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.