Friday, January 12, 2018

Conquer Those Session Start Jitters

On Tuesday, January 16, we welcome back our faculty and students for another new start: Session 3. Not only do we have returning students, but we have many new students who are joining the Peirce Community and for some, the college experience, for the first time.

This new adventure is exciting, but it can also be a bit nerve-racking. Alexandra McShane can relate. At this time last year, Alexandra was getting ready to start her educational journey with Peirce College’s Paralegal Studies Certificate Program.

“I was a little intimidated when I first started in Session 3,” recalls Alexandra. “Most people had already been at Peirce since the fall semester and were already into the swing of how things worked here.”

But Alexandra knew it was what she wanted to do. After working in a small law firm for some time, she found a passion for legal studies. She knew law school wasn’t what she wanted to do, but a paralegal career seemed to be a path that piqued her interest. She began researching the requirements and found a track that brought her to Peirce.

“I noticed that most jobs required either a bachelor’s degree as well as a certificate in Paralegal Studies, or a bachelor’s degree in Paralegal Studies. Since I had already received a bachelor’s, the certificate program was my best option,” says Alexandra. “I enrolled about a week before the semester started, and Peirce completely accommodated my needs in time.”

As of January 2017, Alexandra was on her way to her dream career. She said deciding on going back to school was a bit easier than actually doing it, but it all fell into place once she started.

“The most difficult part for me was getting back into the swing of school life after being out for so long. There was almost a 10-year gap between me completing my bachelor’s and starting for the certificate. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to handle the school, working full time and my personal life, but I am happy to say it was a lot easier than I could have imagined.”

After a successful first year, Alexandra has some personal insight for our newest students beginning during the same nontraditional session as she did. Thinking back on where she was a year ago, Alexandra realizes there was no reason to be afraid of heading back to school.

“Since I enrolled so late, I wish I would have known how accommodating Peirce was so I wouldn’t have stressed out so much about starting school again,” explained Alexandra. “I also wasn’t sure if I was making the best move for me career wise. However, once I finally started classes here, and began to learn how many resources Peirce offers, I knew I had made the right decision.”

Additionally, Alexandra has some advice to share with new students to alleviate some nerves during their transition. “The best advice I can offer is to not stress about anything,” she says. “The faculty, as well as the staff, will be your biggest advocates. Use any resource you can, never give up and always remain confident in yourself.”

Thank you, Alexandra, for sharing your story and experience with our newest students! We wish Alexandra and all our students a successful Session 3!