One of the biggest advantages of studying for a degree online is the level of flexibility it allows you.
As long as you’re connected to the internet you can study in the evenings, around the school run, or even during the commute to work.
If you’d rather watch Bake Off every Wednesday night instead of working on your essay, then go for it. As long as you meet your deadlines, no one’s going to bother where or when you actually do your studying.
But therein lies the problem. Unless you have steely willpower and a heroic concentration span, the freedom of online education can also make it hard to stay motivated. It’s a problem familiar to all students across all eras, which means that people have developed plenty of tactics for juggling studying with work and life commitments.
We’ve highlighted three tried-and-tested methods for making the most out of your online degree, without sacrificing your job or social life.
Tip #1: Strengthen Your Support System
Studying online around all of your other responsibilities will also affect your family, so being honest with them from the start is essential. For example, can your partner take on more childcare responsibilities? Or is there a better way of splitting up household chores?
Until you talk about what you need, your family won’t be able to give you the correct loving and practical support. Just remember that there will be an adjustment period, and don’t get weighed down by teething problems.
Tip #2: Talk to Your Tutors
Since a problem shared is also a problem halved, always discuss any worries or difficulties you have with tutors. With increasingly advanced online communication systems it’s becoming easier and easier to talk to your tutors and fellow classmates.
Reputable providers of online degrees will have plenty of strategies in place for helping busy and stressed students, and with years of experience there’s no issue that they won’t have dealt with before.
Tip #3: Look After Yourself
When you’re under a lot of pressure it’s easy to burn out by not taking the time to look after yourself. Making sure you follow a healthy diet, have a regular sleep pattern and exercise regularly will protect your mental wellbeing and increase your productivity.
Of course, the occasional sleepless night of studying fuelled by pizza and deadline-induced fear is fine. But a dependence on all-nighters will only end up leaving you with a killer headache and a full blown caffeine addiction, so don’t let it become a habit.
Completing an online degree will be a challenge full of good and bad days. You might have to miss a few parties and skip some of your favourite programmes along the way, but come graduation it’ll prove more than worth it.