By Breanna Dahlin - August 9th, 2018
In this blog post, recent CSU-Global graduate/alumnus Breanna Dahlin describes a typical day from her experience as a student.
Two years ago, I was taking online courses at two different colleges, because the online options at each were very limited. Since I was working in a full-time position, I did not have the ability to attend classes on-campus, and I did not feel that I should have to put my career and life on hold to finish school. At the time, I found taking courses online to be the easiest way to keep working toward my degree in a timely manner.
One day, I saw a CSU-Global advertisement on Facebook. I was intrigued by the possibility of completing all my classes online at the same school. The more research I did, the more overwhelming my excitement to start at CSU-Global became.
Before I knew it, I was logging into my courses for my first term as a CSU-Global student. I am not going to sugarcoat my experience — honestly, any college degree, no matter the format, is not easy to achieve.
As a student, I created a strict schedule for myself, but my classes allowed enough flexibility for me to continue working on my career and spending time with my family. I followed my daily planner, which I had mapped out by the hour for every day.
Here is an example of what my typical day was like:
I am greeted bright and early by a terrible sound – my alarm. Thankfully, my cheerful puppy is right there to comfort and encourage me with tail wags and cuddles. I groggily get dressed and take her for a 20-minute walk before getting ready for my day.
Once I finish getting ready for work, I pack my lunch and snacks for the day. While quickly eating a semi-healthy breakfast, I check my personal and school emails. I am finishing up my last few classes, including my Capstone. My Capstone team members are constantly emailing and texting each other. I make my best efforts to respond to my teammates in a timely fashion, appreciating the complexity of working in virtual teams.
By 7:00 a.m., I am driving to the Park-n-Ride, a few miles from my house. I work in Denver and find that public transportation is a great option for getting to work. While on the bus, I prepare myself mentally for the day by listening to music. I also use this time to read course discussions and assignments for the week, through the Schoology mobile app.
I am busy at work.
I usually take my lunch break around 12:00 p.m., though I do not consider it to be a break. I use this time to eat lunch at my desk while working on a course discussion or mastery quiz. I also look over my Capstone team’s Google document and add my thoughts regarding this week’s business simulation. I have learned that using any free time during the work day to study allows me more time to spend with my family in the evenings.
I am back to work!
Finally, my workday has ended! I get on the bus to return to my car at the Park-n-Ride. This is the perfect time to listen to music and unwind, while trying not to fall asleep on the person sitting next to me. By this time of the day, I am usually exhausted with no desire to stare at a screen.
It’s gym time, which is me time! It can be easy to exclude exercise from a busy schedule of work and college, but the benefits of regular exercise are tremendous.
After working out, I go home to have dinner with my fiancé and our puppy.
I try my best to spend at least an hour of quality time with my little family. This includes a long, relaxing walk.
After a taxing day, I dedicate myself to our office for a few hours to study and work on class assignments.
Since it is a week night, 10:30 p.m. means it is time for bed.
Having a designated place to complete course work and study helped me to stay on top of my educational goals as a CSU-Global student. Early in the week, I focused on readings, initial discussion posts, Capstone simulation review, and mastery quizzes. Near the end of the week, my priorities shifted toward critical-thinking assignments, discussion responses, and final decisions for the Capstone simulation.
My Capstone team also usually scheduled any conference call meetings in the late evening. On the weekends, I usually stayed up later to work on my critical-thinking assignments and portfolios. Most of my Capstone teammates seemed to work on their studies late at night on the weekends, allowing us the opportunity to have a continual conversation about our business simulation without scheduling it ahead of time.
I have recently graduated with my bachelor’s degree in Business Management. Although I have completed my degree program, sometimes I still feel that if I am in my home office, I should be working on a critical-thinking assignment.
Even though my schedule was exhausting, CSU-Global allowed me to achieve my biggest goal of becoming the first person in my family to graduate from college. CSU-Global provided a consistent course format, excellent professors, challenging opportunities, and the flexibility that I needed to fit school into my busy life. The education I gained from CSU-Global is already opening doors to advance my career and create a better life for my and my family’s future.