seriously and responds in a timely manner. Visit UltimateMedical.edu/uma-cares/ to make your voice heard.
UMA Wellness Center
Stay tuned to the UMA Wellness Center for new blog posts! Wellness is incredibly important to your studies and your overall health. UMA is committed to providing you and your household with access to wellness resources. You and your household can use these resources to work toward your health and wellbeing!
UMA does not endorse any vendors, products, or services presented in the UMA Wellness Blog Series, and UMA bears no responsibility in any capacity as it relates to such vendors, products, or services. The information on wellness or related services is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional financial advice. Please contact the vendor or service provider for answers to questions regarding its content, products, or services.