Right now Sam and I are have joined the growing number of distance students and we are both currently enrolled in online school. I am working towards a Bachelor’s degree in English Language and Literature at Southern New Hampshire University, and he is studying for a Master’s degree in Christian Studies and the Classics at Knox Theological Seminary.
I began my online schooling about a month before we moved to Romania, and Sam began his a few weeks after we moved here. We both work with 8-week terms; I take two classes for a full load and Sam takes one class for a full load (the difference being due to undergraduate vs graduate courses).
Having experienced two years at a physical university with absolutely amazing teachers and classes, transitioning to online college classes was difficult, but it has also been a huge blessing.
When I first met Sam I was in my second week of my freshman year of college, while he was beginning his senior year. We began thinking about and talking about marriage pretty early on in our dating relationship (we began dating about 5 months after we met), and school was an issue that came up many times.
While I was up for quitting school and never looking back, both my parents and Sam strongly encouraged me to consider the benefits of having a college degree, even if I never used it career-wise. Of course, they were not saying that there is anything wrong with not having a college degree, simply that if I had the opportunity, it would be a wise choice for me to make.
I began researching options for online schooling at the end of my freshman year, and SNHU was the best option I found due to it’s degree options, affordability, and flexibility for distance learners.
Of course, I was getting a little ahead of myself as we were not even engaged yet, but once we got engaged right before my second year at Florida College and made our plans for the future, I began researching and pursuing the online school more seriously.
As I said, the format for online classes is quite different and took a bit of getting used to, but it has turned out to be a huge blessing during this stage in my life.
I usually begin a typical school week by writing out what all is due for the week and note what days the assignments are due. Some weeks I have a discussion board post due by midnight on Thursday, but the majority of the assignments are due by midnight on Sunday.
Once I can see what all is due for the week I can schedule out what I need to complete each day. This usually means I complete the reading at the beginning of the week, taking notes for the prompts I know I’ll be writing for, then I complete the assignments.
I like the flexibility of online classes, because I have the option of working ahead and taking a day or two off, or if I have an extremely busy day and I’m unable to get anything done I know I can work harder the rest of the week and catch back up.
Right now I am getting ready to start one last eight-week term before the baby comes. I will finish August 26 and my due date is September 6, so I am cutting it a little close. However, I plan to work ahead as much as I can, and I know the professors at SNHU are aware of many unique circumstances of their students and will be gracious if I go into labor before the term is up.
According to my current schedule I will take one eight-week term off, and Lord willing I will start back with half a load (one class) when the baby is about 2 months old. I have no idea how it will all go, but I know I have support from my husband to keep going, and I will have lots of help from him, Mama, and my sister Leah.
If all goes as planned I will complete my degree in April 2019, right around the same time I would have finished if I had continued my education at FC or another traditional school. And thanks to online schooling, I will have also been able to get married, move to another country for a year, and have a child in between!
Online schooling is not perfect, but it certainly is a huge blessing.