As more and more high school graduates make the decision to earn a higher education, the opportunities to do so increase. High school grads can perfect a skill in trade school, or head to college for an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree – which graduate school later offers the opportunity to build upon. Possible majors include everything from liberal arts to architecture to religion to business. And no longer are students forced to dish out dough in order to dorm at a school away from home. You can commute to a local community college or university, or attend college online. With all these choices, how do you know if your decision to get your degree online is the right one for you?
Online college seems like the perfect solution for students with time-consuming commitments, students with children or other family members requiring care, or adult learner students with full-time careers. But along with the benefit of fitting the time you dedicate to your studies into your own schedule comes the responsibility to ensure you do so.
If you’re wondering if online college is right for you, consider the typical pattern of your day-to-day life. Is maintaining an active and busy social life at the top of your priority list? Are you involved in various clubs or committees that hold meetings or events at various days and times? Are you responsible for picking up children from school, or do you schedule your life around a sibling’s or child’s soccer games or gymnastics meets? How about your work schedule, is it consistent? Do you work full-time, or part-time changing weekly with your workplace’s needs? Do you bring work home with you often, and dedicate even your down time to your career? Answering yes to any of these may make you a great candidate for attending college online. What’s left to consider, however, is if you can be responsible on your own for ensuring your schoolwork is a top priority that you make time for every day.
College is expensive and time consuming, even if you attend online, and the opportunity to advance your education is one that should not be wasted. If you’re still considering online college, also ponder these: are you able to tune out distractions, log out of Facebook, and kill the TV when it’s time to get to work? How’s your self-discipline? Can you force yourself to get work done when your friends would rather catch a movie or dinner? Can you set and stick to personal goals and deadlines? Do you have peers to ask for feedback and study help, in the event you don’t have accessible classmates for that? Are you the type of person who will always work to the best of their ability, and put your strongest effort into assignments.
The key to attending college online is self-discipline. Deadlines do exist still, and teachers and classmates are there for help and support. But a large amount of the responsibility will fall on you to keep yourself on track.