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“Be whatever your goal is. Keep that light at the end of the tunnel.” – Scott Plymesser
I come across a lot of students who inspire me. Scott Plymesser is no exception. As a first generation student, Scott dove right into the online learning experience after 40 years away from school. Scott is going for his Bachelor of Science in Business with a concentration in Operations Management. One thing to know about Scott is that he is not getting his degree for the diploma to collect dust on his shelf. Receiving his degree goes much deeper. Read on to learn more about Scott, get inspired, and take a tip or two from him.
What experiences in your life have led you to the place where you are ready to finish your degree?
I served in the military for 24 years in the Infantry and Special Operations arena. It is very hard to earn your degree while being deployed and trying to be the best possible solider and leader that you can be. My parents never earned their degrees because they were married at a young age and had kids, thus having to go to work to provide for the family. After my military career I lost all of my family to cancer including my younger sister and wife. So, being “alone”, I looked within myself and asked myself, what do I really want in life that would make me happy and my parents proud? I decided to earn my four year degree in business, not because I need it for a promotion or work, but for my own personal pride of accomplishment. Also to show my son (only child, 36 years old) that even his father can get a degree without needing it for a specific purpose. As the old saying goes “Why did you get the degree?” – “Because I can!”, nothing more nothing less.
What will it mean to you to receive your degree?
It will mean self-satisfaction and pride. Knowing that if you put your mind to an end state it can be accomplished. And knowing that I would have made my parents and family proud. There is nothing in this world more precious than the pat on the back from friends and the people that love you. Nothing else matters.
What tips would you give other first generation students?
Everything can be accomplished, you just have to commit and be patient. Rome was not built in a day. Plan your time and commit to it. We are all busy in our day to day lives with family, work, problems, and life as it is today. Be whatever your goal is. Keep that light at the end of the tunnel. If you have to put up a blanket to cover the light for an amount of time due to life stuff, that is OK. The blanket can be removed whenever you are ready (like myself). Remember the most important thing is to take care of yourself. If you are stressed in life take a break and return when the proverbial batteries are charged.
What is your recipe for success?
Planning, dedication, getting ahead of the assignments. Use the resources that the school provides (big help). Plus, do not feel embarrassed to ask for help. Help is all around for everyone to succeed.
What keeps you motivated?
Like I stated before this is for me. To get the degree and that is it. Personal accomplishment. A lot of people talk about how a four year degree is nothing nowadays. The new norm is a Master’s degree and then the Master’s will be looked down on and a PhD will be the golden ring. I do not think that we have come to that yet, but if you do look at it that way, it is the crawl, walk, run scenario. Looking toward my golden ring, which is a four year degree, that keeps me motivated. Patience is a virtue.