ASU Online graduation
There is perhaps no better way to celebrate the journey that is earning an online degree than with a 2,000-mile road trip filled with breathtaking views of waterfalls, lakes, caves and cityscapes. It’s an adventure made even more incredible when you find out it is the first real vacation Cameron Saylor has taken since he was 5 years old.
“I’ve really been exploring and having a summer to myself,” he explains during a stop on the Oregon coast. “The past 20 years have just been about schooling. I’m enjoying this time, and getting a sense of the real world.”
Back in May, Cameron embarked on another meaningful trip when he traveled from his home in California to Arizona, where he had the chance to attend his online college graduation on campus at ASU.
“It was like something out of a movie,” he says of the ASU campus. “Beautiful and pristine. The people were nice and welcoming, and you could really feel the sense of community and pride for ASU. My dad and my wife came with me and it was amazing to share that time together.”
Cameron received a bachelor’s degree in nutrition communications, becoming the first person in his family to attend and graduate college. He discovered ASU Online through the Starbucks College Achievement Plan, which enabled him to transfer all of his previous community college credits into an online environment.
“I was nervous and hesitant to try it, but I’ve had nothing but great teachers and the whole process was very easy,” he says. “There was someone there for me every step of the way to make sure I was on the right track.”
He adds that support services such as the online library and research tools were among his biggest resources, which he still relies on in his daily life.
“It’s such an incredible source of knowledge,” he says. “ASU offers such a vast array of information that is free for students to use — a lot of times research can be expensive.”
As a transgender student, Cameron found that the online experience enabled him to continue living “under the radar.”
Trusting in the process
“There are definitely trans individuals who are more out in the community,” he explains. “But being transgender, I don’t think my experience was any different.”
In fact, when he did open up, people were very receptive.
“I had professors reach out and offer to help,” he says.
Next up for Cameron is becoming a registered dietitian and then pursuing a master’s in public health. When asked what his advice would be to students who are just starting out, his answer is straightforward: keep chugging along.
“Trust in the process and be patient,” he adds. “There were times I thought I’d never get through a class or I was tired of school altogether, but I just kept pushing through. It paid off and has become such an accomplishment for me.”
Learn more about ASU Online’s Bachelor of Science in food and nutrition entrepreneurship program.