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6 Tips for studying an online degree

Although you won’t have the usual lecture theatre/seminar environment of a face-to-face college, that doesn’t mean that your education should happen in a bubble. Here are some tips to make the process even smoother.

Online degrees represent a huge area of opportunity for people across the country. They’re cheaper than their face-to-face counterparts, much more flexible, and you can maintain a work/family balance as your study.

Here are some tips to make the process even smoother.

1. Make space

You might be studying at home, but you’ll still need somewhere private to work. For example, studying for an online MEd degree is a highly rewarding process with fantastic career prospects, but it requires concentration and hard work. Those things can be difficult to come by in a crowded home full of noise and distractions. So instead, try to create and safeguard a learning space that’s secluded, quiet and has all your study materials to hand. Let people know that you need quiet when studying and only to disturb you if it’s important

2. Take breaks

Breaks are important, both as a way to refresh and reward yourself for hard work. If you’ve been working for a long time or just finished an important assignment, take a well-earned break and fill that time doing something you love. Going for a run is a great way to destress, as is listening to music or even pursuing a hobby like baking. Breaks and rewards will help you push harder later.

3. Make a timetable

A lack of rigid timetables is one of the big advantages of studying online, but it does come with its own set of risks. If you don’t have a specific timetable to stick to, it’s easy to get lax and let things slip. Instead, schedule your work and try to stick to a timetable of your own making. This can and should fit around your everyday life, but studying at the same time every day enforces routine and means that you’re less likely to fall behind with your work. 

4. Communicate

Although you won’t have the usual lecture theatre/seminar environment of a face-to-face college, that doesn’t mean that your education should happen in a bubble. It’s important to talk to your family and friends about what you’re doing and why. At the very least, this makes them less likely to distract you from your work, but you’ll likely find that they provide some much-needed inspiration in more difficult moments.

5. Focus on your goal

Everybody goes into online education with a specific aim: career advancement, a better salary, or a complete career change. Whatever your aim, keep it in mind. There’s likely to be a time when you feel like you’re struggling, or balancing the degree with everyday life seems difficult. In moments like that, remember your goal, and you’ll find the inspiration to keep going.

6. Treat it like a job

Last but certainly not least, take your online degree seriously. Just because it’s remote doesn’t mean that you should approach it with a blasé attitude. Instead, consider the course the same way you consider a job, albeit one with more flexible hours. Work hard, meet deadlines (self-imposed or otherwise) and prioritize your work.

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