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Encouragement for the Adult Student

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I came across an article written by David R. Wetzel which outlines many of the unique challenges facing adult learners. Some are obvious and common to almost all nontradition students –  like juggling a full-time job while raising a family and going to school. It takes a bit of getting used to but most of us are able to establish a schedule that brings balance to these aspects of our lives.

There is one obstacle, however, that isn’t so easy to deal with – lack of suppoort for the decision to return to school. This can manifest in many ways, from lack of interest to downright hostility.

It has taken me years of hard work to get my college degree, but my family members are my largest fans. In fact, my daughter plans to fly in from Georgia for my graduation in May. I do have friends who think I’m crazy for wanting to get a degree at this stage in life, “Why put yourself through that? You already had a job!” but they still support my decision and hardly ever gloat, ”I told you so” when I complain about the work load.

But I never thought about other adult students having to face ridicule from loved ones on a daily basis. Its hard enough returning to school with the support of my family – I can’t imagine having to repeatedly justify my decision, or deal with angry children or scoffing in-laws.

If this describes your environment, I want you to know at Vanguard, we support you 100%. We understand your need and your drive to continue your education. We know how important it is to you to finish your degree. We are real people, many of us students ourselves, who are walking this road with you.

I’d like to share a Bible verse that encourages me when times get rough. John 16:33 says, “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”

There are so many parts to this verse that make my heart glad!  Think about it. “…in Me you may have peace.” In Christ you have refuge from everything. Whether it be scoffers and negativity concerning your education, or something completely unrelated. Whatever causes you turmoil – He is there to provide respite and peace.

Not only that, but the verse gives an added promise that God knows about your trials (“In the world you have tribulation”) and he is not silent concerning them. God doesn’t ignore your prayers, he is very clearly telling you to “take courage.”  

I actually visualize God holding out his arms to me, enfolding me in a hug, murmuring “Shhh, it’s okay. I hear you.”

The verse ends with, “I have overcome the world.” My loose paraphrase of this is: “Don’t worry about it. I’ve got this.”


Try to wrap your mind around the idea that, whatever it is, whatever you are facing - GOD has it covered. God. The creator of the heavens and the earth and the universe.

And if he’s got it covered – you’ve got it made!



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