I’m a part-time Health Policy and Administration student at Penn State World Campus. It’s a decision I made when I was inspired to get out from behind my work cubicle. I was comfortable and secure in my daily grind but once that spark was lit, I had to pursue higher education and the next step in a career. In this series, I’ll share how I got started, the resources I used, and how I plan to continue.
With my family and full-time work schedule, I decided the only way I could continue to pursue my Bachelor’s degree would be online. I wanted to make sure to choose a top program, so I turned to U.S. News Reports’ research of online bachelor programs to find their ranked colleges. Focusing on the top 10, I looked into each one to find their Health Policy and Administration program which led me to the Penn State World Campus. It was this step-by-step process that assured me I was headed in the right direction.
I’m so glad I decided to enroll at Penn State World Campus! #WeAre! I had an enrollment coach who helped me navigate my first year. Not only was she an email away before classes started but when the Fall Semester began we used the eCoach app to connect. Penn State uses eCoach to provide videos and lessons for successful online learning. Their New Student Orientation provided the necessary information but also connected me to other new Penn Staters. Altogether, I felt connected although I was miles away from campus.
One step in front of the other, I’m following my path to higher education.
By planning ahead, remaining consistent with my schedule, and being flexible when needed, I succeeded in my first year at Penn State. “But how?” you ask. I committed to reading and studying at night because that’s when I work best and when it’s mostly quite at home. On the weekends, I wrote essays and took my quizzes. I was flexible during the day when I needed extra reading time during my lunch breaks. This is the nitty-gritty of continuing education. It’s not glamorous. You just have to get the work done. The time and research effort I took, in the beginning, has made this work possible. It paved the way for this milestone. I’ll continue to take the next couple of years one step at a time.
One last thought is the important need for self-care. There are many articles and sites dedicated to the topic. My tip is to remember to take time for your health during the pursuit of higher education. Eating healthy, taking a walking break, meditation, and naps are all examples of simple self-care actions. I can’t say I did this every day! But I certainly made a point to do something for me to boost my energy and motivation.
How are you pursuing higher education? Are you considering your next steps? Share in the comments!