In my quest to continue to grow, learn and connect with my readers, I have enrolled in an online PhD program studying developmental psychology.  I am completely aware that this is a program that will take me YEARS to complete and that a lot can happen during my course of studying that could have an impact on my successful and timely completion of my degree. Regardless I am choosing to publicly share the start of my journey because I also know that without support, I cannot accomplish this lofty goal. Although I have just begun, I feel like I have already learned so much about things I didn’t know about …
First and foremost, in 2020, there is no longer a stigma associated with an online learning degree.  As a matter of fact, more and more bricks and mortar schools are expanding their offerings and degree programs into the online format.  At the age of 18, the experience I gained from attending and living on a college campus was hugely valuable to my development, but things have changed and the cost of that type of education can be exponentially expensive now. Plus, I wish to continue to travel and I have neither the desire, nor the inclination to set myself up for obtaining a degree if I have to attend classes in one physical location. Learning whilst wearing pajamas is just a bonus!
In the few short weeks I have added ‘student’ to my identity, I have also learned that writing a research paper, discussion post or even a comment, requires proper citation. I prefer to write in a style of relatable storytelling so this new style of writing will take some adjusting to, as well as the mastering of an entirely new skill set. That set will include a precise focus on exact punctuation and spacing.  I have lived an adult life of writing about things I have experienced, but now I am learning that perhaps, somebody else might have experienced these same things and written a research paper about it. I must find it and now give credit to them so that people will take what I have to say as fact, rather than opinion.  Even though this is a new level of understanding for me, as a doctoral student, I have learned that I WILL just 100 percent embrace the process and do it! I have learned that I do not have a choice.
Unexpectedly, I have also learned, in a short amount of time, just how much I absolutely love writing this column, and I know, that when I have to struggle with having to say “No. I can’t attend that party because I have to write a paper.” Or “We have to plan a getaway on this particular weekend, even though the prices are higher, because I have classes starting next week.” That will all be completely worth it because, again, to reiterate, my degree will, ultimately, help me to connect with YOU, my readers, and that is what my drive is.
Fact! Fact!

Kathy Naumann, possessor of NATURALLY curly hair and the understanding that you can’t control everything!


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