student on laptop
Dec 13, 2016 | Will Wellein

Making the decision to return to school to pursue a master’s degree was one of the hardest decisions of my life. I put a lot of thought into this decision; self-reflection was a key component of the process. I spent the first five years of my professional career working in the corporate business world after receiving my bachelor’s degree in finance, but something was missing for me. I wanted a position that was more fulfilling both personally and professionally.

When you take the leap to continue your education, you have the opportunity to discover untapped potential, realize your passions, and enhance your employability. While it may seem challenging, consider these tips as your embrace the change.

Find the Ideal Fit

After considering my skills and long-term motivations, I decided to pursue a master’s degree in higher education. I felt this path would allow me the opportunity to make a positive impact on other people’s lives. I weighed my options carefully, taking into account the type of academic program I was looking for, my time commitments with work and family, and my social obligations. I chose to pursue my degree online because most of all, I desired flexibility. I wanted to be able to study, write papers, and complete assignments on my own schedule without the constraints of driving to a campus several nights a week. The online format allowed me to, quite literally, earn my master’s degree from the comfort of my home.

Manage Time Effectively

Time management is the most important skill for an adult student. I maintained a detailed calendar with my assignments’ due dates, a running to-do list, and other important dates I needed to know. This was a lifeline for me.

Balance Responsibilities

I was able to succeed in my master’s program by utilizing a tactic I call the “light switch.” When I was at work, I only focused on my work. When I was at home, after finishing up my daily duties, I focused solely on my academics. Students must be prepared to juggle many responsibilities at once. Work, family gatherings, bills, mortgage payments, soccer practice, papers, readings, exams – the list can go on forever. I did not allow these different aspects of my life to cross paths. Mentally, this separation provided me with the focus I needed in order to do well in all facets of my life.

Knowing that a master’s degree is a significant investment of both time and money, it is critical that students enroll when the time is right for them. I cannot stress this enough. Earning a degree will not come easily and without a few bumps and bruises along the way. Despite this, I always kept my focus on my end goal and vividly visualized walking across the stage at graduation.

The dream of earning my master’s became a reality for me this year, and I am truly proud of myself and what I have accomplished. The journey was not easy, but I will be better off because of it.

To learn more about my experiences an adult student, please contact me directly at wwellein@stevenson.edu. I look forward to helping you achieve your educational goals! 

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