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Balancing My MS in Communication Coursework With My Day to Day

Author: Allicia Washington, Online MS in Communication Student

Why would anyone pursue a master’s degree? Why would someone put in the countless hours of studying on top of an already hectic schedule? On more than one occasion, I have heard these questions followed by an overabundance of excuses explaining why someone does not have the time or thinks that a master’s education is not for them. I work full time, and am a parent, how can I balance one MORE thing?

A typical week for me consists of meetings, doctor appointments, play dates, commuting, cleaning, cooking, and kissing boo boos. If you are anything like me, you are likely a bit nervous about fitting school into your schedule. It is perfectly okay to be a little nervous about returning to school though. Everyone’s situation is different as to why they’re nervous. It’s been x amount of years, will I get the hang of it? I’m too old—I’m not very tech savvy. All of these reservations are common and you are among others who feel the same way you do and are willing to help you get through the online program.

Let’s look on the brighter side, taking courses online gives you the opportunity to work at a structured pace without worrying about racking miles on the car every week! Though many of us like the camaraderie of the classroom, some of you may learn that you work equally as well in an online classroom, just be sure to set up a place where you will study and be most productive.

Online learning has everything a traditional classroom has except the chairs and desks. You can still engage in discussions, receive helpful feedback on assignments, and access your professor when needed.    You will be able to appreciate that the university has created a user friendly online program for distance learners who still have a commitment and passion for education.

So what’s holding you back? Being nervous means that you care about your education and there is nothing wrong with that!

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Allicia Washington is a student in Purdue’s online Master of Science in Communication degree program. The program can be completed in just 20 months and covers numerous topics critical for advancement in the communication industry, including crisis communication, social media engagement, focus group planning and implementation, survey design and survey analysis, public relations theory, professional writing, and communication ethics.

About the Author
Allicia Washington-White completed her undergraduate studies at Alverno College in Milwaukee, WI where she majored in English and minored in Spanish languages and culture. During her junior year, Allicia traveled to South America to immerse herself in Ecuadorian culture for one semester. Allicia was a student leader on campus and have been given many opportunities to sit on student boards, work
closely with the dean of students, represent the college in an official capacity, as well as create and preside over a student organization which has sustained since inception in 2012.

She graduated from Alverno with honors in May 2013 and was honored to speak on behalf of the graduating class while serving as emcee during commencement.  For the last three years, Allicia has been working in the non-profit sector and has recently launched a website for her Milwaukee based communications services. She truly has a passion for helping others find their voice and share their stories through the art of communication.

In her spare time, Allicia loves fitness and works out at home regularly. To keep her bilingual skills fine tuned, she attends local Spanish Meetup groups with members of the Milwaukee community. Allicia devotes much of her spare time to her son Kalsey.

After receiving her Master's degree from Purdue University, she hopes to rise in her position as she will have the experience as well as the education that make her a valuable asset to any company.

*The views and opinions expressed are of the author and do not represent the Brian Lamb School of Communication.