By Ashlie Friday
American Public University Alumna and APUS Portfolium Challenge Award Winner
My educational experience at APUS has been one that I will cherish. I started at APUS as a single active-duty mother. I did not know how I would be able to get a degree while trying to manage work and a baby on the way by myself.
I remember talking to a school representative and telling them I did not know if I could continue with school. I was so overwhelmed and I felt like I was failing at not only being a mom, but with staying on the course to getting my degree since I was taking so few classes.
I will never forget what the representative told me. She said, “Ashlie, I know it seems hard right now, and that the weight of the world is on your shoulders, but no matter what you decide to do, you have gotten this far.
You have already achieved more than a lot of people can say, and who cares if it’s five classes or one class that you take? You will achieve your goals. Every problem we face is just an opportunity for growth, so slowly but surely, you can do this. Take it one problem at a time, then one day at a time, and before you know it, you will have your degree.”
Those words have stuck with me in everything I do now. Thanks to that amazing representative on the phone, those words have helped shape me into the person I am now. Anytime I am faced with troubles that I feel like I cannot overcome or have sailors come up to me telling me they don’t know what to do, I tell them: “Take it one problem at a time, then one day at a time, and soon, you will achieve your goals.
Because of that representative, here I am now almost two years later, receiving my degree in July. Thanks to her inspiring words and taking the time to listen and care about a student who she has never even met in person, I have achieved more than I could have imagined.
I look at life with a new prospective and see every problem as a chance for growth. This school has been such a blessing in my life. It goes to show one conversation that can seem so small to you could change someone’s whole life for the better. This is the experience that shaped me into the person I am today.
Ashlie Friday’s inspiring story won first prize for the APUS Open Challenge on Portfolium, sponsored by Career Services. The mission of Career Services is to provide students and alumni with an equitable career education, focused on career readiness, building professional networks, introducing viable employment opportunities, and positioning them to make a meaningful contribution to their field and global society.