Military Wife Focuses on College During Deployment

brandiPart of college is learning to fight distractions. They’re all around us – from parties, to kids to smartphones and social media, it’s easy to lose focus while working on an assignment or writing a paper. Brandi Johnson of Indianapolis was looking for a good distraction – one that would keep her busy all year long. It turns out school work is exactly what she needed.

“Since he’s been gone, it’s actually been a lot easier to concentrate on school because I don’t have to make as much time for him,” said Johnson. “College is the perfect distraction.”

Johnson is referring to her husband, a sergeant first class in the Indiana Army National Guard currently deployed to Kuwait. He left in August 2012 – just two days after they got married. He’s scheduled to return in July 2013.

“It was really hard when he first left,” said Johnson. “I was in a state of depression and briefly lost focus on school. Fortunately, my instructors at Rasmussen College were very supportive and gave me extra time to get my work done.”

Since then, Johnson says she’s been 100 percent focused on school which has helped pass the time. The School of Justice Studies student is enrolled in the Paralegal Associate’s Degree program online. She’s expected to graduate in March 2014. Johnson says she has experience working in family court and loves studying law.

“My attorney asked me why I was not in school because I was doing everything his paralegal would do for him,” said Johnson. “It really got me interested in college.”

With no prior college experience, Johnson says making the decision to enroll in school wasn’t easy. She says her husband encouraged her to go, but she kept making excuses.

“It was a little scary,” said Johnson. “I have three kids. I’m self-employed, and I have a part-time job. It wasn’t until my husband played a little reverse psychology on me that I decided to enroll.”

So far, Johnson says she’s really enjoyed her classes. And despite her husband being nearly 6,000 miles away, he’s still part of her college experience.

“We Skype® nearly every day, and he asks me about school all the time,” said Johnson. “I tell him about my grades and finals, and he tries to help me while he’s over there.”

Johnson says her biggest piece of advice for other college students is to believe in themselves and not be afraid to ask for help.

“I wouldn’t have made it through these past several months without the support of my instructors,” said Johnson. “They want you to reach out to them. I’ve definitely gotten the support I’ve needed since my husband has been gone.”

Who’s been your biggest support system during college? Share by commenting below or email us at socialmedia@rasmussen.edu.

Molly Andersen

Molly Andersen is the Senior Strategic Communications and Brand Engagement Manager at Collegis Education. She's a passionate storyteller who believes in the power of education. Molly is responsible for creating content that educates, engages and inspires current, past and future students at Rasmussen College. 

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