Overcoming fear as an adult learner is tricky. Read about two students who took on the challenge of an accelerated degree at Concordia.

Overcoming fears as an adult learner

Time and time again we are encouraged to overcome fear in all of our situations. For many adults considering a return to college, there is quite often a variety of fears and uncertainties. Overcoming fear is one factor in earning a degree. As you consider a degree or if your quest for a degree stalled, enjoy two stories about Concordia accelerated students who overcame fear.


How Jody overcame fear

Jody Fellers, who earned the Accelerated Bachelor of Arts in Theological Studies degree last fall, overcame significant fear that stemmed from a demoralizing first attempt in college during her younger years:

“I had a negative experience from a prior college I attended in my twenties. The experience crushed my self-esteem. My negative experience kept me from pursuing a degree I desired for years because I feared failure. My friend who referred me to Concordia reassured me Concordia was a good college and I had true potential. She encouraged me with her positive experience that I would have success. Thus, I finally decided to try again for a college education while in my thirties.”


Heidi’s common fear: new technology

Holly Heise, a current education student at Concordia, overcame a common fear of many adult learners: new technology. She shared:

“There is certainly a learning curve when you start taking online-only classes. After a few classes, you get into a rhythm. It gets easier.  There is a great deal of new technology to learn. For example, online collaboration, VoiceThread, and other video production software which are used for making animated lessons and advanced PowerPoint presentations. There is always a Concordia resource available when I need help.”


Focusing on the outcomes

For both Jody and Holly, once they faced their fears, their journeys to earn degrees have been fueled by a persistent focus on their desired degree outcomes.

Jody is the mother of twin daughters. She has been determined to model for them the benefits of helping the community. To do this, Jody jumped back into classes while raising her daughters after being away from college for ten years. The challenge of creating a good balance between her family and her online studies seemed overwhelming as she stated:

“My positive experiences with the Concordia staff have helped build my confidence. I also worked with my husband on a parenting strategy in which he would give more time to watch our children. Our plan helped give me the time I needed to complete my courses. With my faith and confidence in God’s plan, I know our future will be better.”

As Holly presses forward to achieve her ultimate goal of becoming an elementary teacher, she feared not having time for her studies while dealing with a learning challenge which requires her to spend extra time for reading and writing assignments.  How would her learning challenge affect earning her education degree? Holly shares:

“School must come first if you commit to earning a degree. I have a great husband who is able to meet our financial needs so I was able to dedicate all of my time to my education. This has been a godsend. With my dyslexia, anything involving reading or writing takes me far longer than many would guess. However, when I earn my degree, I will have unique insights into some of the challenges my students with learning disabilities face.  I know I can rely on Concordia’s excellent support when I need it.”


Resist the temptation to give in to fear

While many students must deal with the practicalities of starting an accelerated or online degree including finances, scheduling, and family commitments, fear is often an underlying factor which a student must come to terms with. Fear is a common theme throughout scripture.  Fear is a choice and often limits our potential – The potential God has uniquely created in each of us.  Jody and Holly have overcome their fears as they pursue their lives God intended for them.


Do you want to know more?

What’s holding you back?  Don’t let it be fear!  God has a plan for you!  To learn more about the accelerated degrees and programs offered for busy adults, contact the CUWAA team here or call 262-243-5700.


If this story has inspired you, why not explore how you can help further Concordia's mission through giving.