I took a lot of my college courses online. Switching to online classes halfway through my college career even boosted my GPA from a 3.2 to 4.0! How did I excel online?
Here are my 5 tips for mastering college in the 21st century (and getting a 4.0):
1. Choose the Right School
This is imperative! The school you attend will impact the rest of your life. Some questions to ask yourself:
A. Do they offer the major(s) I want?
B. If I decide to change my major(s), are there other majors I could get so I don’t have to transfer?
C. How’s the reputation of the school? Will its reputation help me secure a job after college?
D. Can I do the classes completely online or will I have to visit a campus sometimes? If so, how often? How far is the nearest campus?
2. Become Self-Motivated
This is SO IMPORTANT!
When taking classes online, there isn’t anyone hovering over you! While this is PERFECT for self-motivated people, if you aren’t – you really should change that. Visualize how much more successful you will be when you complete your degree. Life after college will mean higher pay, more opportunities, and overall a better life. Internalize that if you complete your degree, that will be your new life. Let that energy turn you into a self-motivated student. Make sure you’re going to school because you want to – otherwise it won’t be a fun experience.
3. Chat up Your Professors
Online colleges have real professors who really love their work. That means they actually want to hear from you! By talking with my professors via email, message boards, etc. we built lasting relationships.
Most people just ignore professors.
In addition to making your professors feel great, you’ll get perks. If you get into a time crunch on an assignment, a professor who you know really well is more likely to give you an extension. A big part of doing well in school is managing relationships – whether they be in-person or online. And managing your in-class relationships well means you can keep them even after graduation.
That’s how a lot of my friends landed fantastic positions after graduating. …you can’t sit in the front row but you can still make an impression.
4. Have Reliable, Fast Internet
This is a must especially if you’re a procrastinator (having the internet go down is no excuse for a late assignment). Professors expect you to have reliable internet. It’s 2014, after all. If you’re a procrastinator, this makes reliable internet even more important. Say there’s an assignment due at midnight. It will take you 1 hour to complete. You CANNOT wait until 11PM to begin. If your internet is down for even 10 minutes, your assignment will be late.
5. Find Reliable Classmates
One thing that was difficult for me was getting group projects done. If a professor liked me, they would likely let me opt-out (another perk of knowing the professors well). But this won’t happen each time. My recommendation is to seek out reliable classmates quickly after beginning the class. Simply email a bunch of fellow mates and see how quickly they reply. Students on top of things will get back to you quickly with a well-written email. Harness this group of buddies that you can later group with.
I LOVED taking online classes. But it’s different from receiving a traditional education. We’re at the cutting edge. We have to adapt to this revolutionary type of education. Chalk boards have been erased from classrooms. Message boards have taken their place. We haven’t grown up with online education. But I learned how to navigate the online education system easily by following these 5 tips I’ve shared.
Will you love going to college online?
Image courtesy of Ken Hircock