Home Online Learning What It’s Like on Day 1 of a New School – APU

What It’s Like on Day 1 of a New School – APU

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By Dawn Chance
Special to Online Learning Tips
Repost from DawnandJimmy.us

In 2011, I decided to try my hand at going to college. I knew I couldn’t commit to showing up at a classroom multiple times a week, as I didn’t have a car — but I could do online, so I did. I got my funding, did the paperwork, finished the classes. It wasn’t so horrible, so I signed up again in the Winter, and — despite an unexpected hospital stay or two, managed to finish up those classes (ok, all but 1), and got good grades.

But I wasn’t happy with the school itself. The “customer service” aspect of getting answers was not there. There always seemed to be some problem I had to deal with, whether it was the wrong books being sent, software not working, instructors unavailable — you name it, I dealt with it. I was sick of it, and had decided I probably was going to find somewhere else to go.

Then I received a scholarship which amounted to 1 class being free (so I didn’t have to get a loan for it) — so I thought, OK — one last semester so I can use my scholarship.

I scoured the catalog while still finishing up my Winter courses — finally decided on my next four classes. I contacted my advisor, filled out the paperwork, but something held me back from sending him my form.

The very DAY I was supposed to send him the form, I received an email that the university had lost ALL it’s accreditation — in essence, they couldn’t be a college any longer.

It seemed rather fortuitous that it should happen BEFORE I’d signed up for classes, and they’d processed my student aid — and I quickly began looking for another school I could pursue my same idea (of business management of some sort — hopefully with a hospitality twist to it), and found that American Public University System seems to have the same sorts of programs. So I signed up, and today is my first day of 2 of my classes. They last for 8 weeks — an accelerated pace, to be sure — and one that I hope I can keep up with.

The first two classes that I’m taking are College 100 (required), and American Government. I thought that would be an interesting selection, given the extremely polarized political climate in our country right now. I might even learn something new along the way. Right?

So this morning, I logged into my first class (College 100), and began reading. One of the exercises is to go through a list of things and rate how important they are to you, from 0-5 with 0 being not important and 5 being very important. The list had a wide variety of activities, and most of them I chose values from 0-2 — meaning not very important to me.

First I went through and rated everything. Then I went back through and deleted everything that rated under a 3. That meant things like “having a nice car” ,“staying current with the news” and “playing sports” . That took the list of 38 items down to 20. Next, I put all those things rated “3” together.

  • Making a good income
  • Having good friends
  • Having intelligent conversations
  • Sleeping
  • Traveling to new places
  • Being liked by others
  • Studying and reading textbooks
  • Looking good, personal hygiene
  • Volunteering your time for a good cause
  • Attending classes

Then, the 4s and 5s last:

  • Learning new things about your interests
  • Cooking
  • Online social networking
  • Reading a good book
  • Getting out in nature
  • Working your job
  • Being your own boss
  • Having a positive romantic relationship
  • Engaging in your hobbies
  • Setting your own schedule

I found it interesting, once everything was sorted, that my biggest enjoyments are things that probably have nothing to do with why I’m in school — or at least, that’s how it looks right now. According to the text book College Success, “Students who enter college with their eyes open and who think about their own values and motivations will be more successful. If you have a good idea of what you want from life, the rest of it can be learned.”

This makes me wonder what I can do after college that will allow me to cook, social network, out in nature, while being my own boss, engaging in my hobbies and setting my own schedule.

My “hobby” is photography, but I also love to cook. Hmmmmmm.

What would your # 4s or 5s be?

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