Some of the students are obliged to study online because their college decided so because of the global pandemic; some choose an online course to develop a new skill for their job; some people are looking to start a new career. In whatever category you may fall, you need to think of the aspects mentioned below well prior to starting to study online.
You may feel enthusiastic on the first day of studies, but be sure – this won’t last for too long. It is absolutely normal to get bored or frustrated when a task gets difficult or you feel stuck in a rut. You need to understand that even before taking a course, you need to promise to yourself that you will commit to finishing this course, no matter what. Think of the activities that you can use in between to cheer you up and reward for the hard work. By giving up in the middle of the course, you may feel disappointed in yourself, and your self-esteem may lower. Thus, it will be more difficult to finish a new project in the future.
As mentioned before, pure enthusiasm will not keep you going till the end. However, if you think of a practical goal rather than an emotional one, it will help you stick to the curriculum. For example, if you want to take a course because a certificate you’re about to get is required to apply for the position in the company of your liking, this is a solid goal that will stay relevant by the end of the course. If you enroll because the person you admire finished this course and you want to look cool, you are likely to give up quickly. This decision is emotion-based and doesn’t serve your global purpose.
Another important question to ask before starting the course is – how can you use the new knowledge after the course is finished? Think about how you can practice new skills in advance. If you don’t understand how this knowledge will be helpful, you’re likely wasting your time.
The same applies when you choose your subjects at college. Even if you haven’t started your career yet, choosing the subjects that don’t seem to be helpful in the future will become a burden for you. If it happens that one of the subjects falls short of your expectations, and you feel like doing an assignment will merely waste your time, you may seek professional help from a paper writing service. Still, if you have an opportunity to re-enroll in another course, you better do so.
Once you decide on the goal of your studies, it’s time to work on the detailed plan. You need to decide how, when, and where you will be studying. These are the questions you need to answer while elaborating the plan:
For both situations, you need to book time slots in your calendar that you will dedicate to studying just as if you were studying on campus.
If you plan to work and study at the same time, take care of yourself and think of a realistic plan in advance. Include breaks into your agenda and think of the things you can do to get proper rest. For example, if you work and study with your computer (which means you stare at the screen most of your day), you can take a yoga class, do a quick stretch in between or simply take a walk outside.
When studying online, it’s easy to postpone the tasks till later and mix up your personal tasks with your homework assignments. Besides, our brain needs some time to digest the new information. That’s why scrolling through your Instagram feed might not be the best idea for your leisure. To avoid procrastination, decide which day will be your day off. In this way, you understand that you will get a proper rest later this week, so there’s no need to put off finishing your tasks now. Remember, procrastination is the thief of time.
Actions such as looking through your lesson plan and googling new terms will help you understand how the topic of your lesson is included in the structure of the subject. You can also revise your previous lectures’ content to see the basis of future material and solidify your knowledge.
Listening or reading can seem easier, but you will not retain as much information as if you take notes. What is more, researchers have proven that taking notes by hand is more efficient than typing them on your laptop. Drawing or sketching works great for your perception as well. But, now that technological innovations improve all spheres of our life every day, digital note-taking can be more fun and interactive than handwriting. Check the apps that offer various functions and choose one preliminary.
It is important to organize your space to make it study-friendly. Is your seat comfortable enough for three-hour study sessions? Is it too noisy in your room? Do your family members approach you a lot while you’re studying? Is your space clean? Think of the ways to minimize distractions around and buy all of the equipment you need, such as a good-quality web camera and a microphone.
Now, tap yourself on the back: you have everything under control. What is more, just by composing a working plan and sticking to it, you improve your self-organization that will come in handy for your future career, even if the course will not satisfy your expectations. Enjoy your studies, and don’t forget about networking!