By Nichole Ahlstrom
Faculty Member at American Public University
Deciding to enroll in college is a major decision, but for service members and their spouses it is often followed by another one: to take a leave of absence or stay the course during a move. I encourage students to keep going despite the disruption of a move.
Once you stop the routine of schoolwork, attending class again can be a struggle. Breaking away from the routine can make it emotionally challenging to get back into the right mindset. Once there is a break then there is withdrawal in communication with classmates and instructors. A break can also lead to a fear of getting back into the classroom, difficulty getting focused, and anxiety around getting back to the routine of reading lessons and completing assignments.
Students should focus on class, even if there is a move in progress. Staying focused on course work and assignments continues the momentum toward completion. For many, it also allows for a needed distraction from the move.
When faced with this situation, students should keep in mind that they are not alone; communication can really help in getting through any disruption a move causes. Students who are experiencing a move should communicate with the instructor to inform him or her of the situation. Instructors want their students to succeed; therefore, they are willing to help students with any flexibility they may need during a move.
Keeping a calendar or some sort of schedule will help you keep focused and know when assignments are due so that you don’t fall behind. If keeping a calendar isn’t a method that works for you, try printing off the course syllabus so that you have a reference of what is due and when. Being able to help keep yourself accountable and on schedule is key to being successful.
Don’t let a move derail your education. Stay focused, determined, and enrolled in class during your move. Communicate with instructors and keep focused on the program and you will stay on track toward achieving your educational goals.
About the Author
Nichole Ahlstrom is an adjunct faculty member who teaches COLL100: Foundations of Online Learning at American Public University. She holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Criminal Justice Administration and a Master of Science in Psychology from the University of Phoenix. She is currently working on her Doctor of Management in Organizational Leadership degree with the University of Phoenix. Nichole lives in Okinawa, Japan with her husband, who is an active duty Marine, and they have two boys. Nichole loves being a mother, spending time with her family, volunteering, exercising and traveling.