From the Marines to Kennesaw State University
When Heyling Jackson graduated from high school in Miami, Florida in 2011 she decided to join the United States Marine Corps. In addition to serving her country, she hoped to continue her education through the military. While stationed in Honolulu she got married and started a family. Her son is now 5 years old. Jackson left the military in 2015. Even though she had a family and a job, she wanted to continue her education and attain a college degree. When her husband got a job in Georgia she researched colleges in the state. She was interested in Kennesaw State University but it was such a large school she worried she would feel overwhelmed there. Instead, she decided to enroll in Georgia Highlands College. Even though Georgia Highlands is a smaller college, Jackson was still nervous about fitting in as a non-traditional student and a busy working mother. She decided to ease in to college life by taking only one class her first semester.
What she found at Georgia Highlands were small classes and helpful professors. She felt confident enough by the second semester to take five classes. “We are our own worst enemies sometimes. Being out of school for four years, I felt like I was coming back and competing with these kids. I finally realized I was only competing with myself. Everyone is there for their own reasons and we are all there for ourselves.”
“We are our own worst enemies sometimes. Being out of school for four years, I felt like I was coming back and competing with these kids. I finally realized I was only competing with myself. Everyone is there for their own reasons and we are all there for ourselves.”
Jackson obtained an Associate’s degree in Psychology at Georgia Highlands in December 2017 and was ready to pursue a 4-year degree. Now that she had some experience as a successful college student she felt ready for the larger environment at Kennesaw State University. She enrolled there in summer 2018. Kennesaw State accepted 77 transfer credit hours from Georgia Highlands as well as 12 military credits. She plans to graduate in May 2019 with a degree in Psychology and a minor in Sociology. As a successful transfer student, Jackson encourages others with transfer credit to take advantage of the opportunity to talk to a college advisor. Share your goals with them and let them help you create a road map to achieve those goals. She says, “I have a 5 year old son and it’s hard to balance time with him and school, but my advisor was able to help me work out a plan to graduate by the date I wanted.”