Let’s take a moment to talk about Sir Isaac Newton.

I remember sitting in my ninth grade Physical Science course, trying to understand the very basic physics concepts that Mr. Jameson was throwing at me.

I've always been more of a writer, and I’m not so good with numbers and science.

The one thing that stuck with me from that class is Newton’s First Law of Motion.

For those who don’t know, it states an object in motion tends to stay in motion, unless external force is applied to it.

Think about it like a kid sledding down a snowy hill. Sleds are built to have low friction, so that is why they actually go down hills at the speed they do.

The kid on the sled is going to keep going unless there is something to stop him, whether it’s his own feet, a snow wall, a fence or another external influence.

The importance of inertia  

If I were to take this concept and apply it to what I do here at Grantham University, I would call it momentum.

That’s a word I use with students all the time. If you’re a student of mine, you've probably gotten a phone call or e-mail from me, when it’s time to re-register for classes, where I've said, “Don’t lose momentum!”

Yes, that may seem cliché, but I’m speaking from experience. I took a break from my MBA classes when I was dealing with some family issues. It took me a long time to get motivated to get going again. What should have taken me about two years took me three and a half.

When you think you can’t, reach deep inside

I lost my momentum. I stepped out of school mode and I liked not having homework to do every week. However, if I had just powered through and registered for my next term, I would have been 100% homework-free much sooner.

When I hear one of my students say they need to take a break, I hear alarm bells in my head. I need to figure out why.

As Student Advisors, we’re trained to help students achieve their goals. Bumps in the road are an external force that slow down the motion toward graduation, which is the ultimate goal of a student enrolled in an online degree program.

We try to come in front of you and iron out those bumps to keep you in motion. It may not always work, and we want you to know - that’s okay.

Or, lean on us for help...

Let’s say you have a personal issue come up, and you absolutely cannot take classes for X amount of time. Let us know.

We’re probably going to try to get you set up for a term down the road when you can focus on school again. That’s our way of helping you keep up your momentum.

We’re here for you. We’re here to motivate, root for, coach and care about you. We’re here to keep Newton’s First Law of Motion in mind and help you reach graduation.

Give us a call if you’re feeling friction slow you down. We’ll always help get the ball rolling again!


About the author: Sarah Burgen is a Student Advisor Trainer and joined Grantham in 2010. She holds a MBA from Grantham and a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication from Winona State. Outside of work, Sarah spends her time with her church assisting with children's ministries and volunteering in the community. She also enjoys exploring Kansas City with her wonderful family and coworkers.