Heidi’s higher ed journey

Adams went to college right after high school. She completed five semesters before deciding to step away from school and focus on financially supporting herself by working full-time.

"As almost everyone will tell you, once you ‘take a break,’ it becomes really hard to go back. Eventually, big life changes were taking place as I got married and had two kids. This put the thought of going back to school even further to the back of my mind," said Adams.

Fast forward and Adams has now worked at IU Indianapolis for almost seven years. She began exploring her options and how a degree could open more doors for her career.

"By not having my degree, I felt limited as to what career paths I could take," said Adams." And while I knew I was capable of more in my position because of my work experiences and skills, not having a degree was holding me back."

Thanks to encouragement and support from her supervisor Mike Perry, Adams took the leap and was ready to jump back into college courses.

"By the end of my conversation with Mike, I decided I was going to at least submit my application. It turns out that first step of applying was the hardest part," Adams said.

Navigating college courses as an adult student

Indiana University’s general studies degree, specifically designed for adult or transfer students who want to finish their education, was a perfect fit for Adams. She transferred most of her previous credits, and her academic advisor helped set her up for success.

"Shoutout to Desiree Jaynes! She was amazing and laid everything out for me in our first meeting," said Adams. “It wasn’t nearly as complicated as I anticipated it to be. She let me know how many of my prior credits transferred, what requirements I had to meet and helped me develop a timeline for the pace I needed. Having her help simplified everything for me."

Perseverance pays off

Like with all college experiences, Adam’s faced her own bright moments and challenges, with the added element of balancing her family life and classes.

"It was great to see my hard work pay off in the form of grades when I turned in assignments that initially felt daunting," Adams said.

“Because of school, I did miss out on certain things with my kids and family, but my two kids were so understanding and so proud of me along the way. Honestly, the best part of graduating all these years later is that my kids got to see me do it.”

Congratulations, Heidi, on this achievement!