Tips To Being A Successful Online College Student

Being an online college student is not only a challenge for some but also a fear for many. Unfortunately there aren’t any guides or instructions on how to be successful as an online college student (or an online student, period). That is why I believe students with an online learning background, like myself, should share their experience.

Imagine being a student who attended public school for 11+ years and then out of the blue, within weeks, you are an online student. I know it probably sounds crazy, but it happens. It happened to me!

Being an online student takes diligence and a whole lot of self discipline. Dedication and structure, there’s no professor/teacher constantly reminding you of deadlines/due dates. You are the leader to your success. 

TIP #1: P L A N
This is the most important tip I would give any online student, whether you’re in college, high school or just taking one course. PLAN, PLAN, PLAN. . What I mean by plan is, READ YOUR SYLLABUS, COURSE CALENDAR, and ANY OTHER DOCUMENT WITH DEADLINES/DUE DATES. Get a physical planner or one of the planner apps in the App Store and write down/enter EVERY due date/deadline for every course you will be taking for the entire semester/year. & I don’t just mean write them down and never look back at it, check your planners daily! PLAN to complete your assignments a week in advance {which leads me to tip #2}

{Personal Note: I usually check my courses dashboard the weekend prior to the start of the semester to see which professors have already published the course and immediately start to input due dates/deadlines in my phone’s calendar as well as my physical planner (Its also helpful to keep everything color coordinated)}

TIP #2: S T A Y A H E A D
If your professor/teacher allows you to work ahead, DO IT! There’s nothing more relieving than to know you have completed all of your assignments for the month(or week). Set a time aside, a few days out of the week to just focus on each class and try to stay at least a week ahead of the schedule. You never know what will happen {like I always say, LIFE HAPPENS} & the worse thing is it let it happen and you fall behind. Most online professors/teachers don’t allow you to makeup or submit late work so it is very important that you work ahead of the calendar.

{Personal Note: Most of my courses have all the assignments published for the entirety of the semester which is extremely helpful when it comes to staying ahead. I like to set a schedule and complete all of my assignments for the week on a specific day, for example, on Mondays – I’ll complete all of the assignments that have due dates for that week. If I finish sooner than I anticipated I’ll start on the next weeks assignments. One semester, I was able to finish one of my courses, two months in advance and the only assignment remaining was my midterm and final exams – BEST FEELING E V E R!

TIP #3: B E  O R G A N I Z E D!
Organization is one of the main keys to success! It is essential for you to keep all of your notebooks, planners, and supplies organized. Develop a note taking technique that works for you, one you feel comfortable and confident using. Keep track of all your grades, assignments (even after you’ve turned them in), and deadlines.

{Personal note: I love to keep all of my laptop, textbooks, supplies and planner in one place – my book bag. It gives me the flexibility to do work wherever I go whether it’s on the go, or in a different part of my house. I honestly don’t have a note taking technique. Although, they say writing your notes helps you to retain information better, I found it easier for me (while having a young baby) to do my notes in a word document, print them out and organize all the notes by course in my binder. That way I can insert images and do all of my highlighting right there in the word doc. I also like to create an assignment/due date tracking sheet where I put all of my assignment dates in chronological order by date and label each course with a specific color (English – Pink, Psychology – Orange, Etc.). After submitting all assignments, I keep a copy for my personal records until the course is complete and my official grade is posted which has been very helpful because there was a situation, when one of the pages were missing from the file I sent and I was able to get full credit, because I kept a copy of the assignment.

These tips have really helped me succeed as an online college student, especially while being a full time mother as well. Since having my baby girl, with the help of these tips, I have been on the Dean’s List twice {Fall 2016 & Spring 2017}, something I never imagined doing. So I hope these tips will help you to succeed as an online student. Good luck & I wish you all the best this term.

Have some tips that has helped you as an online student or just want to chat? I’d love to hear about your experience as an online student! Feel free to comment, share & pin!