It Only Matters That You Finish, Not How You Do It

If you’re anything like me, you too have had a trying year, academically and personally. It would seem that there is never a “good” time for an adult learner to “go back to school.” However, once you have taken that leap, that first step to a better future, the race is on. Some of us pack on our classes trying to reach the finish line the fastest, while others take a page out of the Tortoise’s book “Slow and Steady Wins the Race,taking 1-2 classes at a time. No matter your approach or technique to the academic race, you’re off!

Normally, I would say, “Finish Strong!” with a deepening degree of conviction in my voice, but some of us may be tired and winded while to others “it’s just a walk in the park.” So, as not to add insult to the injured, or be utterly dismissed by the marathoners, my advice is simply…FINISH!

That’s right, the truth is, it really isn’t a race. Sure you may have goals and timelines, and perhaps you’re measuring your progress and success against others, but the reality is, this is no race, it is… a journey! And on this journey, there is only one thing that matters; not how long it takes you, not how well you’ve done, or even how many lumps you’ve gotten along the way, all that really matters is that you FINISH!

This was a rough semester for me, riddled with distractions and setbacks, and while I had intended on taking classes this summer, I am taking the semester off, because one lesson you must learn on a journey is when to rest. Though I am resting, the journey is still in progress and I intend to pick up next semester with renewed energy, focus, and strategy for finishing this journey.

What is your strategy? Do you know how you intend to make it to the end? Or are you simply following the road before you? The journey can at times seem so tedious and arduous when you lack direction and strategy. Though I encourage you this summer, no matter how you plan on finishing… FINISH!

3 thoughts on “It Only Matters That You Finish, Not How You Do It

  1. John & Javeria,

    I am so blessed that this post helped you. That truly is the greatest joy in writing for Penn State, the potential of reaching others. The academic journey is truly an arduous one, but nobly worth it if we finish. May success continue to follow yo both in your lives, careers and academics! ….did somebody say Doctorate????… 😉 Think about it…. We can do it!

    I Must… I Can… I Will,

    Kelvin C. Brooks, AA

  2. Oh my it was so satisfying to read this. I am so glad I ran into this blog. I finished my bachelors our of country. Then I got married and had three kids. I am still young, only 28. I knew I want to do more with my life than just raising kids and cleaning around the home and set a good example for my daughter. According to my children only dads go to work.
    My friend encouraged me and I transferred the courses and applied for the aid and started after eight years. Wheeeewww, I was so nervous, didn’t know if I could do it. I started getting good grades in my management program so I decided to switch to Penn State World Campus, considering my little one is only 3. I switched to Penn State, but that is when my husband’s mood swings started and it affected my studies and grades. After one semester my husband lost his job and we had to move and I had to help him find another job.
    I was really down for messing up my semester and not taking classes in SUmmer. I love studying. I feel confident when I am enrolled. I almost got dishearted and thought I will never be able to finish my degree and who would hire me at an age so old, when there are so many graduates younger than me.
    Reading your blog helped me so much. I am feeling much better and I know missing out on three months will not do much harm and I can do it.
    Thank You

  3. I just earned my degree this past semester a mere 33 years after enrolling at Penn State Mont Alto campus as a freshman in 1980. I left University Park in 1986 needing only 6 credits to graduate at the time. I had a job opportunity in the DC area and figured I would finish my degree via correspondence courses. Despite a few half hearted attempts over the years, I never made the time or commitment to finish. Last year after turning 50 years old, I enrolled at World Campus and vowed to finally earn that Penn State degree. The advising staff was very helpful in contacting my college and department and getting assurance in writing on what requirements I needed to fulfill in order to earn my degree. As you can imagine, my audit was challenging, given that my transcript dates back so far, and when the dust settled, the Department determined that I now needed 9 credits to graduate. World Campus provided me with the road map for success, and an avenue for success. I had great instructors and I found the online modules to be very effective learning tools. I really enjoyed my classes, and stayed on top of my studies.
    I am pleased to report that I received A grades for the final 9 credits of my college career and attended Commencement on May 4, 2013 at the Bryce Jordan Center. My wife and two sons, ages 4 and 8 were also in attendance. A big part of my motivation to finish school was to set a good example for them and I did it!

    Without World Campus I don’t know if I would have ever been able to complete my studies, as I live out of state now. I highly recommend Penn State World Campus. As the title of Kelvin Brooks’ article states, “It Only Matters That You Finish, Not How You Do It.”

    Penn State Proud,

    John Russ
    PSYBS ’13

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