Chances are, you’ve had something difficult occur in your life. Few people make it to the grave without experiencing a challenging situation that really tests their strength and will. While there have been many difficult moments in my life, this last year has been especially difficult and was only exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. There were a few times during the fall 2020 semester that I wanted to drop all of my classes and take a break from my studies to attempt to reset my life. Thankfully, I ended up hanging in there and finishing my classes with the grades that I had hoped to achieve. But facing such difficulties, how did I pull through? It’s a simple answer but a more difficult and unique path for each of us: personal growth.
While struggling last semester, I had to make a decision: give up and delay my graduation timeline or stay in class and figure out how to overcome the difficulties I was facing. As much as I wanted the former, I was able to come to the latter by using the many resources I have in my life. I started with my friends here at ASU Online. When in doubt about anything related to school, I find it best to talk to those experiencing the same things that I am. I spoke to my friend Allie about how I was struggling with a political science course and she helped talk me through some of the concepts in order to take one of the struggles off of my plate.
I also used my support system at work. Partially due to the pandemic, but also because I needed a bit more time to get through my course load, I was able to alter my work schedule to be able to study every Friday. This gave me time to focus on class and forget that everything around me seemed to be difficult. I also kept my family appraised of what was going on. I received words of encouragement and reminders that I was here to achieve something that I have wanted to accomplish for a long time.
Lastly, I reached out to my success coach. We spoke about my life and the overwhelming feelings that I had been experiencing. I was provided some personal stories of how he had kept himself motivated and some tips on how to push past the burnout that so many of us run into. While not a therapist, my success coach became an outlet for me to vent to so I could openly discuss my fears and difficulties, to then get the last bit of motivation I needed to keep going.
People often look at personal growth as a huge life change like a new relationship, a new career, or buying a house. The thing is, it’s also all of the little things that we accomplish that push us and help us grow. Learning from friends, family, employers, and even the staff and faculty of ASU is how I began to grow at the end of last year. I learned how to keep pushing through in spite of difficulties. I learned how to minimize unnecessary stress. Most importantly, I learned that everyone at ASU Online is rooting for me and measures their success by how I succeed.