Lydia Clayton, MS in Criminal Justice: Crime Analysis
Current occupation: Pretrial Officer
What made you decide to pursue your degree as an adult?
I decided to pursue my degree as an adult after establishing a solid work experience history. I realized as a young, inexperienced, recent graduate that most jobs preferred experience over degrees. So I put completing my master’s degree on hold for a few years.
Why did you choose to study at Tiffin University?
I chose to study at Tiffin University because of the intimacy of being at a smaller university. I completed my undergraduate studies at a large university and had several instances where I felt that I was only a number. Continuing my education at Tiffin University was the best decision I could have made.
What has been your experience with the program so far?
I have had great experiences so far with all of my classes. The class sizes are small, so you get to have quality interactions with your peers and professors. I was extremely nervous to get back in school after taking an 8 year break. However, the ease of Moodle and other technology have made that transition very smooth.
How are you juggling work, life and going back to school?
Plan! Plan! Plan! The most important thing that I have done to balance and be successful is planning. I break down my tasks into smaller ones and plan them throughout the week. I write everything down in a planner, as well as use the CircleIn app. If you plan ahead, you’re able to stay on task even when life happens. As a single-mom, who works full-time, while being a full-time student, this is my absolute best tip to maintain balance and be able to handle it all.
What keeps you motivated to stay in the program?
My son is my biggest motivation to stay in the program. I want him to know that if his “teen mom” can do it, so can he. I have always used other people’s doubt as motivation to continue thriving and achieving. I’m also the first person in my immediate family to graduate from college, so obtaining my master’s degree is an even bigger accomplishment for my family.
What advice would you give to a prospective student who is thinking about going back to school?
Do it! Apply, enroll, and get started! The more you wait, the more you will doubt yourself and run the risk of having regret about it later. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it. You owe it to yourself to accomplish everything you want to.
TU’s motto is: Without risk there is no gain. Can you tell us about a time when you took a risk and what you gained from it?
When I was enrolling in classes, I was unsure if I wanted to take the safe road and attend part-time or if I wanted to the challenge of going full-time. I was nervous that balancing home, a full-time career, and a full-time school schedule was going to be too much. However, taking the plunge to go full-time was the best decision for me. The classes are intensive, but I am still managing to do well. The best part is that I will be done with my degree in just 1 year!