Students today have a plethora of choices when it comes to obtaining a secondary education. One of the most common and most popular ways is attending college online. The ability to attend class in your pajamas, from the comfort of your home, on your own time is enticing to many students. However, what many people do not realize is that often, online programs are actually more difficult than their in-class counterparts. One of the biggest differences is the fact that online students, for the most part, teach themselves. Students who attend on campus have the advantage of a professor standing in front of them to ask questions and get clarification. If you are considering attending college online, here are a few tips to help make you successful.
1. Know your limits- Often, those who are not aware of what it takes to complete classes online assume that they will be saving themselves time and energy, since the thought is that online courses are "easier". This is very untrue. In fact, online courses tend to take up nearly four times the amount of time and energy as opposed to those on campus. Making sure that you do not over extend yourself is key when assuring your success as a student. Start your first semester with only one or two classes so you can have a better idea of how much time each class will take. From there, you will be better equipped to plan your schedules without over extending yourself.
2. Have a space- One of the major pitfalls of many online students is disorganization. When a student does not have a centralized place to complete school work, things often get lost in the shuffle or forgotten. When online students keep a clean, organized area that is reserved for school, they are less likely to misplace things, and more likely to succeed. Also, your body gets in to a natural habit of going into "study mode" when you consistently use the same area for studying each time- making your studying that much more effective and productive.
3. Get a Cheerleader- Find yourself a friend, family member, or fellow student to help encourage you along the way. Completing online courses is not easy, and can be very discouraging and overwhelming at times. Having a "cheerleader" in your corner to help you keep focused on your goal and be a sounding board for your stresses and struggles will help you keep your motivation. Having a strong support system is the most invaluable tool you can have as an online student.
Attending online college can be a daunting undertaking. However, for the well prepared student, it can be a rewarding, positive and fluid experience. Simply by knowing your own limits, keeping a specific space to do school work and having a cheerleader to encourage you along the way are just a few tips on how you can help yourself be a more successful online student. Success is the ultimate goal for most students, and these tips will help ensure your own personal success.