By Charity Fonoimoana, director, Columbia College-Honolulu

“To get through the hardest journey, we need to take one step at a time, but we must keep stepping.” – Chinese Proverb

This is also true for the journey of education. Obtaining a college degree takes effort, time, and critical thinking skills. Obtaining your degree is a journey – not a destination.

In the beginning, students might feel overwhelmed or not sure of their abilities. However, with determination and persistence you will grow as a student and lifelong learner. You will obtain new skills and knowledge to use throughout the rest of your life.

In my time as the director of Columbia College-Honolulu, I have heard many student stories. Most of them include some variation of, “I can’t pass math classes,” “I can’t write 10-page APA formatted papers,” or “I don’t test well on exams.” To these students, I encourage them to engage in the journey.

Honolulu Director Charity Fonoimoana

If you have the determination and the desire, you can accomplish whatever you set your mind to. Student often came to me the first week of classes and said: “I can’t do this, I haven’t taken classes in years; it’s hard. I’m going to drop all my classes.” I told him, “Everyone has doubts about returning to school, but you can do it.” With encouragement from your support systems, you can shore up your determination, allay your fears, and accomplish all you put your mind too. It is important to maintain your enthusiasm for the education you are gaining, and remain excited to learn. But above all, enjoy this journey. At graduation, I promise you, regret will not be a feeling you will experience.

Commit to the journey of your degree. Right now – this paper, this test, this class – is the time to make sure you work hard. I commend those who overcome obstacles to be the best they can be, doing so with honesty and perseverance.

Some classes are required. The subject matter may not be of high interest to you. Have you considered what else you learn with each class you take, regardless of the subject? Look inside yourself – did you learn to something new? Did you learn to write better? Did you accomplish something you never thought you could? Every class is important, as is every step in completing your degree – your journey.

To quote entrepreneur Rich DeVos, “If I could wish for you anything, I would not wish for you wealth untold… I would wish for you the ability and the will to pursue whatever goal you have set forth.”

I wish this for all students. It takes only one step to start your journey. Reach out to me today, and I will help guide you through your academic journey. If you can take the steps and enjoy the trip, you can build new skills, make new friends, and complete your new journeys. Make the upcoming academic year your year to succeed on the way to a higher level of education.

Columbia College has been offering online course options since 2000. As a college, we were well-prepared when COVID-19 hit. I and the rest of our staff are available for advising, registering and helping students toward their degree completion. You can call, email or Zoom us!

We are CC!