My thoughts as I wait for my final grade.

A couple years ago I shared that I’ll be starting grad school at American University – and I haven’t said much else! With work, school, and volunteering at my local installation, I was left with very little time, which I spent mostly with my spouse. 

In the last six months of our time in Virginia, things started picking up all around. That was also around the same time that we were looking to PCS (surprise!). I was really hoping I would finish the program stateside and have the opportunity to walk while we were still at Fort Belvoir. Alas, the military had different plans for us…an overseas move. 

I made the decision to continue going through the rigorous program without any breaks. Looking back, I guess I could have paused one class and still have time to walk with my cohort in December. I was taking crisis communications when the packers packed our stuff in Virginia and thought. “if I can get through crisis while feeling like I was in crisis mode, then I have mastered it!” Silly way of thinking, but it worked and I deep down knew that I could do it. 

I managed to stay connected on the plane and also as we settled into temporary housing in Korea. Thank you, to the Army Lodging facilities that gave me reliable internet. We had to move twice in Korea before we got our apartment.

What a crazy journey!

When I approached my theory course and knew I would have to finish the program with a capstone project, I absolutely knew at that point I wanted to focus on the military community. The move to Korea prompted me to think about the resources available to military families and the processes that we go through. With a lot of capabilities online, why doesn’t the military utilize it to connect and help families with questions and issues as we go through military life? Also, what would be the best practices to help us? 

Therefore, my topic was born – “How Online Communities Can Help Build a Strong Community to Support the Needs of Military Families.” It was challenging to get straight answers during the moving process here. It wasn’t a lack of trying, people weren’t clear on the procedure or protocol. An overseas move is an added challenge because some things depend on the country you are moving to. 

This whole process made me a firm believer that if you put your mind to it, you CAN do it! When things seem too overwhelming, know that you do have people behind you there to help. My spouse was so supportive through this process along with my friends. Also, I have awesome classmates! I couldn’t have picked a better cohort. I’m lucky to have shared this journey with them. 🙂

Anyway, I’m awaiting my final grade on my project that took months to finalize. It ended up being 38 pages (not including the four pages of references!), of what I hope is insightful research! Fingers crossed for a good grade and getting my Master’s! Whoop, whoop!



  1. Your capstone sounds impressive! It is such an amazing accomplishment and way to go!

    • Rachel Reply

      Thanks, Jen! It’s bittersweet that it’s over, but happy to have this big feat done!

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