Ask anyone who’s pursuing a college degree online and they will tell you that the work is rigorous, requires excellent time-management skills, and involves a significant amount of discipline.
Still, more than 6 million Americans take at least one college class online, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, and nearly 3 million of those go to college exclusively online.
That’s because, despite the substantial amount of motivation needed to be successful, online learning has numerous benefits. The convenience and flexibility allow you to study any time and just about anywhere you have an internet connection. This makes it an ideal solution for working adults and those with family obligations.
If you’re taking classes online and need a little help in the self-discipline department, keep reading. We’re highlighting several tips for staying motivated while you go to college online.
This is the first step to success. You can’t look for course updates, contribute to class discussions, or complete assignments if you don’t at least log in to your online classroom. Get in the habit of doing so regularly.
Any reputable online school will encourage students to communicate with faculty and provide several ways to do so, such as email, discussion boards, chat room office hours, and even text messaging (for some teachers).
Open communication helps you develop a rapport with teachers and pave the way if you have questions down the line. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Faculty and staff want to help you succeed.
Create a reasonable study schedule and stick to it. Look at your commitments at the onset of each week and determine your obligations for coursework/study time, work, and family for that week. Block off time to meet each obligation and schedule this time as appointments on your calendar, and then keep your appointments.
Class discussion boards, Facebook groups, and other online tools and resources help you connect with a community of like-minded online learners. You can share your common struggles, get new perspectives, and support each other.
Passed Intro to Biology? Wrapped up that big project with an A? Celebrate with something that makes you feel good. Rewarding yourself helps keep you motivated.
Remember why you’re doing this: the degree, the greater career opportunities, the ability to take life in the direction you want to go. Write down your reasons, too. There’s a neuroscientific explanation as to why writing down your reasons actually helps you achieve your goals.