Is that the light at the end of the tunnel I see?

Maybe there is a faint glimmer. There are 4 weeks left. One of those is the glorious holiday in the United States that we call Thanksgiving. Online school gives no quarter for Thanksgiving. What they don’t know is I’m the one that cooks it for my family. It’s a long and exhaustive process. Am I supposed to tell them I have sprint planning and proofs to do and that’s why they have no rolls this year? No pie? No cheese potatoes?

I don’t know how it is going to work out this week but as with every weekend, I’m amazed I’m still here, that I am still passing, that I have survived another week of online college.

As this semester comes to a blessed end I have to share the most important thing that I’ve learned. It’s not about analytics or strategy or Google and Facebook Ads.

It’s about people.

It’s about these four groups that have been thrust upon me in my four classes. I have noticed a pattern in my frustration. Whenever I begin to get really frustrated with someone that hasn’t been responding to my frantic texts, emails, threads, and I am ready to call them lazy to my family and curse the ground they walk on, they respond.

And then I learn something about them. And then I feel like a complete jerk for not practicing compassion and patience. I am so anxious to get these assignments done I want everyone to plunge ahead with me.

But sometimes there’s people like Margaret, from Nigeria. Her time zone is 7 hours ahead of mine. She doesn’t own her own phone and can only communicate on her husband’s. She only has time to work on her assignments from 11pm to 3am in her nighttime because she has kids and they need her. Margaret is trying to better her circumstance and I sit over here with my laptop and phone and supportive family and get all judgey when I don’t know Margaret.

Knowing someone, even the littlest bits, helps develop compassion and empathy. It helps me. I have a picture of Margaret in my head now and I’m rooting for her and all the Margarets out there. If my patience and understanding will aid her just a little bit, it warms my judgey heart.

I think that’s my favorite take-away from this semester and I’m hoping to carry it with me as my college experience continues.

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