Part of my self-imposed responsibility of blogging for Granite State College is sharing my individual experience with readers. I believe I have many of the same concerns and fears that other current and prospective GSC students may have regarding aspects of college life as an adult, so as I share mine, you may find you relate, or the gumption to try something new.
I recently blogged about alternative course delivery options that my Lebanon NH college has, and in the spring term that I just completed, I took a five week intensive class. I had lots of questions going into this class, such as...where would I find time to take a class in five weeks that required the same amount of material be learned as a 12 week class?
In all honesty, this was a bit of a challenge. Each week of class required reading a chapter in our text book (not out of the ordinary for any class, regardless of intensity), but we also had to take two quizzes per week, write an essay paper each week, write a longer paper for the end of term, as well as the standard discussion board participation required when you take college classes online. As I learned in the economics class I took a year ago, every decision we make requires a trade off: if I get out if bed in the morning, I will miss sleep. But I will also lose my job, so I make the decision to get out of bed. Sure, taking a class with this much work did create some pain in my life, but it also allowed me to shorten the length of time I spent studying, which ultimately was the big payoff. I am taking two classes per term until I earn my Bachelor's Degree, so for the first seven weeks of the term, I only was taking one class, which allowed me to focus more time on other important parts in my life, like spending time with my son and working out.
The class I took was called Comparative Religions. This was a great opportunity to learn about the major religions of the world, as well as how locally spirituality is experienced. New England consistently rates in the bottom of the country when surveyed about church attendance, so when a requirement of this class had me visiting a house of worship, it will be no surprise to you that this was my first visit to a church in over eight years. It has been said that college is not only a great avenue for career advancement programs, but also has the distinction of giving people a different view of the world through giving them a well-rounded education. In this case, my view has taken a dramatic turn because I found a church to visit that spoke to my heart so much that I have become a regular member. That was not the intention of the class, and my grade was not impacted by my decision, but if not for college, I never would've considered attending, much less joining a church.
Whether trying something new for you means taking a five week intensive class or challenging yourself to try something frightening and different, the experience is what makes the journey so valuable. Live life.