Author: Jennifer Scott, Online MS in Communication Student
Having a higher education in today’s job market is not just important; in some cases it is critical to stay competitive in the market place. Then again the prospect of dedicating a couple years of your life to pursuing a degree is not an easy one. A million questions run through your head. There will be papers, readings, essays, projects, grades and everything that goes along with the classroom experience. Are you ready for all of that? Are you ready to have your work read, graded, and critiqued? I have to be honest; it is a lot of work and dedication but is that any reason to be nervous? Absolutely not, the good news is that you will find yourself surrounded by individuals who are from amazing and diverse backgrounds in different stages of their life journey. They are in the same boat as you, at the same time - looking to learn and grow. The bottom line is it’s about time. Time management, time set aside for your goals, time set aside to do the work, time to learn and grow. Time, in the long run, for you to help you achieve your goals and set you on the path to your success.
If you are worried about properly formatting papers, you are in good hands. The Purdue OWL (Online Writing Lab) is an amazing resource for students with plenty of examples and step-by-step instructions that will have you familiar with the process in no time. If it is the technology that you are intimidated by then you can rest easy, Purdue has technical support to help answer any of your questions in order to get you familiar with everything from email to any programs that you may need to complete your classroom assignments.
Personally, taking the plunge back into the world of higher education was not an easy decision. I had a million questions and worries running through my head, would I be able to balance work, home, kids, a husband, and pass my classes? Not to mention would I be able to write a paper after being out of the education world for so long? I did not let any of those worries deter me. I knew I had chosen a school that is known for excellence and was convinced that they offered all the services that I needed to carry me through to the successful conclusion of my degree. Now as I embark on my last class in my graduate program I realize I did it. I conquered the fear of writing papers, the multiple assignments, and along the way I have learned a great deal about myself and have gained skills that will carry me into my career. The connections, and skills I have picked up throughout this program have enabled me to gain the confidence to move forward with my own life goals. So what do I tell someone who is nervous about returning to school? Simply, you are worth the time!
Jennifer Scott 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
I am currently a graduate student embarking on my final class in Strategic Communications. My current day job is as an Environmental Health Specialist for the local Health Department where I often have the opportunity to flex my writing skills in the form of exciting reports for the government.
I have three children, 16 and two 13 year olds, a boy and a girl. I often get asked if they are twins but for the record, they are not. I adopted my daughter when she was 6 and it has been a wonderful, exciting, and yes stressful time as well.
Beyond my work and family I find myself looking for ways to engage with my community. I am currently on the United Fund board for our area, as well as the Local Emergency Planning Board, the Bioterrorism board, and from time to time I organize fundraisers for different projects.
As an adult returning to college to pursue higher education, I bring with me tons of life experience and extensive understanding of how the online education forum works in today’s busy world. My biggest flaw is I am sarcastic and tend to be a wee bit outspoken, then again that also so happens to be my biggest strength depending on the day.
When I am not behind a keyboard I am spending time with my family going camping, hiking, attending the latest movie and anything that involves spending time together as a family.
*The views and opinions expressed are of the author and do not represent the Brian Lamb School of Communication.