Pursuing a distance education, though convenient, will come with a few challenges. Before commencing any course, students should always ensure that they dive in with a disciplined mindset, otherwise it will be a waste of time and energy.
According to a study posted by the National Center for Education Statistics, only 54% of students who enrolled in college in the year 1997, graduated six years later. That's a staggering figure of non-graduates. New students will want to avoid being a part of this statistic. So, to avoid being on cruise control throughout a two-four year quest for higher education, we've listed a few tips below to help students succeed with online college degrees:
- Practice Good Time Management - If there were thirty hours in one day, it still wouldn't be enough without a plan. To get the most productive 24 hour day, check off the time you currently work, then schedule designated times to focus solely on studies. Students that are working may prefer free times during the weekend to unload chunks of study, or others may prefer spacing it out over the week to finish course materials and assignments. One of the greatest benefits of an online college education is flexibility, so what really matters is a routine that students can fall into for completing weekly goals.
- Do Not Procrastinate - Many of us, even non-students, fall for the ever-present trap of delay. It's up to online students to make study time a priority. Time scheduled should not be prolonged by a favorite show or game. Just get on with your studies, one page or one sentence at a time - pacing yourself as you go along.
- Get Into Balance - Humans strive with balance. While work and school together will take up most of your time, you should also squeeze in time for relaxation too. A little me-time, even if it's a mere half an hour per day can let students recharge, which in turn increases focus.
- Designate a Place to Study - Eliminate distractions like the television, radio and video games. When it's to study, try to do so in a designated space in your home, like at a work desk - just as how you would in a college campus. Creating a study environment will help increase the amount of work you accomplish.
- Communication is Key - Even though you may not see your Professor face-to-face, it's important to get in touch with them if you aren't clear about an assignment. Many online colleges will have instant messaging or video conferencing systems implemented so that you are able to speak with other students and staff members. If not, a simple email message will suffice to clear up any issues.
These tips can also be applied to all areas of your life. Discipline, time management and organization are key skills that every adult should learn for their personal, professional and financial lives.