Across the country, students young and old alike are preparing to start college online. Unlike their parents who may have attended a traditional on-campus college or university, these students will take courses from the comfort of their kitchen table or perhaps while sitting on the couch with a laptop propped up on their lap.
Whether it’s due to COVID-19, needing to juggle a busy work schedule with school, or simply liking the convenience and flexibility that online learning provides, there are several reasons why some students prefer to learn in a virtual setting.
Fortunately, while an online school experience may feel different at first, it’s quite possible to be successful as a virtual College student and truly enjoy the learning experience, with the help of the following tips:
1. Consider Your Interests
Before you enroll in virtual classes, it’s important to decide what you want to study. For instance, if you’re interested in earning a degree that can be applied to several industries, consider earning a bachelor’s degree in business. You could then apply for jobs in business, marketing, sales, and so much more.
2. Understand Your Academic Strengths
To be successful in online learning, you need to take an honest look at your learning style. Think back to when you were last in school and what helped you stay focused and on track to get your homework and studying done. For example, some people can focus better while working at a desk, while others thrive when learning on the couch.
You might require a quiet room or you may prefer a bit of background noise in the form of soft music or the TV with the volume set on low. If you’re an early bird, you should probably do your schooling in the morning, or if you burn the midnight oil, there’s nothing wrong with studying into the wee hours. There are no right or wrong answers to these scenarios —whatever works for you is the best approach to learning.
3. Limit Your Screen Time
You may adore texting your friends, binge-watching shows on Netflix, and shopping online. While these can all be enjoyable activities, you may want to cut back a bit on your screen time outside of class — at least until you get acclimated with virtual learning. After spending time on your computer in online classes, study sessions, and conducting research for projects, step away for a while to recharge.
Perhaps that means taking a walk around the neighborhood, reading a book, playing with your kids or dog, or working on a hobby. This will help to give your eyes and brain a break and prevent “screen fatigue.” If possible, you might also suggest meeting with classmates in person at a coffee shop, rather than in a Zoom meeting.
Setting Yourself Up for Success
You have what it takes to be successful in a virtual college student program. Once you decide which type of degree to pursue and what you want to study, create the ideal learning environment at home for your needs and then try to limit your screen time to your college work. These tips will help you to not only survive but thrive in a virtual school setting.