Earning your degree will pay off in the long run, but that doesn’t mean it’s always going to be a smooth ride. It can be easy to lose sight of your goals when you’re trying to manage a crisis at home or at work, or just stay on top of your typically hectic schedule.
We asked some recent graduates about what helped them stay focused when times got tough and what they did to make their dreams possible. Here’s what they had to say:
Take it one day at a time
“Some of my classes were bit difficult for me at times, but my professors and instructors were all very supportive and accommodating. They helped me stay on track,” says Theresa Lampe, who recently graduated from Herzing University-Madison.
“My advice for other students is to use the writing center whenever you need help on a paper, and always be open to feedback and suggestions from your professors.”
Know that you’ll be supported
Challenges at home or at work can make it difficult to stay focused on school. Lauren Dickerson, a recent graduate of Herzing’s online business management program, leaned on her advisors and professors for support when life took an unexpected turn.
“I had a challenging couple of years where I had health issues and several deaths in my family. During those times, my academic advisor and instructors encouraged me to keep going and to complete my courses. I really appreciated this and it helped. When I wanted to take a semester off, my advisor convinced me to stay on and I am so thankful for that advice.”
Dickerson said she’s learned that it’s important to never give up and continue to move forward, no matter what life brings you.
“It will be difficult at times, but those difficult moments will help shape you into the person you want to become,” she says.
Remember why you started
Brady Esser, who earned his bachelor of science in criminal justice from Herzing University-Brookfield, echoes Dickerson’s words of advice.
“After the birth of my sons, my wife was in the hospital for several weeks at a time and my boys were in the NICU for almost two months,” he said. “We also had three older children at home, and my wife and I both work full-time. My professors and advisors were always understanding of the challenges I was facing outside the classroom. They were always willing to work with me and that helped relieve any of my stress related to class and school.”
Balancing a growing family and a full-time career wasn’t easy, but Esser was determined to finish his degree.
“The most important driving force for me to return to school was I wanted to set a good example for my children,” he said. “I wanted to show them the importance of education and that if you start something, you need to finish it.”
* Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook 2021. BLS estimates do not represent entry-level wages and/or salaries. Multiple factors, including prior experience, age, geography market in which you want to work and degree field, will affect career outcomes and earnings. Herzing neither represents that its graduates will earn the average salaries calculated by BLS for a particular job nor guarantees that graduation from its program will result in a job, promotion, salary increase or other career growth.