For Online Learners, Inspiration is Found in Many Forms

By Ashford University Staff

ashford graduate with family

Where do you find inspiration? The answer depends on so many factors. 

You might reply by asking, “What sort of inspiration do you mean?” Many of us place photos of our families on our desks because they are the ones who inspire us to stay at it when times are tough. They serve as our reminders that there is something worth our sacrifices. 

Or, where you find inspiration could depend on what you’re doing at any given moment. How many times have you shuffled through your Facebook feed only to find someone has posted a quote from an author or a poet – and you feel as if those words are speaking directly to you?

For Ashford University students, inspiration comes from a variety of sources, and strikes at different times. Many of those who have shared their stories will point to a loved one, calling out that person as the inspiration for every paper they write, every deadline they try to make, and every second they set aside to focus on school. 

Discover how Ashford students find inspiration for the big and the little things. Don’t be surprised if their stories inspire you.

1. The perfect place to study

Sometimes, when looking for some inspiration, all you need to do is get out of the house. Ashford University graduate Apit Lau, shared a story on the University Facebook page and described taking advantage of the mobile classroom outdoors as a source of inspiration. 

“During my reading time (after my 8-5 Mon-Fri work), I would go to the beach every Tuesday and Thursday for some peace and quiet,” Lau explains. “Then on Sundays, I would go to a coffeehouse to work on my writing assignments and let all the ideas flow.”

2. Your Ashford University support system

Online students don’t see classmates, instructors, or University staff in person, but that doesn’t mean they are taking the college journey alone. Every person, within every department, is hoping to inspire those students to succeed.

“While I have had other advisors, Gabriel has never left my side and I can call on him for anything, which I usually do,” Kristy Crow wrote about her advisor in her review of Ashford. “Coming into this school, I had low confidence in myself and now it is shot through the roof. Someday I hope to meet Gabriel in person to thank him. I am sitting at a 3.54 GPA, and I hope I am making Gabriel proud to have brought me on.”

The relationship between student and advisor is one that is forged early in a student’s college career, and both parties can serve as an inspiration to one another during school and beyond.

3. You’ve got to have faith

There is no question that the road to a college degree can be full of obstacles, especially for those students who have to work full time, raise children, or run a household while in school. 

Sometimes, you have to look to your faith for inspiration.

“I continued to P.U.S.H. (Pray Until Something Happens) myself to keep up my grades,” explains Ashford Business Administration student Odessa Thomas. A recipient of Ashford’s Full Tuition Grant, Thomas relies on her faith and husband to inspire her during school’s most challenging moments. 

Brittany Brannon, a youth minister and substance abuse counselor, sought similar inspiration while working toward her Master’s in Psychology

“Looking at my degrees every day on my wall in my office reminds me that to appreciate the sunshine, you must go through the storm and rain,” she says.

4. The ones you love

It’s no exaggeration to say that roughly 9 out of 10 Ashford students will tell you their children are the biggest inspiration and motivation for going back to school. Parents always want the best for their kids, and Ashford parents say they do it all to make their kids’ lives better.

“I’m with them on my own, and they inspired me to show them if you have a dream you just keep on pushing, no matter what,” says psychology graduate Maritza Melendez, who brought her three daughters to Ashford’s Fall 2015 commencement ceremony in San Diego. 

Adds business leadership student Jackie Carpenter, “I wanted to set an example for my children. I hope that my children look at what I am doing as a positive example and understand that if I can accomplish this, so can they.”

Inspiration comes in many forms, and sometimes when you accomplish your goal, you don’t realize you’ve inspired someone hoping to someday accomplish theirs. Just take a look at Nakia Bennett, for example. A disabled veteran who struggled in the traditional classroom, he found what he was looking for at Ashford University.

After sharing his story on Ashford’s Facebook page, he inspired someone who wasn’t enrolled (yet) to consider the benefits of a degree. Perhaps someday, she’ll inspire someone else, and the cycle will continue.   



Written by Ashford University staff.


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