As my first introductory post, I’ve decided to give you all an insight on what being an online student is really all about. It can often seem like a perfect scenario for overworked, overscheduled and easily overwhelmed students, but it isn’t all cotton candy dreams.
Just like regular classes, it does have a few pros and cons, such as:
Online classes are often very convenient. Instead of school being opened a mere 8-9 hour (of course, I’m talking about high school here), you have a full 24-hour access to all of your courses and its learning material. You don’t have to be in class to learn the secrets of “deoxyribonucleic acid” or the fun facts of “acetaminophens”. You have full access to everything. No waiting.
The only real problem is that you are practically your own teacher. You need to learn proper time management skills quickly. There’s not much time to adjust if it is your first time being an online student. It can be very easy to overwhelm yourself when you already have a downpour of work hours, volunteer work, chores, errands, etc. Not to mention you can’t just avoid showering and eating. And often, in the end, it’s a hard choice between potential study time, social events, and sleep. Remember, you can often only choose two.
As a personal experience, I have struggled in the past to try and juggle every last one of these without dropping any of them. It would often feel like a rollercoaster. Up and down, right and left. I always needed to be somewhere or doing something just to keep my head above water. My days would often start with an early awakening, then an onset of chores. I would not often have the time to eat breakfast (yes, I know this is really bad for me :I), and then off I went to dive into my books for a few hours. My work place was (and still is) booking me for full-time hours (40+ hours weekly) and I was almost always at work from early afternoons, till late in the evenings. Coffee was one of my best friends and I couldn’t live without my two daily doses of espresso. One to start, and one before late night studying. Once my work day was over, it was off to my home sweet home, to shower, have a quick cuddle with my pets, and finally drown myself once again in my every growing mountain of homework til the early morning hours. At that point, sleep was a luxury. Laying down in my bed was practically heaven and sleep was the best part of my day. But the small moments before sleep overtook me, I could feel how tired and stressed my body and my mind were. My heart would pound and my head would spin.
Stress management is also a big factor to concentrate on. You need to know how to unwind and destress. Take some time to relax . Have some extra sleep on one day of the weekend. Do some yoga. Take a bubble bath with extra bubbles (fill it to the ceiling if you have to). Have a cup of tea while reading a good book and cuddling with your fur babies (or scale babies for all you reptile lovers).
Despite being able to study on my own and far away from the overcrowding of my classrooms, I absolutely hate the fact that I do not always have full access to my teacher’s help. Often, emails can go unanswered for days, and you might feel yourself stop at a standstill, or you might even try to overlook the problem and continue on learning something different. It’s not your teacher’s fault. They are often overwhelmed themselves with full in class students and hundreds more on the sidelines. They will do their best to help you when your turn comes, but it often feels like the schools are understaffed and cannot always fully meet the needs of their online students. It can be very frustrating. But if you have the patience, you will get through it. Heck, if you think about it, you actually have some extra free time while you’re waiting for the help. Why not read up on your other classes? Maybe even cheat a bit and go out with your friends? No need to always drown yourself in the responsibility pool. Have some fun sometimes 🙂
So, long story made short, if you are a patient individual, and you are capable of teaching yourself, even in the most complicated courses, and you have proper time management and stress management skills (not to mention the ability to find time for yourself and your piece of mind), online classes might be exactly for you. Especially if you are a bit of an introvert like I am 😛
So, I am hoping to have given enough of an insight on the struggles and “pure joy” of online classes. But hey, it’s not that bad, you are doing it for a good cause after all. ^.^
Don’t give up on your dreams! Keep up the good work my fellow students!
P.S. I know it’s obvious this is no way me, but I wish it was….Look how happy she is while studying?! I wish I was this happy while studying…How much coffee did this girl have anyway? 10 cups?! Tell me your secret Oh Overly Exaggeratedly Happy Internet Nerd :I