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Many people set goals for themselves in their post-treatment recovery journey. At first, these goals should remain small and achievable, especially earlier in recovery. However, it’s good to set additional long-term goals, such as planning to return to school to pursue academic growth. Unfortunately, many may fear returning to school due to the stress, pressure, and financial burdens that may be a part of the journey. Nevertheless, academic success is possible post-treatment, especially with the help of peer professionals and access to recovery resources. 

Before taking on such a major goal as going back to school, individuals must seek treatment for their struggle with substance use disorder (SUD). You can begin your recovery journey by calling West Coast Recovery Centers today. We strive to inspire and empower change by offering our clients innovative, traditional, and non-traditional treatments. Consider starting your journey with us today!  

The Importance of Setting Goals for Yourself in Recovery

As mentioned, individuals struggling with SUD should first and foremost focus on recovery. Thankfully, an outpatient treatment facility, like West Coast Recovery Centers, can help you achieve sustainable recovery. We do this by offering a number of treatment modalities and helping you reconnect with loved ones, rediscover yourself, and mend your life. Of course, the trajectory of your recovery journey will depend on your unique needs as well as your short- and long-term recovery goals. 

Nevertheless, returning to school can be an excellent long-term goal. Setting a goal for yourself such as this can contribute to a sustainable recovery. In addition, goal setting in recovery can also:

  • Help many feel more satisfied with their lives and improve their self-esteem 
  • Allow clients to see the changes in themselves and monitor their recovery progress
  • Offer clients a greater sense of purpose and motivate them to continue improving themselves while staying sober 

However, returning to school may not be the best goal for everyone. So, how does someone know if returning to school is the right step for them? 

Is Going Back to School the Right Step for You?

Returning to school at any point should be celebrated. Even though this may be a good move, however, it can still be scary. Determining if going back to school is the right step requires you to step back and ask yourself a series of questions, which may include the following: 

  • Does it make sense for you, your situation, and your long-term goals? 
  • Are you setting realistic goals for yourself and managing your expectations? 
  • Can you financially afford to go back to school at this time? 
  • How might returning to school impact your addiction recovery?  
  • Why do you really want to go back to school? 

The last question, in particular, is critical. Many return to school because they are unsure of what to do next. Ask yourself whether you’re in a similar headspace, or if returning to school makes the most sense for you and your journey. 

Some additional questions to ask yourself when making your decision may include:

  • Will going back help you with a career change?
  • Can a degree help you with a promotion in your current industry?
  • Are you comfortable enough with coping skills to take this on right now?

What Defines Academic Success?

Unfortunately, many decide against returning to school before asking themselves any of the above questions. Often, this is because they fear the pressures of school and the failure of not achieving academic success. These fears are completely understandable, especially when dealing with the added pressure of staying sober. However, we can’t let fear run our lives, and nowadays, we can feel empowered to create our own definitions of academic success. 

Academic success is often defined by straight A’s and being at the top of someone’s class. However, nowadays, people more accurately regard academic success in relation to outside factors. Are you also working while going to school? Do you also take care of children or elderly parents? Are you in an accelerated program? Meanwhile, all of these factors can impact your overall academic success, even if it means receiving an off grade here and there. 

Another factor to consider is what it takes to achieve academic success. Qualities of discipline, resilience, and motivation are all necessary. If these qualities sound familiar, it’s because these are the same factors required to achieve sustainable recovery. 

Tips for Achieving Academic Success Post-Treatment

So you’ve done it – you’re in recovery and enrolling in a continuing education program. That’s great! It’s still normal to be nervous, however. One way to help with these nerves is knowing what you can do to achieve academic success post-treatment. Well, here are some tips to keep in mind: 

  • Have a strong recovery plan, which may include attending meetings, speaking with peers, and continuing therapy  
  • Consider returning to school slowly, starting with a couple of classes to get into the swing of things 
  • Look or ask a mental health professional about outside resources that can help with your recovery and academic journey 
  • Utilize on-campus resources, such as counseling centers or sober events 
  • Consider an online program, as it may make it easier for you to find a balance between school and recovery 

Whether you’re looking to change careers, advance in your current industry, or never had the chance to go to school, going now may be a good goal for you in recovery. Remember, though, that maintaining recovery should always be your first priority. With the proper help and resources, you can maintain sobriety while achieving academic success post-treatment. 

Returning to school is a major life decision and it’s normal to be nervous about the pressures and challenges you’ll face while trying to achieve academic success while staying sober post-treatment. Remember what’s required for academic success was also required of you during treatment – discipline, resilience, and motivation. Whether you’re looking to advance your career or change careers post-treatment, returning to school can be a excellent goal for yourself and your recovery path. With the proper tools, coping skills, recovery plans, and resources, you can achieve academic success and stay sober while embarking on this next, exciting journey. For help with your post-treatment journey, contact West Coast Recovery Centers at (760) 492-6509 today.