Nov. 8 - Today I am thankful for...
Penn State's World Campus (and online education in general)
My first attempt at college wasn't exactly spectacular. I made some fantastic friends and had some great experiences, but in terms of actual education, I didn't gain much ground.
I left traditional school behind in 2004. It wasn't until 2009 that I really decided to try again, and I figured that this time I'd try something different. I checked into online colleges, did my research and ended up applying to Penn State, hoping to become a part of their World Campus program. I was accepted and started taking classes that fall.
In the past three years, I have learned more than I can possibly share. And it goes beyond the content of the courses. By taking classes online, I've learned how to more successfully manage my time (which is key when you work full time, take classes part time and would still like to sleep occasionally). I've learned which study habits work best for me (like taking LOTS of notes when I read) and which ones don't (like staying up for an all-night cram session when I have work the next day). Most importantly, I've learned that hard work really does pay off; I have a 3.97 GPA, currently have A's in both of my fall courses and will be a second-semester Junior this spring.
Do I think that online learning is best for everyone? No. Nothing is going to be best for everyone. It's like trying to make everyone happy. It's just not possible.
Do I think that online learning is best for me? Absolutely. World Campus not only gave me a second chance to get my degree, but did so in a way that lets me work independently (without too much interruption) without ever feeling like I'm alone.
For that, I really am thankful.