Let us be upfront about online courses: not everybody makes it. Sometimes, people fail to manage their time and their online courses fall by the wayside until they are forgotten completely. Other times, people procrastinate their classwork so long that it becomes unrealistic that they will complete all the required work, so they give up. And still other people are surprised and then overwhelmed by how difficult the work is and surrender.

If you’re an online student, you might know something about how these would-be students feel. You might even be on the verge of giving up yourself. If you are, we’re here to tell you to stick it out. When it comes down to it, you don’t really have good reason for giving up, but you do have plenty of great reasons to persevere and complete your online course:

1. You owe it to yourself.

Online courses can be difficult-we won’t disagree with you there. But after investing yourself so much in your decision to take this course, a decision to give up send a signal to not only your peers, friends, and family but to yourself: “I am a quitter.” This isn’t true. But if you give up enough times, you will start to believe it. On the flip side, the more you decide to overcome, no matter how tough things get, the more increase your ability to overcome hard things in the future.

2. You’re getting closer to the career you want.

If you’re like most online students, you probably sought out an online course or program because you wanted to improve your career prospects. Well, just because this course is harder than you thought, it doesn’t change the fact that you’re getting closer, step by step, to your desired career and the lifestyle it will bring you. If you give up now, however, you won’t get the career you want and you’ll be right back at that job you hate. This alone should motivate you to get back in front of your computer and knock that course out.

3. You’ve already paid for it.

Past the first few weeks, there is no refund on most online courses. Considering that these courses cost hundreds or thousands of dollars, that is a huge chunk of change to throw away just because your course was difficult. If you paid for it with student loans, you still have to pay that amount back. If you paid for it with grants and don’t finish, you might have to pay the government back. So you really have two choices: deal with the stress of classwork or deal with the stress of having to repay whoever paid for you to take the class.

4. You’re sick of your current career.

You’re tired of jobs that don’t challenge you mentally or pay you enough to provide for your needs. You wanted something more. However, unless you pay the price now to complete this online course, you may find yourself right back in that same job. And it’s not going to magically improve overnight just because you quit your online class. You’re still going to hate it, maybe more than ever.

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