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Rikki Andrews

MA English & Creative Writing - Fiction, Class of 2017

"My program advisor is the best. She has been a true rock in knowing where to point me when I need answers."

June 2011, I had retired from a thirty-five year career in the trucking industry. As an owner operator, I hauled oilfield equipment throughout Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana. I loved my job, and made good money doing it. However, health issues had developed in my life and my physical body was weakening. There comes a time in life when you have to know when to start shutting it down, and that time had come for me.

Several months had passed. Then one morning in quiet meditation, a question rose up from deep within my spirit, “Where do I go from here? What next?” As I sat there, I continued in prayer. I knew the answer was in the classes I needed to take. Until that moment, I had never thought about going back to school. What you probably should know about me is, first off, I had to quit school in the fifth grade to go to work to support myself [longer story]. I managed to get my GED several years later, but that was the end of any thoughts on a continued education. Secondly, I just retired from a lifelong career in trucking, where I’d been earning a six-figure income for most of it. So going back to school was never on my bucket list of things to do. At an age when most people begin dreaming of retiring, I had started dreaming of starting over — a new focus in life. After a short time of contemplation, I realized what I wanted to accomplish in my new life, and that was to follow the desire of my heart in developing my writing skills. So I began burning up the search engines. I checked out several universities — and here I am — an SNHU online student.

I must admit it is a little scary stepping out on that branch of the unknown. Many questions have come up. What am I thinking? Am I really cut out for this? What about my age? If I continue to think about it, the list could go on and on. But honestly, I know I made the right choice of not only going back to school, but also in choosing SNHU as my university of choice.

SNHU’s creative writing program is one of the best I have found in the country. The support staff at SNHU has made life as an online student such an amazing experience. My program advisor is the best. She has been a true rock in knowing where to point me when I need answers. But more than ever she has also been there in times that I’ve needed someone to lift me up, encourage me and remind me that I can do this. When the health issues are knocking the wind out of my sail, she manages to come in at just the right time to remind me of how far I’ve come, and of how much I’ve accomplished. That is often the boost I need to continue on this new journey in life. Samantha C., you “rock!”

My recommendation for anyone starting out as an online student, whether here at SNHU or anywhere is this: Take just one course per semester for at least the first three. This will allow you to get acquainted with being an online student, setting your schedule, and learning to navigate the online system. There is a groove you have to find for yourself that works for you and your lifestyle. Give yourself time to find it. You don’t have to conquer the mountain all at once; one step at a time will get you there. Best wishes to all.