How I Became an Engaged Learner

Last year I made up my mind to go back to school. That decision brought growth and change as well as doubt. I wasn’t sure how to set myself up for academic success and was afraid of failure. I found that engaging with my uncertainty helped me discover my passion for education. I took a few steps  that’s shaped my time at Front Range.

1. Understand that Education is an Individual Journey

I took a roundabout route to Front Range. I attended a small liberal arts college directly out of high school but felt incredibly unsatisfied. Although everything around me told me why I should love being there, I made the difficult decision to leave. After spending a few years out of college living and working at a retreat center, I understood how much an education mattered.

2. Personally Invest in Your Education

When I decided to return to school, there were several factors I deemed necessary for a meaningful education. First, I wanted professors who were excited to teach and who challenged me to think. Second, I wanted to find value in my studies while connecting school with life. And finally, I wanted other students who also valued their educations. I found Front Range almost by accident but being a student here has jump started my road to success. I began finding tools to support myself and started engaging with campus offerings.

3. Utilize Resources

All colleges and universities have student resources, academic and beyond. Front Range is a gem when it comes to student services. Whether I need help writing a paper, working through a math problem, or finding a club where I can creatively work with others, Front Range has risen to the occasion. Did I mention the countless online research databases that students have access to?

4. Find Your Motivation

College does not have to be something that happens to us, but rather a process we are engaged in and help create. Motivation is key to maintaining a positive attitude and vision when in school. I enjoy learning but connecting my studies with the bigger picture of life motivates me to keep going.

5. Go Forth as an Engaged Learner and Succeed

I found my place by taking initiative and becoming an active participant in my education. College is about dreaming big and exploring. I want to become educated in a way that works for me. I’m learning to advocate for myself and take responsibility for how deeply I engage with my studies both personally and academically. School is my incubator for critical thinking and life skills. In the end, I want to challenge myself, have fun, and live in the world as an active citizen.

How are you engaging your education? If you have a story, please share it!

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Lauren Sanford is a Foundation Fellow at the FRCC Boulder County Campus. As a school enthusiast and life long learner, Lauren is a member of the Equality for Everyone club and is working towards a BA in Gender and Women's Studies.

4 Responses to “How I Became an Engaged Learner”

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November 03, 2014 at 2:38 am, James Woodard said:

This is a great article, thanks! Really, the study provides a good foundation for further successful life. therefore it is necessary to study, study and study:)) Thanks

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November 13, 2014 at 11:50 am, Lauren Sanford said:

Hi James, Thanks for your comment. I agree, studying is key!

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November 13, 2014 at 9:08 am, essayhelp24 said:

Thank you for the great article. It’s true that motivation to learn something new and willing to investigate the new fields are very important not only for the personal growth but for global development generally.

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November 13, 2014 at 11:53 am, Lauren Sanford said:

Thanks for your comment! Finding motivation is a journey in itself. It’s been a pleasure finding out what inspires me and discovering subjects I’m curiosity about. I think the world benefits when people are curious and willing to discover their unique passions.