Sheila Dixon’s Academic Self

        This essay contains information from an interview transcript with Sheila Dixon about her academic self. We called each other on the phone and shared our academic histories, frustrations, and goals. Sheila is 45 years old and is from Buffalo New York. She attended grades k-12 there, but she did not go to college immediately after high school. When I asked her if there was a specific reason as to why she did not go immediately, she said, “I ended up getting pregnant and I wanted to be the one to raise my daughter. I did not want anyone to do that for me.” She first went to college in 1997 where she attended Erie Community College. Later in 2014 she moved to Georgia and started at Georgia State University in the Spring of 2019. She is majoring in Nursing, and her overall career goal is to start her own traveling nurse business. Her favorite subject is psychology which she believes is important in nursing because you should know how the mind works.

        When asked how she would describe her academic self she said that she is a hard worker. She is often very busy during the day but still manages to make time for her schoolwork. She is quite intuitive and tries to find ways that make college work the best for her. An example would be that she is going right for a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree instead of just becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) and then going back to school. She even said, “I did not want to leave to become an LPN and then come back to school later because I know once I leave school I will not come back.”

        During the interview Sheila told me that I should get to know my professors. She said that even though I am online I should email them, so they will know who I am as a student. She believes that you are likely to do better in a class if you develop some kind of a relationship with the teacher. What she said here is linked to the Vimeo video about the differences between in person and online courses. When you are taking an online class, you are not able to talk to classmates, or ask about due dates right then and there. This means that when you are taking an online class notifying your professor during their office hours through email, text, call, etc. is extremely important. If you have a question about your work, you should ask the professor. This way you can be sure that you are going to get the grade that you want in the class. Sheila’s advice that she gave me goes along with the information given in this video.

        College can be fun, but many people face challenges throughout their college experience. Sheila mentioned a few challenges that she is facing right now. The first one is that since she is 45, she has a harder time with some subjects since she is not right out of high school like other college students. The second challenge for her is that she finds it annoying that she must take prerequisite classes that have nothing to do with her major. The final challenge she deals with is test anxiety. She tends to get nervous while taking tests and often second guesses herself. She said that these challenges make it hard for her however, she mentioned that she found something that has helped her. Sheila said she really liked Dr. Steven Chew’s videos on study strategies and metacognitive behavior that help students become successful. In the videos he gives good studying strategies to follow and mentions what not to do when studying. Sheila took note of what he said and has been trying new studying tactics.


        The conclusion of the interview with Sheila is that no matter how old someone is, or what challenges they face in life, they can still go to college and reach their goals. Sheila was a young mom, but she did not put too much pressure on herself about going to school. She waited until the time was right for her. She really thought about what she wanted to do and chose the right degree program for her lifestyle. Even though she may not be like the typical college student she has found ways to be successful, and she encourages others to do the same.



Chew, Stephen. “How to Study.” How to Get the Most Out of Studying,

Dixon, Sheila. “Academic Self.” 29 Jan. 2021.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *