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University Students Share Advice for Academic Success

University Students Share Advice for Academic Success

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Start a degree program at American Public University.

By Karlyn Williams
Social Media Coordinator, APUS

As we welcome in 2019, it’s customary to reflect on what happened during the previous year. Whether you experienced success, happiness or tribulations, it’s time now to get ready to tackle all that will come with the new calendar year.

During our recent Winter Winnings Giveaway contest, we asked our social media communities to share one piece of advice they would give to new or returning students starting classes in 2019. We received more than 650 responses from AMU and APU students and found that their advice focused on three themes:

  1. Take action; it’s never too late.
  2. Hard work pays off.
  3. Keep pace; it’s not a race.

Take Action; It’s Never Too Late

The minute you feel ready, take the leap and start. There will never be a “right time.” — Indira N., APU

Don’t use the excuses “I’m too old,” “It’s too late for me” or “I don’t have the finances.” You are never too old to follow your dreams. It is never too late for anyone. If you wait until you do have the finances, you will never do it. There is a lot of help out there if you really want it. Be bold and do what makes you happy. Follow your dreams!! — Stacey J., APU

You are never too old…Dreams have no age limits or expiration dates. You are worth it! — Sara T., AMU

Anything is better than nothing. I used to think it wasn’t worth just taking one class at a time so I just wouldn’t start. That one class will still get you that much closer to earning your degree; you can do it! — Heather M., AMU

Whether you are a first-time student or returning after a period of time away, the journey is worth the sacrifice we make as adult students. An education will not only open doors for you; it is also something that can never be taken from you. Be patient with yourself; always allow some free time even if it’s an hour a day, and reach out to others for encouragement and support. Share your successes! The journey ahead will be tough at times, but the final reward is worth every ounce of effort. — Linda K., APU

Hard Work Pays Off

It’s going to be hard; there are going to be late nights and early mornings, but it will be worth it. Going back to school will make life better for you and your family. You’ll be able to get that job or get that promotion and better your family. Don’t give up. — Kimberly B., APU

The one piece of advice that I have for anyone starting, continuing or restarting their academic journey, is to KNOW you can do it. Along the way there will be people who will give advice or knock your dreams. Do not waver! If you have a dream job that has not been invented yet, it doesn’t mean you won’t be the one to bring it to life. Remember, we are the change we seek! — Raechel H., APU

I think the most important thing to remember is that it isn’t easy. It’s not supposed to be. Your educational goals are something you work for. It will pay off. Grit your teeth; push through it Realize you will never have the time to give it your all; you have to make the time. Take away your excuses because that is what they are and push forward for the education you want. — Wendy C., AMU

It’s not easy. It’s not supposed to be easy. The most important things in life are hard. They take work. Going back to school takes sweat, and sleepless nights and time away from other things you enjoy. But in the end, it’s the only way to develop into everything you are supposed to be. Put another way: embrace the suck! — Greg M., AMU

Keep Pace; It’s Not a Race

A piece of advice I’d like to share is to keep on going and don’t get discouraged. Life happens at our own pace and there may be times where we need to take breaks and it’s okay. Everyone’s journey is different, and we all learn something about ourselves along the way. — Cressandra D., APU

Thanks to APU’s structure and pace, I was able to complete a master’s degree with two small children and a full-time job. You can totally do this! My advice would be don’t look at the whole journey at once. Take it one assignment at a time, one week at a time. Before you know it, you’ll be walking that stage and meeting other students who share in the joy of your amazing accomplishment. — Angela Z., APU

Life will not slow down and there is no perfect time, so you should absolutely dive back into it. Often we keep putting our goals or desires off, especially when we have careers, family, or other prior obligations and then we get to a point where we just forgot about them or there is always another excuse. That’s what is great about online learning. Take a class at a time, at your own pace or take a number of classes and then take a small break. The choice is yours. You can do this! — James S., AMU

For those who are considering starting or restarting their education, the best piece of advice I can give is forgive yourself! Sometimes, there are extenuating circumstances that life throws at you that can cause you to delay or stop taking classes, but it’s important to know that it is okay! Pick up where you left off and keep pushing forward. I have had to take several “breaks” in my education due to being in the military. But with AMU, it is so easy to just hop right back in and keep going. — Shelly C., AMU

If you need extra assistance while you’re taking classes, remember that the university offers several resources to help you, including:

For more information, contact your academic advisor or log in to the ecampus.

About the Author

Karlyn Williams is a social media coordinator at American Public University System. She holds a bachelor’s degree from James Madison University in media arts and design with a focus on journalism, as well as a minor in communication studies, concentrating on cultural communications. Karlyn is also the founder and lead strategist of Oh Snap! Social and a dance instructor.

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