I went to college in the ’90s. The early ’90s. It was so long ago, that we still had wired phones in our rooms, and having your own computer was fairly unique. There were no laptops in classrooms. And no YouTube videos to remind us how to do things. Office hours required, sometimes, lining up outside a professor’s door hoping he’d show up, not turning on Skype and asking a question. We didn’t start using email until Senior year, and we did so dialing in using a system called Kermit.
When I gave tours of SMU, I always included my belief that 50% of your education is academic, the other 50% is what you make of it. I shared with families about my challenges, excitement and growth of becoming independent; about the thrills of going to football games (despite a team that suffered far more losses than wins). I shared the life of activities and campus involvement. I still treasure that other 50%, and recognize, in retrospect, that my personal balance was probably more like 60%/40%, academics being the latter.
My biggest accomplishment in earning a college degree was growing up. I learned to live on my own. I learned to look out for myself, to stand up for myself. I learned to balance my interests, my time, and my focus. I learned to become who and what I could become. And I have my degree to thank for that.
But life isn’t like that for everyone. Moving away and spending 4 or 5 years in college-life doesn’t happen as easily any longer, and there are so many people deserving of a degree in their chosen field whom, for whatever reason, a residential, full time traditional undergraduate program isn’t a good fit. As an adult (yes, I’m now, finally admitting to adulthood), I recognize that there are ways beyond dorm-life to become independent twenty-somethings. We can’t all take the traditional path through college.
[This is a sponsored post.]
And we don’t have to.
This morning, I watched this video and teared up, recognizing the thousands of hard-working Americans who, before the internet was so able to reach us, weren’t able to attain undergraduate degrees. As I watched graduates celebrate in their homes, offices, even on a bus, I recognize the many people who achieve tremendous accomplishment by completing their studies. An undergraduate degree isn’t just a piece of paper you attain for living in a life of academics for 4 years. It’s a document that shows persistence, genuine interest, accomplishment, devotion, motivation. An academic degree defines a part of you, because you achieved it. And with modern technology, it’s possible to attain that degree — whether it’s your first undergraduate degree, or it’s an opportunity for you to study something new and make a major change in your life.
Western Governors University
With the goal of addressing the obstacles facing those who are looking to advance or enter a new phase of their career, Western Governor’s University, a non-profit, accredited, respected and recognized university, gives us an opportunity to attain a degree on our terms. We can study from our homes, our offices, or anywhere that fits in our busy lives. Whether you’re considering going back to school to finish your studies, to start over, or just getting started, WGU fits easier into busy lives, opening doors to education that haven’t been opened before, at half the costs of other online schools.
WGU offers undergraduate and graduate degrees and programs in education, technology, business and nursing. Most of these degrees are necessary to move forward in your career. Perhaps it’s time to take some new steps.
Apply for free
Julieverse readers can use unique code JULIE to have the WGU application fee waived. Curious? There’s really no reason not to apply.
Have you considered going back to school? What difference do you feel a new degree will make in your life?
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Western Governors University. The opinions and text are all mine.
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