Advances in technology have provided numerous benefits in our lives, particularly in the realm of education. While online programs once carried a stigma, they are now seen as a viable way of advancing our education, with a variety of quality programs on offer. No matter where you live, how old you are, or your daily schedule, you can go back to school and get that college university degree you have always dreamed of, or an advanced degree that will further your career.
Online programs may offer greater flexibility and convenience, but by no means, does this suggest they are easier. In fact, they can be more challenging because of the greater onus on the student to manage his time and complete his work in a timely manner. Pursuing your degree online in the midst of work, family and other responsibilities may be one of the most challenging things you ever do. Here are some tips to stay ahead of the curve.
Accept You May Not Find Balance at All Times
We hear a lot about achieving balance when we have numerous responsibilities and commitments pulling at us. We are told that we need to find ‘’balance,’’ and this can create a lot of pressure for us, since this is so freaking hard to do sometimes. I may be going against the grain on this one, but sometimes, you may not be able to find that balance, and one aspect of your life is going to dominate for awhile; you may have to pay less attention to the other stuff. If you have a period of two weeks, where you are getting slammed with term papers or exams, maybe you will not find time to go to the gym or put a home-cooked meal on the table for your family every night. You cannot sign up for the latest committee at your child’s school; you will not be able to volunteer for that project at work. It is okay.
Define Your ‘’Why’’
One of the primary reasons people are able to achieve things that seem so difficult, and require so much extra time or sacrifice, is because they are crystal clear on their ‘’why.’’ They have figured out what they want and why they want it at the deepest levels of their being. They have realized the importance of achieving this goal, and will do whatever it takes to do so. It can be hard and unpleasant sometimes, but they have their eye on the prize. That end result and all the wonderful things it will bring is always in the forefront of their mind. Getting your degree while tending to all the other stuff in your life will be challenging—sometimes it will feel overwhelming and you will question your capability at seeing this through. Get clear on your ‘’why.’’ Why have you decided to get this degree. What benefits will it bring you. Why do you want these benefits?
Make a Schedule
This is one of those pieces of advice that is so obvious, yet people fail to do it; kind of like when people suggest tracking how you spend your money to help create a budget. But, you will be amazed at how much better you are at managing your time when you actually write out a schedule. It creates order in your mind, and you will be pleasantly surprised at how much more likely you are to do something when it has been penciled in. Trying to manage everything in our head creates nothing but anxiety.
About the Author: Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer who enjoys blogging about education. If you’re interested in graduate programs, such as the online master of science in nursing program, she recommends following the link for additional info.