Finding Perspective in a Busy World

It’s extremely easy to get caught up in the fast paced way that most people live in our world. We are always focused on the next problem in the pile and the new, upcoming event. It’s important not to lose your perspective and focus on why the Lord has placed you here.


I keep going back to one verse to concentrate on what is truly important:

“I, the Lord, have called You in righteousness, And will hold Your hand; I will keep You and give You as a covenant to the people, As a light to the Gentiles.” – Isaiah 42:6

I love this verse because it reminds me that the Lord will stay by my side no matter where life takes me. My life is a light to the world because of the great things that Jesus has done. It is freeing to leave the outcomes of my problems and concerns up to God. Instead of attempting to control my life, I am focusing on my final destination: being in heaven with my Savior.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall make your paths straight.” – Proverbs 3:5-6

Remember that trusting in Jesus does not fail. I’m finding that taking moments out of my day to focus on His great truth is the best way to step back from our busy world.

Nature Writing: John Muir

God’s creation is beautiful and filled with life. Very few people will deny that there is unmatched beauty to be found in the natural world. Aside from the striking landscapes and beautiful firmaments found in creation, the wild animals play a crucial role in truly bringing nature to life. Whether it’s an energetic squirrel, a timid deer, or a lumbering bear, there are admirable qualities in every animal. When most people think of nature, it’s common for the chirping birds, which can be found nearly anywhere, to come to mind.

This semester I am taking a course called North American Nature Writers. This literature class has challenged me and opened my eyes to many fantastic authors. One of my favorite authors we have studied and discussed is John Muir. 

John Muir enjoyed observing the personalities and different qualities of birds. His selection, The Water-Ouzel, contains vivid descriptions and interesting qualities of birds that allow others to admire these small creatures on a deeper level. Muir highlights the Ouzel’s cheery demeanor and it’s vigor. “Whether among the icy peaks, or warm foot-hills, or in the profound yosemitic canons of the middle region, not one was found without its Ouzel” (Muir “The Norton Book of Nature Writing” 258). This little bird wasn’t only found in many differing climates, it thrived in each one with a contagious joy. The Ouzel’s joy is completely independent of whatever troubling circumstances it might find itself in. “However dark and boisterous the weather, snowing, blowing, or cloudy, all the same he sings, and with never a note of sadness” (Muir “The Norton Book of Nature Writing” 259). During the winter storms and earthquakes the other birds are in distress; however, the Ouzel goes about his day singing and ever happy. Ouzel’s have perseverance and aren’t afraid to go anywhere or brave the weather.

The qualities in the Ouzel that Muir admired can be seen in his own life. Despite the circumstances or any kind of trouble, Muir would find joy in nature. He didn’t give up when he had little support behind him. Instead, he endured hardship and pressed on in hope of saving many areas of the natural world. While some people might think that facing a winter storm or treacherous conditions is ridiculous, Muir would boldly enjoy these types of excursions. He is a great reminder to have joy despite the circumstances you might find yourself in.

Seeking God’s Truth

God's Truth

Lately I’ve been feeling a need to seek out the truth in my life. What I know is truth, what I know I can rely on, and Who I know I can rely on. My prayer in this search for keeping my mind on truth has come from Psalm 119:145-147

“I cry out with my whole heart; Hear me, O Lord! I will keep Your statutes. I cry out to You; Save me, and I will keep Your testimonies. I rise before the dawning of the morning. And cry for help; I hope in Your word.”

We live in a world that is filled with deceit. Oftentimes, I find that the only truth I can fully rely on is God’s truth- His word. It’s a comfort to know that I can trust in His word and His promises all the time. Before I started to actively seek out truth, I didn’t realize how important it was to have solid truth in your life that you can continually reflect on. One of the Hebrew names for God is Jehovah-El Emeth, which means The LORD God of Truth. In John 14:6, Jesus claims to be the Truth. Truth is such an important part of God’s character. I’m excited to learn more about this part of my Savior 🙂

What is Your Life Purpose?

What is the most important thing about you? What is the purpose of your life? What are you known by? These questions might seem impossible to answer for some people, but I think that they are important answers to have. You get one life. Everywhere you go you’re leaving your mark on people. Maybe you are remembered for being rude and impatient most of the time. Or perhaps you are known for your kindness and hard work. Either way, I can promise you that you aren’t seen as a “nobody.” No one is truly seen as nothing.

Personally, I am sure what my life purpose is. I am positive about the most important thing about me. I don’t know how some people remember me, but I usually hear that I am remembered in a good way (I hope that’s the truth!). The most important thing you can know about me is that I am saved by grace. I have been resurrected into a new life through a sacrifice far beyond what I deserved. The purpose of my life is to love my Savior with everything I have in me and serve people without hesitation. Today, I want to share ten reasons why this is my life purpose and why it is the most fulfilling way I could ever live.

  1. Jesus’ love is what drew me to Him. His love has allowed me to love Him back. (1 John 4:19)
  2. When I fail, which is often, I am forgiven. Jesus holds no bitterness towards me. (1 John 1:9)
  3. I have no reasons to worry because my Savior is in control of all things. Although I still worry sometimes, it is a blessing when I can remember this promise from Him. (Philippians 4:6&7)
  4. My Lord is filled with grace, compassion, and mercy. He is slow to anger. (Psalm 145:8)
  5. My soul has been restored from death, and I follow Jesus on a righteous path. (Psalm 23:3)
  6. I am given rest from my trials and from the heartache of this world. (Matthew 11:28-30)
  7. Jesus provides me with heavenly wisdom that I need for the life He has called me to. (James 3:17)
  8. I am loved with an everlasting love, and no matter what my circumstances are; I am able to find joy. (Jeremiah 31:3)
  9. Wherever I go, I have the comfort of knowing that my righteousness goes before me, and the Lord guards me from behind. (Isaiah 58:8)
  10. I know full well that someday I will leave the aching of this world behind and go to a place that is far better than I can imagine. However, I will only enter into heaven because of the sacrifice of my Savior, not by anything I have done. (Revelation 21:3-6)

Very Inspiring Blogger Award

Very Inspiring Blogger Award

Very Inspiring Blogger Award

When I started Merciful Perspective, my only hope was that the Lord would use this blog to inspire at least one person. Since I began sharing my writing, I have been struck with an amazing amount of positive feedback and encouragement. I have had the opportunity to connect with others who love the Lord as much as I do and learn from their writing. I am very thankful for how God has used this blog so far. 🙂

Recently I was nominated for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award by Dwayne Peterkin. I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to Dwayne for this nomination. It is encouraging to be nominated for an award, and your kind words about how inspiring my blog is to you have also encouraged my heart.

For those who I have nominated for this award, here are the rules:

  1. Link back to the person who has nominated you.
  2. Post the award image on your page.
  3. Share seven (7) random facts about yourself.
  4. Nominate (15) other blogs.

Seven Random Facts About Me:

  1. I absolutely love my family.
  2. I am a student leader at a youth group with fantastic people, who love Jesus with all their hearts.
  3. Chronic weirdness runs extensively in my family (We are a great bunch).
  4. Summer is my favorite season (I’m not a fan of snow).
  5. Clouds are some of my favorite things; I think they’re wonderful.
  6. My best friend is a wildland firefighter and a terrific person.
  7. I’m pretty clumsy, and for some reason I am always hitting my elbows on everything.

Blogs I am Nominating:


We’re lost in Kansas! No, Texas!

This is our reaction to being lost.

For the past week I’ve been on a road trip with my family. We took on the challenge of driving from northern Minnesota to south Texas during this Christmas break. On Sunday we arrived safely at our destination. During the drive down, we were all excited and motivated to take our trip. Our trip home seems to be a bit more grueling. Everyone is beginning to look forward to being home.

We left my grandparents house in south Texas on Thursday and spent a day in Corpus Christi before driving home to Minnesota. After touring the USS Lexington, we hit the road again. We got lost somewhere in east Texas. As we were roaming the countryside, attempting to make the GPS work, my dad suggested we find a Whataburger somewhere for lunch. Margie was quick to declare, “Whataburger! My heart’s gonna stop!” On the way to south Texas, we had eaten Whataburger two days in a row, and apparently Margie did not want to go for a round three. Maybe she was just concerned with not eating too much junk food, but I doubt that was the case. After finding our way back to civilization, we stopped at a sandwich shop for lunch instead of Whataburger.

The majority of the time we were lost, my mom was on the phone with hotels and travel agents. She had to travel for work during a lot of this year, and as a result had built up a stock of “points” which could be used to get a free room if we had enough. Unfortunately, every hotel in Oklahoma City (our hopeful destination for the night) had shut down their point systems for the season. A few phone calls and 15,000 points later, and we had a free room in a Country Inn & Suites in Louisville, Texas. All we needed to do was drive there, which proved to be harder than it sounded.

We spent 9 hours in the car that day driving to Louisville. Thankfully we were able to take a toll road for a long time. However, we still had to drive through Dallas late that night. By the time we reached Louisville my dad was tired of driving, and we were all hungry. The area our GPS took us to was surrounded by hotels. All we could see was hotels and restaurants. The one hotel we didn’t see was the Country Inn & Suites. Eventually, we stopped in a parking lot in order to figure our what our GPS, Maggie, was doing instead of leading us to the hotel.

My parents were sitting in the front of the car, trying to find our hotel on the GPS. Katie attempted to interrupt, “Oh hey, look it’s ri–,” She was quickly hushed by my mom. Katie looked at me and pointed out the car window. I chuckled as I realized what she was looking at. Our car was parked under a huge sign that said, “Country Inn & Suites.” 

In the end, we made it into our room and enjoyed a nice evening 🙂

Losing Hope, Gaining Insight: Surviving Grief

Three months ago heaven gained the most amazing 16 year old girl. Today, I want to share my perspective of 9/20/12, a day that I will never forget:

Have you ever felt as if you are living life just going through the motions? Do you feel as if no one cares what you do? Maybe you are the type of person who thinks you can do whatever you want and the only one who will be impacted is you. This is your life, so you make the decisions. You think that you don’t make a difference, and that you’re the only one who feels the weight of your choices, your mistakes, and your careless actions. No matter how you might feel, you are making an impact on people and leaving the world a different place, although it may take a day of sorrow for you to realize it.

That Thursday morning even the sky was crying. My friend and I had just finished a test, and we were ready to rush to the high school. By this point, though, everyone had been crying for hours. The night before had been filled with prayer and scared hearts. Despite our desperate hopes, Hannah had left this world due to injuries sustained in a car accident. The drive to the school felt like a blur. I remember only one clear moment: passing the intersection where the accident had taken place. The road was marked with black tire marks from hurried first responders and police cars; I could have sworn there were still marks of blood on the cold ground.

I found it strange that the outside of the school looked the same as it always had, but for some reason that morning, you could feel sorrow welling out of every inch of the building. The usually cheery brick and stone of the school seemed to be a prison that contained the pain. The dying leaves on the trees were damp from the rain. The cracked sidewalk was cold and slippery. Everything around the school cried out for the grieving hearts of many people. It was cold when I stepped out of the car, but I felt as if the chill began in my heart rather than in the brisk air. My friend and I stood side by side and took a deep breath before entering the building. We knew that the second we stepped inside, our lives would never be the same.

As we stood in the stairwell, my friend asked me to stop walking. In an empty voice she said, “I can’t do this.” I looked into the face of my friend whom I had come to know very well in the past few years, and I realized that I had never seen such a look on her face. She was almost expressionless, except for her jaw being slightly dropped, but her eyes gave away her true feelings. Looking into them I could see her realize something that she hadn’t understood before that moment. Her eyes said it loud and clear, “Hannah is really gone.” The overwhelming emotions of that day couldn’t be bottled up anymore; she crumpled against a wall and broke down.

After pulling ourselves together as best we could, we entered the hallway. Normally this high school hallway would be filled with students who were laughing and having a good time. It was only silent when the classroom doors kept the students’ noise contained, but even then it was only a dimmed sound. This was no ordinary day. There was silence even though the hallways were crowded with students. One word truly sums up what we witnessed in that hallway: brokenness.

The students at my high school always have their guard up. Everyone will hide their strong emotions and true feelings behind shields of makeup, name-brand clothes, cocky attitudes, and all forms of materialism. I knew that those students were broken because any kind of guard they had up was shattered along with their hopes of seeing Hannah again. Everyone wore blue that day to support Hannah; little did we know that she wouldn’t live long enough to see that symbol of support. Looking back, I now see how fitting it was that the blue color we wore that day matched our grieving hearts.

All students were called to class so that attendance could be taken. I was left standing with three of my friends who were taking classes at the community college. We stood at the end of a hallway that we knew would be very hard to walk down, but at the same time we had a great desire to pass through it. From where we stood, all I could see were balloons held down by roses, a package of permanent markers, and an almost empty box of tissues. Everything else in the hallway dimmed in comparison to what we were searching for. As we began to step closer, we were able to get a clear view of Hannah’s locker.

The locker was closed, but there were three pictures tapped on the outside. The top one was of Hannah sitting cross-legged on a couch with her young nephew; they were looking at each other making silly faces and laughing. Below that was a picture that she took right after she got her braces off; she had a big smile on her face, and her eyes held the subtle kindness that I will always remember seeing in her. The last picture was taken on the shore of Lake Superior in Duluth; Hannah was looking out over the water with an expression that was very peaceful.

One of the girls I was with opened the locker. All of the contents were left exactly as Hannah had put them before she left school the day before. I wondered what had been on her mind as she left. Was she thinking about a history paper she needed to write? Or was her mind consumed with a conversation she had just finished with a friend? Who made her the paper Mache bird sitting on the top shelf? Did Hannah have any idea that she was closing her locker for the very last time? Were the notebooks and papers disorganized because she was in a rush? Was she not paying attention at the intersection because she was hurrying?

Every inch of her locker was covered with hundreds of messages. There were messages filled with raw emotion from the hearts of many students and teachers who had admired everything about Hannah. Even students who had never spoken with her wrote about how Hannah’s presence and personality impacted them. The different things written showed how influencing Hannah was in our small high school.

“You were the most amazing person I have ever met.”

“I miss you already.”

“I know you’re smiling down on us from heaven.”

“I didn’t know you, but I always wanted to.”

“I wish we could have talked more.”

“You were a light that filled up the whole school.”

“I love you so much!” 9/20/12


While reading those notes I realized something important about my classmates. Every person in my school lost part of their heart over this death, and everyone grieved for Hannah. Many of my classmates lost hope, but were growing from this experience. We were given an opportunity to realize how short life was, and how we needed to love and appreciate one another. Through losing a friend and classmate, we were learning to take advantage of the time we had to impact the world.

Hannah lived on this earth for 16 years, 3 months, and 9 days. Of that time, she attended our school for one year and sixteen days. In that brief year, she impacted many people; she made a difference, and she left this world a different place. Hannah left her high school, her church, and her community a better place. She wasn’t the most outgoing, or perfect person. However, Hannah made a difference because she was herself, and she cared about helping people.

You might think that you don’t make a difference, or that you aren’t doing anything important; however, every move you make and every word you say holds the potential to alter the lives of others. Your actions and words have the power to hurt or heal. You are affecting whether you like it or not people. Don’t be afraid to take a leap of faith, and impact people in a positive way. You have been given precious time on this earth that others haven’t been given, and you are here for a reason. Everything you do makes a difference and has an impact. Leave this world in better shape than the way you found it. Your decisions don’t just impact you; they also impact the lives of people around you. How do you want to be remembered when you’re gone?

Remember the Victims

The media covering the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, is filled with reports and pictures of the shooter. I’m not sure if I agree with this. Why should this man become a celebrity for killing people? How can the majority of us know the full name of the shooter, but not even know the last name of one of the victims? I want to remember the victims; the innocent lives that were lost. For those of you who also want to remember them, here is the name, age, and something to remember each of them by.

  •  Charlotte Bacon, age: 6

In remembrance of her, her uncle said, “She was going to go some places in this world. This little girl could light up the room for anyone.”

  •  Daniel Barden, age: 7

“Words really cannot express what a special boy Daniel was. Such a light. Always smiling, unfailingly polite, incredibly affectionate, fair and so thoughtful towards others, imaginative in play, both intelligent and articulate in conversation: in all, a constant source of laughter and joy,” his family said.

  •  Rachel D’Avino, age: 29

“I think she taught me more about how to be a good mother to a special needs child than anyone else ever had,” Lovetere Stone said. Days before the shooting, Rachel’s boyfriend had asked her parents permission to marry her.

  •  Olivia Engel, age: 6

“She was a great big sister and was always very patient with her 3 year old brother, Brayden,” her family said, recalling that her favorite colors were purple and pink.

  •  Josephine Gay, age: 7

Josephine had turned 7 just three days before the shooting. On Monday, purple balloons – her favorite color – sprouted from the family mailbox and those of all her neighbors.

  •  Dawn Hochsprung, age: 47 (Principal)

Dawn’s pride in Sandy Hook Elementary was clear. She regularly tweeted photos from her time as principal there. Just this week, it was an image of fourth-graders rehearsing for their winter concert; days before that, the tiny hands of kindergartners exchanging play money at their makeshift grocery store.

  •  Dylan Hockley, age: 6

Dylan had a beaming smile. He played tag every morning at the bus stop with neighbors, bounced on the trampoline and played computer games. He loved purple, chocolate and seeing the moon. He was learning to read and was proud to show off his new skills to his parents. Jake, his older brother, was his best friend and role model.

  •  Madeleine Hsu, age: 6

Madeleine was shy and quiet – but she would light up around dogs. Her neighbor stated, “She was just an absolute doll. She seemed very shy, but she was just so sweet.”

  •  Catherine Hubbard, age: 6

“We are greatly saddened by the loss of our beautiful daughter, Catherine Violet and our thoughts and prayers are with the other families who have been affected by this tragedy,” Jennifer and Matthew Hubbard said. “We ask that you continue to pray for us and the other families who have experienced loss in this tragedy.”

  •  Chase Kowalski, age: 7

Chase was always outside, playing in the backyard, riding his bicycle. Just last week, he was visiting neighbor Kevin Grimes, telling him about completing – and winning – his first mini-triathlon.

  •  Nancy Lanza, age: 52

She was known simply for the game nights she hosted and the holiday decorations she put up at her house. “She was a very nice lady,” one woman said.

  •  Jesse Lewis, age: 6

Jesse’s family has a collection of animals he enjoyed playing with, and he was learning to ride horseback. “He was always friendly; he always liked to talk.”

  •  Ana Marquez-Greene, age: 6

A video spreading across the Internet shows a confident Ana hitting every note as she sings “Come, Thou Almighty King.” She flashes a big grin and waves to the camera when she’s done. “As much as she’s needed here and missed by her mother, brother and me, Ana beat us all to paradise,” her father wrote. “I love you sweetie girl.”

  • James Mattioli, age: 6

James especially loved recess and math, and his family described him as a “numbers guy” who came up with insights beyond his years to explain the relationship between numbers. He particularly loved the concept of googolplex, which a friend taught him. He was best friends with his older sister, and loved to sing.

  • Grace Audrey McDonnell, age: 7

Lynn and Chris McDonnell called their 7-year-old daughter “the love and light” of their family in a statement released by the little girl’s uncle. The family also shared a photo featuring Grace smiling into the camera, her eyes shining and a pink bow adorning her long blonde hair.

  • Anne Marie Murphy, age: 52

A happy soul; A good mother, wife and daughter; Artistic, fun-loving, witty and hardworking.

  • Emilie Parker, age: 6

Quick to cheer up those in need of a smile, Emilie Parker never missed a chance to draw a picture or make a card.

Her father, Robbie Parker, fought back tears as he described the beautiful, blond, always-smiling girl who loved to try new things, except foods. “I’m so blessed to be her dad.”

  • Jack Pinto, age: 6

Jack was a huge New York Giants fan. Wide receiver Victor Cruz honored Jack on Sunday on his cleats, writing on them the words “Jack Pinto, My Hero” and “R.I.P. Jack Pinto.”

  • Noah Pozner, age: 6

His uncle said Noah loved to read and liked to figure out how things worked mechanically. He was already a very good reader. He loved animals, video games and Nintendo’s Mario Brothers characters. For his birthday two weeks ago, he got a new Wii.

  • Caroline Previdi, age: 6

“Silly Caroline” had an infectious grin and a giving heart.

“Caroline Phoebe Previdi was a blessing from God and brought joy to everyone she touched,” her parents, Jeff and Sandy Previdi, said in a statement. “We know that she is looking down on us from Heaven.”

  • Jessica Rekos, age: 6

The Rekoses described their daughter as “a creative, beautiful little girl who loved playing with her little brothers, Travis and Shane.

“She spent time writing in her journals, making up stories, and doing ‘research’ on orca whales – one of her passions after seeing the movie ‘Free Willy’ last year.” Her dream of seeing a real orca was realized in October when she went to SeaWorld.”

  • Lauren Gabrielle Rousseau, age: 30

Lauren has been called gentle, spirited and active. She had planned to see “The Hobbit” with her boyfriend Friday and had baked cupcakes for a party they were to attend afterward. She was born in Danbury, and attended Danbury High, college at the University of Connecticut and graduate school at the University of Bridgeport. She was a lover of music, dance and theater.

  • Mary Sherlach, age: 56

Even as Mary neared retirement, her job at Sandy Hook was one she loved. Those who knew her called her a wonderful neighbor, a beautiful person, a dedicated educator. “Mary felt like she was doing God’s work,” her son-in-law said, “working with the children.”

  • Victoria Soto, age: 27

“She put those children first. That’s all she ever talked about,” said a friend, Andrea Crowell. “She wanted to do her best for them, to teach them something new every day.” Photos of Soto show her always with a wide smile, in pictures of her at her college graduation and in mundane daily life. She looks so young, barely an adult herself. Her goal was simply to be a teacher.

  • Benjamin Wheeler, age: 6

Ben was spirited and energetic. He was taking swim lessons, and at soccer practice, he’d often be running across the field long after it was necessary. A recent accomplishment, his family said, was performing at a piano recital this month – and sitting still long enough to play one piece.

  • Allison N. Wyatt, age: 6

“She was a very shy girl, she was quiet and kept to herself, but she would smile at things. If a kid did something funny, she’d be laughing,”


Finding Grace through Anxiety

WorryAre you a worrier? Do you drive away from your house and start worrying that the oven is on? Okay, maybe that’s a bit extreme. How about fretting over loved ones driving home? Or are you filled with anxiety over doing well at your job? We can’t control our lives, fact. Yet, we are always attempting to control our lives.

Lately, I’ve been dealing with a lot of anxiety. Even if it’s something ridiculous, I find a way to worry about it. Maybe finals week is getting to my head, or I’m losing it. After worrying and worrying, God finally brought me to the point where I would listen to what He was saying to me.

“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” – Isaiah 26:3

The word “mind” in this verse can be translated into “imagination.” One of the biggest things that cause people to worry is the imagination. Your imagination brings up the worst possible scenarios, and then you feel as if you need to try to figure out how you would deal with that situation. God’s grace will cover you when you are in desperate need. However, He isn’t walking you through losing your best friend when you’re just imagining losing your best friend. Trust that He will provide for you when you’re in those situations. Remember that your worries are not your reality as of right now. Keep your mind focused on God when you’re worrying. He is your El Shaddai, God Almighty, and All Sufficient One. When you are caught up in desperate worry, He is speaking to your heart. He wants to remind you that His grace is sufficient for you, for His strength is made perfect in weakness.


“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” – Philippians 4:8

Instead of focusing on things that are negative, and have yet to be proven true, focus on the good, noble, just, pure, lovely, and true things of life. Don’t live in fear and anxiety; enjoy the wonderful blessings that God has given to you. If you spend your time fretting over losing the blessings you have, you won’t enjoy life. Rely on the God of the universe to provide for you and do what is best for you. Jesus loves you, and His plan might not always seem good, but it is good. Worrying is not a worthy cause for your mind to pursue. Instead, trust and obey what the Lord has told you in His word.

How do you cope with worry?

Online Classes: are the Benefits worth the Risks?

Kate is starting college, and she feels like a nervous-wreck already. She has no idea what to expect, and she doesn’t know anyone going to her school. There she is, trying to register for classes; however, Kate had never expected it would be so hard to figure out which classes to take and at what times. The College Writing class that she would like to take during her first semester is only offered at the same time as her Interpersonal Communications class. All Kate can think is, “How in the world can I be in two places at once?”

Schools are advancing in many ways, and now it is possible for you to take the desired class online so as to avoid schedule conflict. This might sound scary and foreign to you, causing you to ask many questions.

“What will an online class be like? How will I learn the lessons? How do I turn in homework? Is the teacher even a real person? How do I communicate with others? Do I have classmates in an online class?”

Your mind is rushing through these questions in panic mode. Although an online course sounds cumbersome, taking one gives you the opportunity to further your education career, as well as the freedom to maintain your other priorities.

The vast majority of high schools don’t offer online classes, as a result, most students feel afraid to take an online course. The familiarity of a classroom and classmates is a safe feeling to students. In the traditional classroom, you meet your teacher, and he or she tells you what is expected and required of you. Meanwhile your classmates surround you, and it’s comforting to know that they are as nervous as you are. When questions arise, the teacher is there in the classroom ready to explain. The routine is something that draws you in, making every weekday at 9:00 a.m. your hour to absorb and comprehend college algebra.

Traditional Classroom

During your crazy and new adventure of college, a regular schedule seems like the least you can do for yourself; nevertheless, in-class courses have some very negative aspects. First of all, you have to spend multiple hours sitting in a classroom and listening to a teacher. When you are unable to attend a class, you need to ration out excess time in order to make up the work you missed. It is simply not possible to miss multiple hours of class so as to make up work and still maintain a good grade. Secondly, your schedule is limited by the number of hours your classes consume. If there are two classes at 11:00 a.m., then you need to decide which class you will take. Furthermore, if you don’t live within walking distance, you have to spend time commuting between your home and the school. This commute results in extra fuel costs, earlier departures from your home, and possibly missing classes on bad weather days.

On the other hand, you can avoid these problematic scenarios by taking a course online. In particular, these classes allow you to do work on your own time. Since your schedule is busy on different nights of the week, you can choose to work on the assignments and readings when you have the time. You might think that communicating with a teacher online would be difficult; however, questions can be messaged directly to your teacher. Oftentimes professors will be online grading papers and reply to your question promptly. Another very positive side of taking an online course is that you can complete the work from anywhere you’d like. You have the option to write your papers or complete the readings from the comfort of your own home or in a cozy corner of a coffee shop. In addition, assignments are due on Sunday nights for the majority of online classes. This allows you to have not only the week, but also the weekend to complete your homework. Having a Sunday night deadline gives you a break from the multiple due dates each week from your traditional classes. Moreover, it provides opportunities for you to invest more effort into completing your assignments. Because you don’t have to spend any hours physically in a classroom, your schedule is freed up to include many other things. You can have flexible hours for your job, take an extra class that normally wouldn’t fit into your daytime schedule, or be flexible to help your family and friends. Having a flexible schedule would greatly increase your ability to get a job during your college career.

Online Class

Nonetheless, there are disadvantages of taking an online course.  You may need to deal with Internet crashes, which would likely hinder you from being able to submit your homework and take online quizzes. However, many fast food restaurants are open twenty-four hours a day and contain free Wi-Fi access. Also, the majority of Internet providers are very quick to fix your connection problems. Another downside of taking an online course is that you can misinterpret what others are trying to tell you. It has been known to happen where students find their teachers to be very negative and harsh, oftentimes, after viewing the comments made on their work. As a result, students may become very stressed out and upset because of this class. However, after an instance where the student meets face-to-face with his or her professor, it comes as a surprise that the professor has a personality that is very different from the student’s perception. Taking an online class might result in the misinterpretation of people and directions. On the other hand, this can be avoided by being careful not to assume implications. Finally, a lack of structure in the online schedule may allow you to procrastinate, as well as allow you to develop poor studying habits. However, the lack of structure is likely to cause a student to be responsible with managing his or her time.

In reality, an online course is not so different from an in-class course. Either way you will have to complete assignments, study, discuss things with teachers and/or classmates, take midterms and finals, and most importantly work your hardest to earn a good grade. The big difference is in time spent physically in a classroom versus time spent on a computer doing work.

College is hard work, and that’s an undeniable fact. You will learn a lot in the next few years. Going to college will make you become mature and prepare you for a successful career later on in your life. You will be forced to make decisions for yourself and take on new challenges that are oftentimes unexpected. However, you possess the choice to get ahead in your career by fitting that last class into your schedule through the online option. Don’t stress yourself out over finding the perfect schedule where you can take Interpersonal Communications and College Writing in the same semester. That schedule already exists; it’s simply not in the form your mind expected to find it in.