July 26, 2017
As a writer at BYU-Pathway, I didn’t fully understand the student experience. Every day, I heard stories about how PathwayConnect changes lives, but I wanted to experience it myself. So I went undercover for one semester to see the program through a student’s eyes. This is what I learned…
Lesson 2: Effort
“I’ve been trying. I haven’t been perfect, but I’m trying.”
These words, written in my journal on February 19, 2017, captured my feelings during the first months of my semester in PathwayConnect. During that time, I worked hard to show Heavenly Father that I wanted to do well in the program, and hoped to be blessed for it. I was.
As I worked through the program, I excelled. I was inspired and motivated by the coursework, I was happier with my life, and I was able to find answers to questions I had been asking for years.
The effort I put into PathwayConnect invited the Spirit into my life, which brought all kinds of changes for the better. I was amazed at how PathwayConnect boosted my spirituality and my confidence. Through taking PathwayConnect, I learned that if you put forth effort, you will see results.
Learning to Try
When I started PathwayConnect, my study habits were pretty terrible. I had a tendency to alternate between my Facebook feed and my weekly coursework; I would reply to a post on the discussion board, then watch a cat video.
After a while, I began to realize that I wasn’t really studying at all. I probably only processed about ten percent of the material I was supposed to be learning. This realization shocked me, and I concluded that if I wanted to grow during my time in PathwayConnect, I would need to work to improve my study skills.
From that time on, I began focusing more on my homework. I put Facebook away, and I turned my phone off and put it out of reach. I dedicated my study time to actually reading and understanding the coursework. I began to see the application of lessons in my daily life. I found it easier to study my scriptures. I prayed more sincerely.
Dealing with Failure
My efforts didn’t last forever, though. As the semester continued, I got busy. And the busier I got, the less time I dedicated to my assignments. I still finished most of the work, but I found that I had slipped back into my old study habits.
One day, as I struggled to finish an assignment fifteen minutes before it was due, I received a text message from one of my classmates. “I hate finishing assignments so late,” the message read. “I feel like I don’t learn anything.”
At first, I was surprised by the message, but as I submitted my assignment, I realized my classmate was right. I was only putting in just enough effort to complete my assignments. I was missing out on opportunities to learn and grow.
I decided to fix my mistakes. I refocused my priorities and scheduled my time so I could dedicate myself to my coursework and reflect on what I had learned.
Again, I began to see myself change. My effort made it possible to get the lessons I needed to learn into my heart and help me improve both educationally and spiritually. If I had continued to only do the bare minimum, I don’t think the program would have had as powerful an effect in my life.
The Law of the Harvest
After completing a semester in PathwayConnect, I have come to understand the meaning of the scripture when it explains, “whatsoever ye sow, that shall ye also reap; therefore, if ye sow good ye shall also reap good for your reward.”1 I learned that when students consistently invest their time and effort in the coursework, they feel themselves grow and improve the most. They feel guided by the Lord as they work and prepare for their futures.
If you are considering PathwayConnect, know that your efforts in the program will not be wasted. If you work hard, you will change your life. If you’re willing to try, PathwayConnect is for you. I felt my life change every time I threw myself into the coursework and worked as hard as I could — and you can, too.
This article is part two of a four-part series dedicated to the lessons Dannielle learned during her experience as an undercover student in PathwayConnect. In part one, she talks about friendship in PathwayConnect. Stay tuned in the coming weeks for parts three and four!
You can experience the blessings of PathwayConnect, too! Explore what PathwayConnect has to offer and apply for the program by visiting BYU-Pathway’s website.