Pursuing an online degree has many advantages, but it can also be hard and challenging. Attending an online university requires work, persistence and most of all, discipline. But it’s all possible if you’re prepared and ready for success. Here are six tips that can help you get started.
Registered and ready? Don’t dive into your studies without having a good schedule in place. Consider making a study plan, at the minimum of three to five hours per week depending on your course load. For example, plan to study on Tuesdays nights from 7 to 9 p.m. and Sunday nights from 6 to 8 p.m. On your first study day, read your required materials and take notes. Review your notes and work on written homework or other assignments on your second study day.
Here’s another important note: Tell your family members! If you’re living at home with family or roommates, tell them that you are NOT to be disturbed during your study hours. Make sure everyone understands and that they respect your new study schedule. Never skip a study time, and always sit down at your station, whether it’s in your room at your desk. Be disciplined! Remember, it’ll only be a relatively short amount of time before you’ve earned your new college degree.
Finding a balance between school, life and work requires good planning (see above). If you’re able to pencil out the time to study, you can also sit down and dedicate time with family and friends. Make sure that you balance your work and study time with fun as well, so that you don’t burn out. Even if it is just one night of going out for dinner with friends or going on a hike on a Saturday morning, taking care of yourself will keep you motivated.
Since LIGS University allows for a flexible schedule for its students, you don’t have to worry about rushing to attend an online class or making it to a chat discussion. That’s why LIGS can be a great opportunity for working students to complete a degree without the pressures of a heavy courseload.
Another option you can consider might be child care. It’s crucial that you have no distractions during your study hours, but professional daycare can be extremely expensive or unavailable during the weekends or late at night. Be creative and ask your significant other or other family members to watch your kids during the evenings or weekends. You can even talk to fellow online students who may be in your area and figure out a schedule where you watch each other’s children.
Don’t keep quiet about going back to college, even though many students may feel embarrassed about not having a degree. Many employers will offer tuition plans and help reimburse a part of employee's tuition and training bills, especially if the courses directly correlate to your work.
If you do not understand anything discussed during your classes, don’t be afraid to ask your fellow students or your lecturers for help. At LIGS, you are part of a community – even if you study online, you’ll be interacting with people who have the same goals: earning or helping you earn a degree. Ask questions if you need clarification. If you are having a hard time, contact a counselor and see if they can help you figure out a better school plan.
Do you find it easier for yourself to be persistent and disciplined if you have a rewards system? Treat yourself to something nice if you’ve successfully completed a webinar without missing a study schedule. Or, are you more of a visual learner? Write down why you want to return to college. Write them down and put them where you will see them often, like the fridge or bathroom mirror. Are you more encouraged by accountability? Make friends with a fellow LIGS classmate or ask your family and friends to keep you accountable. Use your strengths to help you succeed!
Author: Maria Kanai