Dee Ford, an outside linebacker for the Kansas City Chiefs, has something in common with his mom, Debbie Ford, and it’s not just DNA. They both earned their bachelor’s degree in 2014. Dee was studying at Auburn while his mom returned to school to earn her Bachelor of Science degree in nursing with Herzing University in Birmingham, Ala. Even though she was studying for her degree and working at an assisted living home, Debbie cheered on her son at every one of his college football games.
Debbie was a consistent example for her children, demonstrating how hard work and perseverance allowed her to advance in her career while also keeping up with the other important priorities in her life. Her daughter, Jasmine Ford, is even following in her mother’s footsteps and working toward a nursing degree through Herzing.
You can take a page out of Debbie’s book and keep these tips in mind to get the most out of your education:
Family obligations, a full-time job and earning an online degree is a lot to handle, which is why setting goals and staying positive are critical for academic success. As Debbie said, “Life is about hard work, it’s not about someone giving it to you. No one should expect handouts. Achieve one goal at a time. Whatever you want to be you can be.”
One of the advantages of earning a degree through an online program or a flexible on-campus schedule is that you get a chance to learn on your own time, whether that’s on a train into work, during a lunch break or late at night at the library. This is why it’s so important to be able to access all of the materials you need from anywhere. Debbie, for instance, enjoyed studying while she traveled. She also worked with Herzing University’s faculty to arrange a class schedule that met the demands of her busy day-to-day itinerary.
Incorporate study breaks
Debbie may have used Dee’s games as a study break, but you can take a walk around the block, read a book, watch some TV – whatever helps you unwind and clear your mind. These breaks are important and help you return to your studies refreshed and ready to work.
Make it a team effort
People can accomplish a lot on their own, but can often achieve more – and have more fun doing it – with teammates. For Debbie, her team included her family at home and her Herzing family. “I’ve always believed if you give it the effort, you’ll succeed, but it also helps when people are rooting for you,” she said. “Everyone there was on my team. My advisor, my professors and even the dean of nursing. They expected me to put in the work and made sure I had the resources to reach my goals.”