Student Spotlight: When Life Leads You Back to School
- Posted in
- on July 16, 2018.
After his life took a sudden turn several years ago, Kyle Farwell decided to go back to school. Kyle worked as a personal trainer in the health and fitness industry for many years. After sustaining a spinal cord injury, he made the tough decision to pursue a new career helping others with spinal cord injuries in a clinical setting. While dealing with the ongoing recovery process, Kyle decided to go back to school as a mature student. Due to the nature of his injury, sitting in class for extended periods was not a realistic option for Kyle. This led to his discovery of Virtual High School.
“Virtual High School (VHS) proved invaluable to me for a few reasons; not the least of which were the ability to do schoolwork from the comfort of my home and the time flexibility of the courses. I felt stuck because my injury was forcing me to change careers but was also prohibiting me from going back to school because I could not sit through classes without intense pain. Knowing my strong desire to go back to school and further my education, a family member told me about VHS and suggested I look into it. Along with equipping my home with a standing work station, I immediately signed up for two science courses (biology and chemistry) and found the interactive portions of the courses to be particularly helpful. Online classes were totally new to me, but it did not take me long to navigate through the courses and find the resources I needed. I even decided to switch one of my courses to social science and, with the help of VHS administrators, had a blast trying something new. Being able to do school work from home, in a more comfortable position, was crucial to my academic success.
Another advantage that stood out about VHS was the ability to do the coursework at my own pace and, most importantly, on my own time. I was never worried about taking too long to finish the courses (I am a very motivated student), but I was concerned about my work-life balance. I am the proud father of an incredible little dude named Logan and thoroughly appreciated the freedom I had to be with my wife at and around the time of his birth, without having to miss days of classes and be forced to catch up on school work while enjoying the best and most important time of my life. After Logan was born I shifted my schedule to do most of my schoolwork early in the morning and in the evenings. Although it took some effort and planning on my part—good skills to accrue for anyone pursuing online education—I cannot stress how much I loved being there for Logan throughout the day.
My journey of returning to school after graduating college 15 years ago was made exponentially easier with Virtual High School. There are a lot of appealing things about online education and, in my experience, it is a terrific option for someone with a disability or for a parent and/or mature student looking to go back to school. Like any experience, however, you get out what you put in. Contributing to the class discussions and actively seeking specific feedback from teachers and instructors is necessary for this format, I believe. For these reasons, and others, I have gladly recommended Virtual High School to others.”
Having earned high grades in his required prerequisite courses, Kyle now plans to attend the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Kinesiology in September. We deeply admire him for seizing the opportunities life has given him. Congratulations, Kyle, for everything you have earned. We wish you all the best on your new journey.