By Glenn Fredenburg, April 2016
This semester, I vow to:
- Get assignments started earlier.
I have a nasty habit of waiting “one more week” despite my goal of getting assignments done a week early, and sometimes I lose sight of the fact that the online semester is only eight weeks long. Therefore, I end up working later on some nights and weekends when I should be with the family, doing a project that should already be done.
- I vow to remember Date Night.
My wife is very proud of my return to college and the good grades I’ve posted, but while she won’t say anything, I know she misses our weekly dinner out and monthly movie dates. I have to remember why I’m in school: to make a better life for my family and tend to them while they’re still with me (instead of writing an alimony check with all the money I’ll be making when I graduate).
- I will not monopolize group projects.
I won’t jump when we ask “Who’s going to take point?” and I’ll let someone else take the reins and learn to run a group. The ability to manage human resources, set deadlines, hold people accountable, and set agendas is important for the college student and graduate, plus college is a safe place to try the job (maybe you’ll like it, maybe you won’t) without losing the company millions or costing lives. Let someone else lead, Glenn!
- I vow to take one lesson weekly from my classes and integrate it into my job.
After all, I am a nurse taking nursing classes, so by integrating what I learn, I should be able to provide safer experiences for my patients. Evidence-based practice doesn’t just happen; you have to make it a part of your daily practice. Whatever your major is, take one lesson every week into your career to be a better worker or person.
- I will check the “Ask the Professor” and “Announcements” folders daily for new memos, hints, notes from the professors, and ‘Help me!’ items from my classmates.
We are in this together and if I’m not checking in, I’m not taking full advantage of the experience. Besides, if I have a question I’m not asking, the odds are good someone else wants to know as well. You need not be shy, just ask the question already.
- I vow to (and already have started to) begin emailing familiar faces in the first week.
You meet people in class, even online, and this is a good place to start networking and forming social groups. You may be taking a class another student just finished, and you may be able to get tips for success. Similarly, I can pass along tips for success on classes I finished or work together with others in the absence of a group project to study online. With social networking and chat programs, it’s not hard at all to get a group together over a virtual whiteboard and brainstorm the homework.
- Finally, I vow to take one day a week to have personal time with my family and friends.
While college is important, it does not define me as a person. Now, if I want to stay happily married, I should recognize the crazy woman who married me and log off now…
About the Author
Glenn Fredenburg has been a Registered Nurse for over 13 years, coming to the profession after a career in sales. His experience in nursing has been primarily in the critical care setting, with over ten years in the emergency room and intensive care areas. His mother is a retired nurse and urged him early in life to "become a nurse" because it's rewarding helping others heal and using your complete "toolbox" of skills to aid in the recovery of body and mind. In hindsight, his mother was right. Don't tell her.