The sequence is crucial for success in college because there are rigid due dates and basic organizational skills required in order to be successful. If you use Sequence at a Use First level you will likely appreciate the structure that Ashford courses provide you. Each course from here on out will have a similar look and feel with fairly consistent due dates and expectations. If you Avoid Sequence, you must be very intentional and Forge your Sequence in order to keep pace with the accelerated course format. Using a planner or daily checklist will help keep you on track and help prevent you from falling behind.

Precision is the other Pattern most required for college success. The online classroom is a very text heavy environment and you must use Precision to read all of the material. Detail is important when communicating your thoughts in discussions and assignments. Double check your work and submit high-quality assignments with minimal errors. Because classes are only five weeks, you must develop efficiencies. If you use Precision as a Use First Pattern, Sequence and Technical Reasoning can help you increase your efficiency so you do not overanalyze tasks and become bogged down. If you Avoid Precision, take breaks and chunk your reading and writing to avoid feeling overwhelmed by too much information.

If Technical Reasoning is your highest Pattern, you must be intentional in order to survive college because the traditional college experience was not designed for this Pattern. You may have disliked school before because you were the kid that annoyed your Sequential and Precise teachers by being fidgety or refusing to complete work because you felt it was pointless. The good thing about online learning is that you will never disturb your instructors or peers so tap your pencil or pace around the room while you learn! When you have a class that you feel is irrelevant to real life, use Confluence to connect the concepts to real-life situations or keep your ultimate goal in mind to push you through. Remember that a boring or difficult course is merely a hurdle or a challenge that you can and will overcome.

If you are Confluent, you may have disliked school because you were bored and felt stifled. Find unique ways to express yourself and share ideas. Communicate actively with instructors if you want to put your own spin on an assignment or task. Use First Confluence can conflict with the rigid structure of Ashford’s courses so find the value that structure can provide. It will be important to stay on task and not take on too many other responsibilities. You may find you enjoy the five week format because courses move quickly and the constant change keeps you interested. You must be intentional to avoid the pitfalls of Confluence so use your Sequence to “check yourself” before you fall behind or go off on unrelated tangents.

Strong-willed learners possess amazing gifts that often make them natural leaders because they are willing to rise to any challenge. If you are strong-willed, you have to be careful to Tether Patterns when appropriate to avoid burnout. Go back to Chapter Four and re-read the story of Nia as her story provides a classic example of “confidence vs. competence,” a potential pitfall of being strong-willed. Be open and receptive to feedback and regularly reflect on your progress as a student.

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