Looking Back, Looking Forward

by Carolyn Babcock, Ph.D.

I have spoken with so many Non-Traditional Students over the last few months. The initial steps of their educational journey often parallel my own. I remember how the eight years it took for me to earn my Associate’s degree seemed like it would never end. Year-in and year-out, I was in school. Every semester I began the tedious, albeit enjoyable, task of registration. The further along I was in my program, the fewer choices I had in time slots that could accommodate my family obligations and full-time work schedule. But, I kept plodding along … course by course, semester by semester, and, year by year. Finally, I graduated, and suddenly it seemed like it all went by so quickly!

One thing is for certain, that Associate’s degree made my future degrees possible. Because then I knew I actually could do it – be a college graduate. Everything changed the day I held that diploma in my hand. I had something that no one could ever take from me: an education.

So for those just embarking upon their own educational road – or those who are still undecided – I say to you: Don’t be discouraged. Take those first steps. The repeated refrain I have heard from newly enrolled students is, “This time it’s for me.” And they echo their encouragement to my present and future readers in a unanimous chorus. Without hesitation, they have all emphatically chimed: “Just do it!!” You’ll be glad you did.

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