Feature image by: Nattu

Maybe you enrolled at MatadorU to learn more about travel writing, photography, and/or filmmaking with the excitement that is the sign of a new beginning, a beginning that could lead to you working not for somebody else’s benefit, but for your own passions. Then Life seems to pull you away from your great intentions. A day goes by, a week, maybe months and you realized you’ve stalled out. You wonder if all you’ve done is waste your money.

Here are five simple ways to keep your energy flowing with MatadorU.

1. Read each chapter and assignment as though you’re reading a love letter.The courses have been carefully designed to teach you thoroughly about this new craft you intend to master. They are not just boring chapters in a boring textbook. They are a way to engage with your words and images.

2. Respond to the comments that the MatadorU faculty/mentors make on your assignments and labs. React. Use what works for you and tell us what doesn’t. At the U you get one-on-one attention, hard to find today in over-crowded college settings.

3. Talk with us. Write to us when you are confused by our suggestions. It is often in the exchange that new ideas come to light.

4. Check into all the other opportunities to be in connection with teachers and other students. Like the Forums, the Announcement bar, and the student Facebook group. Comment on other students’ work and remember that you don’t have to be a teacher, just a peer showing support.

5. Remember that no brilliant photographer, writer, or filmmaker was born knowing how to create their finest work. Just as great musicians have to learn and practice scales and chords, you have a craft to learn. If you’re having trouble either getting started or staying motivated, commit five minutes a day to your work here. And see what happens.