By Craig Peck ’89, Director of Continuing & Graduate Programs, Ankeny Campus
In the March 2013 edition of this newsletter, my colleague, Liz Glodek, identified a trait common amongst our students – “the courage to pursue, persevere, and succeed”. Never is this courage to pursue more evident than at this time of year. As several hundred of our returning students begin preparations for another year of study, a new group of incoming students are preparing to resume their educational journeys here at Simpson College, journeys once started but put on hold due to family obligations, work commitments, financial constraints or, in some cases, perhaps all of the above. Regardless of the reason, the decision to go back to college as an adult is one not made without trepidation. Fear of failure and questions about balancing the demands of school with the responsibilities of parenthood, a career and one’s social and civic responsibilities abound.
I happen to know this first hand, as I have the great privilege of teaching a course called Transitions for both new and prospective students. Transitions is essentially an orientation to Simpson College’s Continuing & Graduate Program but also serves as a reminder to students of the rigors of academic pursuits and the dedication required to succeed as a consumer of higher education. In the course, students talk about their motivations for coming back to school, as well as their fears and anxieties regarding the decision, and what they see as the major challenges that lie ahead for them. Their stories are inspiring, and I never cease to be amazed at the obstacles they overcome in order to go back to college and complete their degree as an adult.
With all of my Transitions students in mind, both past and present, and to all of our new incoming students, the staff and faculty of Continuing & Graduate Programs wish for you all of the happiness, success, and fulfillment that education can bring to one’s life. And for all of you wondering if you have made the right decision, I leave you with a quote from the late and great, Steve Jobs:
“The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.”
Have a great year at Simpson College!!