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Month: September 2013

September Focus: And my computer broke

September Focus: And my computer broke

Hey everybody!  The best laid plans of mice and men, right?  I think we will carry our September focus on into October, because blogging has not been my strong point this month!

  • But I’m studying like crazy for a test I don’t understand
  • I’m labeling 200 articles of children’s clothing for my mom – we have a deal made.
  • I’m rethinking college, life, business… same story, same story.
  • My computer upstairs broke.  It didn’t do anything but let me on the internet every so often (when the second day of the month was a Tuesday), but I was able to blog.  And request library books.  Neither of which I can do easily now.

Obviously I have been left to long in a room with children’s clothing.  I believe I will go prepare for Apologetics tonight.  For now, I leave you with this amazing quotation!   And the promise that I have some great posts coming this week!  Including an interview!

"You are never to old to set another goal or dream another dream"
- C.S. Lewis
Networking: Getting Your Social Time

Networking: Getting Your Social Time

A common, and very valid, complaint against Distance Learning is the lack of “socialization”.  (if you are a homeschooler,  you are used to this complaint!)  As a student learning from home, you are not a typical college student.  You don’t have professors or classmates in the same way that other students have, and, to be perfectly honest, it can get lonely!  You need someone who understands what a CLEP exam is, what a DSST is, and why on earth you don’t have a GPA.  Here are some ideas for finding friends…

Join a Forum

Join the Degree Forum for test help and some other distance student fellowship (I’m on there, the Uncommon Student).  If you are a CollegePlus student, get involved with the CP forum.  They have great stuff on tests, and a lot of fun tests.  For fellow Reformed students, a lot of great theological debates go on that are fun to read.

Take Local Classes

Add some course work in from your local community college.  They are usually very affordable, and if you have a good ACT score, you might get a scholarship for some courses.  These students won’t be Distance Students, but they can become friends.

Ask Your Test Proctor

Ask  your test proctor if there are any students they know who might be willing to meet you.  Most of my friends take tests at the place I do, and I have a new friend thanks to my proctor.  Be bold and just ask.  You never know!

Start a Blog

Get a little wordpress or blogger blog and just start journaling your college journey.  I added the link to my blog to my email signature and slowly… very slowly… more and more people are reading my blog now!  A great way to network!

Get a Job/Join a Team

Not all your friends have to be in college at all, and not all your friends have to be found in an academic setting.  Go get a job at Chick-fil-A or join a soccer team.  I have many friends doing both of those.  It builds comradery and builds great friendships.

Be unique in how you find friends… you never know where God will take you!

Relating to People

Relating to People

I bring up this subject a lot, probably because I deal with it a lot.  And I think it is extremely relevant.  How are we supposed to explain to people about our college experience, and deal with the criticism that inevitably comes our way?

When people ask about your college, you inwardly cringe.  How much do they really want to know?  Here are three things to keep in mind when you explain to people what you are doing… at church, at work, at your grandparents, at the camp ground, or at the park.  You’ll have to explain, so be prepared.

Be Respectful

Always, always, always.  Be respectful of people when you are talking to them.  Especially if they are older than you are.  Even if someone is standing there telling you that you are missing out, or you shouldn’t be going to college, or this doesn’t really count, be respectful.  A gentle answer turns away wrath (Proverbs 15:1).  Stand in a non-offensive position, don’t lose your cool, and stay calm.  Personally, I don’t take offense easily, but some people do.  Don’t be someone who earns a reputation of a hot head.  Defend your position calmly and clearly.  Then move on.

Be Humble

Some people are going to find fault with every argument you bring to the table.  Be humble and admit that there are other ways to study and get an education.  Don’t be prideful and annoying.  I always share with people that my way is not for every one.  I make a point of telling them that it is a great fit for me, and I love it, but I know that a lot of kids would be overwhelmed with learning from home.

Personally, I think they should get over being overwhelmed.  Engineers and doctors are the only ones that HAVE to be on a campus.  But I don’t say that. 🙂  I’m being respectful.

Be Assured

While you should be respectful and humble, for heaven’s sakes, don’t become a door mat.  You give all of us a bad name if you mumble something about reading at home for college.  Your credits are fully accredited, your degree is worth just as much as any other state college, and you are learning a lot!  When people ask you about what you are doing, stand up straight, look them in the eye, and tell them what you are doing.  Be self assured.  You know what you are doing, tell others what you are doing.

Interrogation at the Wedding

Interrogation at the Wedding

You are at a distant friend’s wedding.  While other people fill the dance floor,  you linger near the water table.  You consume many cups of fresh water, trying to wash out the garlicky flavor of the hors d’oeuvres.   A friend of your father’s, from work, approaches and strikes up a conversation.  And you dread it.

In America (quite possibly in other countries, but I’ll only speak for America), the common ground for adults and soon to be adults, is college.  Where did you go?  When did you graduate?  What did you study?  Etc, etc, etc.  They inquire about your choice of school, and you mention a well known state or private college.  They nod.  They went there, or their daughter went there, or their nephew went there.  Common ground.

Enter me.  As the oldest of eight, a homeschooler, and reaching 20 without a driving license, I’m already slightly socially awkward.  Than you mention my college “experience” and people’s heads begin to explain.  I am still at home, I’m a Junior but I’m not in a college, and I’m planning on graduating from a state college in New Jersey.  Without going to New Jersey!!!  Ahem.

Following are some of the comments I’ve heard following my explanation:

  • Oh.
  • I just don’t think that really counts
  • How will you meet friends or a spouse?
  • Oh.
  • That is so cool!  I wish I had done that.
  • I wish my son would do that.
  • Oh.
  • (from your proctor) Do you know that most college don’t accept this many credits?

Let’s discuss how we share our college experience with other people this week.  🙂

Coming Soon!

Coming Soon!

I have not forgotten our series.  Right now I am studying for Microeconomics and fighting a condition of Chondromalacia Patella.

Looking forward to next week!

August Update and September Goals

August Update and September Goals

August Update

I took 2 CLEPs in August!  They were two hard CLEP exams, and I didn’t know it would work out that way, but I took both Principles of Management and Information Systems and Computer Applications.  Officially, I am a Junior, and looking at finishing up this degree.

September Goals

  • Meet with Ms. Rachel Vecera – My CollegePlus coach
  • Do a blog series on the College Experience
  • Interview Michael B.
  • Write an ebook
  • Buy a domain for Uncommon Student

Care to join me?