5 things I Learned Getting my associate's Degree

5 things I Learned Getting my associate's Degree

Besides what I learned in the classroom.


Last month, I completed my associate's degree at the age of 22. My experience was full of highs and lows, and of course plenty of lessons. Here are ten of them that I thought were the most important to share:

1. Everyone has their own timeline in life.


You might feel like you're older than the other people in your class, especially if your school has the Running Start program and most of your classmates are still in high school. There's no need to be ashamed of going back to school at an older age, or taking longer to complete a degree than the rest of your high school classmates. As much as my mother loves to bring up that it took me five years to finish a two-year degree, I know that if I would have finished it in two years, I would have missed out on so many experiences that made me who I am today. Don't let anyone make you feel ashamed if you don't get out in two years.

2. Get the harder classes out of the way first.


You're going to be tempted to take the easy classes first, because they're fun and you can keep your GPA nice and high. However, nobody wants to be taking four boring and difficult classes in one quarter, knowing if you don't pass one of them you aren't going to graduate and you're going to have to pay for another quarter/delay your plans for after grad. And be sure to take your placement tests as soon as possible so that you can adequately plan your coursework, knowing for sure which classes you're going to need. Don't bet on only taking one math class and then take the placement test right before your last quarter, because you might end up taking an extra quarter for just that one class.

3. Take summer classes.


I know, I know you don't want to take summer classes. But you'll get out so much sooner if you just take one class during the summer quarter. Maybe only take one that's 2-3 credits. Take an online class so that you can still travel. Just do something during the summer so that you can stay on top of your credit game. It'll also help you transition back into taking a fuller load in the fall.

4. It's okay to withdraw from a course.


If you bit off more credits than you can chew, if you know you have no hope of passing this class, or if you realized in your bed at 8:45 a.m. that you made a mistake signing up for a 9 a.m. class, there's no shame in dropping. Even if you miss the deadline to drop without a "W", it's better to get a "W" than to have a D or an F screwing up your GPA forever. You might have to make up the credits during another quarter, but if you can maintain a good GPA then it'll be worth it. You don't want the D or the F following you around if you can help it.

5. Class is better with friends.


Make friends in your classes. If it's a good class, then you'll have that much more fun! If not, then at least you have people to vent to who can share your frustrations. You might not see each other much outside of class, or hang out after the quarter is over, but having friends in a class can make or break it for you. That, and it's basically a built-in study group!

So there you go. If you're working toward an associate's degree of your own, hopefully these tips will help you.

Happy studying!

Cover Image Credit:


Popular Right Now

17 College Majors As 'Elf' Quotes

Son of a nutcracker, not another final exam.


Christmas is so close, yet so far away. But what better way to spread Christmas cheer than singing loud for all to hear?

1. Music


"The best way to spread Christmas cheer, is singing loud for all to hear."

2. Pre-Law


"You sit on a throne of lies!"

3. Health Sciences


"We elves try to stick to the four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corns, and syrup."

4. Theatre

"I am a cotton-headed piggy-muggins!"

5. Studio Art


"Buddy the Elf, what's your favorite color?"

6. Business


"I planned out our whole day: First, we'll make snow angels for two hours, and then we'll go ice skating, and then we'll eat a whole roll of Toll-House cookie dough as fast as we can, and then to finish, we'll snuggle."

7. Photography


"I just like to smile; smiling's my favorite."

8. Public Relations


"Son of a nutcracker!"

9. Graphic Design

"You have such a pretty face. You should be on a Christmas card."

10. Education


"You did it! Congratulations! World's best cup of coffee! Great job, everybody! It's great to be here."

11. Psychology


"Does somebody need a hug?"

12. Political Science


"You stink. You smell like beef and cheese. You don't smell like Santa."

13. English

"I passed through the seven levels of the Candy Cane forest, through the sea of swirly-twirly gum drops, and then I walked through the Lincoln Tunnel."

14. Engineering

"Have you seen these toilets? They're ginormous!"

15. Journalism


"Good news, I saw a dog today."

16. History

"I'm sorry I ruined your lives and crammed cookies into the VCR."

17. Communications


"Santa! Oh my God! I know him!"

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

GCU Told Me To Find My Purpose, I Don't Know If I Did, But I Definitely Found My People

I'm going to miss this school WAY more than I thought I would.


Alright, alright, alright.

I am sure you could already tell by this headline that we are in for the sappiest of all articles.

Look, people, I really am a fan of my school.

Personally, I am not the most school spirited person to ever walk Lopes Way and I can count the number of basketball games I have attended on one hand (PLEASE DON'T HURT ME, I PROMISE I WILL GO TO MORE THIS YEAR, OK).

However, everyone in my life knows that Grand Canyon University was nearing the bottom of my list of "schools to attend."

I didn't end up here by my own doing.

I didn't think I would actually really love it here.

I really didn't expect to meet people that actually made me feel seen, loved, and heard for the first time in my life.

I really didn't expect to find people that would point me to Christ time after time.

I really didn't expect to fall in love with a place that is 30 degrees hotter than most of the country.

College is a crazy time of transition.

It's a time of learning more about who you are.

It's a time of learning what you are really passionate about.

It's a time of leaning into those around you and a time of being away from your family for the first time ever.

You learn everything from how to avoid setting off fire alarms when you burn popcorn for the 87th time to how to write a thousand word paper in 3 hours.

Yet, the most important thing you learn is that we are all just trying to find our way. You learn that your major might change 6 times, but your friends you meet here are going to stick around for the long run.

Going from somewhere hot to somewhere even hotter was NOT something I wanted to do (I don't think anyone really knows how much I hated the heat), YET, somehow even that has grown on me (WHO AM I?)

The point is, if you haven't found "your people" yet, they are out there and they do exist.

Sometimes these are friendships that require hard work and long distances when you aren't on campus.

Sometimes these friendships require even more work after you walk the stage at graduation (I could imagine at least).

I am grateful that GCU was the place where I found some grand people that just so happened to live right down the hall.

This is the place that taught me who my people are at home too because HOLY MOLY friendships that stand a distance are the ones that you KNOW will last.

This is the place that stretched me far out of my comfort zone, caused me to wait in endless Chick-Fil-A lines, and led me to a community of human beings that changed my life.

This might be the most sappy article I have yet to write, but I'm grateful to call this place home for now.

Related Content

Facebook Comments