Words of Encouragement from Ashford Students and Alumni
Earning a college degree is a highly rewarding enterprise. You will gain knowledge, expand your horizons, and add credentials to your resume. But earning a degree is not a fast process and there are bound to be challenges along the way. If you’re currently a student and you’ve run into an obstacle, or if you’re thinking about going back to school but you’re not sure you can handle it, realize that other students have been in your shoes. Even the best students go through periods of self-doubt or frustration.
Since Ashford University students and alumni are experts at navigating through a college degree program, we asked them to share some words of encouragement. The next time you’re feeling a little overwhelmed by your studies, read through the following advice from your peers.
You Are Not Alone
The first thing to know is that you aren’t alone. If you are having some difficulties, Ashford students recommend engaging with your support network.
“Communicate with instructors and advisors,” Jackie Reem recommended, “They can’t help you if they don’t know what is going on. They want you to succeed. Ever onward and upward!”
“Never feel alone. Ask lots of questions, and always remain coachable and ready/eager to learn,” said Nika Marie, “You got this! I believe in you even if no one else does.”
“If you need help, ask your instructor, your fellow classmates, and your advisor,” said Kellie Bassage, “They are there to help. Good luck, and you can do this!”
Think About Why You’re Doing This
With any long undertaking, it’s a good idea to stop and do a temperature check periodically. College is no exception. It’s easy to get bogged down with the day-to-day routine of studying and lose sight of your end goal. If you feel like your fire has dimmed a bit, Ashford students suggest you remind yourself about why you started pursuing a degree in the first place.
“If you have already made such a big decision, push through,” said Miriam Nunez. “The years will pass regardless. Don’t you think it’s better if they pass while you are bettering yourself? Don’t get me wrong, there were times I wanted to throw in the towel, but I would think to myself, ‘The years will pass, educated or not. I’d much rather get there educated.’”
“Anything worth having is worth fighting for,” said Lori Downey. “Push forward. It is worth it when you see your diploma. Give your education all you have; it can never be taken away. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Grab ahold and enjoy the ride!”
Don’t Give Up
There was one piece of advice that Ashford students repeated constantly. No matter what you’re going through, keep pushing forward.
“Never give up,” said Kathryn Schwaebier. “Know that in the long run it will all be worth it. I can’t wait to finish. I am so proud of myself, especially since I am 61 years old.”
“It’s going to be hard. You’re going to want to quit. Don’t. Keep pushing. You can do it!” said Kristina Tucker.
“I’m a 2010 graduate,” said Sherry Faison McFadden. “My advice: it might seem like a long road ahead and it’s going to be a lot of long days and nights, but don’t give up. In the end, it’s going to be well worth the fight.”
“Never give up on your dreams,” said Sara Garner. “There may be hard times ahead, but no one said it was going to be easy. That’s what makes the whole aspect of going for a degree so interesting, conquering each task to get to the next one. Set a schedule around work and family and utilize the tools Ashford University has to offer. You can do it!”
The road to a college degree will have some peaks and valleys. If you feel like you’re stuck in one of those valleys, remember the advice of your fellow students. Ask for help, remember why you wanted a degree in the first place, and keep going. Before you know it, you’ll be climbing toward the ultimate peak—your graduation day.
Written by Erik Siwak, Communications Manager for Bridgepoint Education