If you have ever studied alone, you will most likely have had the urge to procrastinate, suffered from a short attention span, and experienced spells of complete boredom. The result of such an experience was perhaps a low grade on the assignment or class project. If these are the habits that present themselves when you are working alone and away from classmates and teachers, then you might want to think twice about online schooling, or at the very least develop/learn to avoid these personality traits:
1) Self-motivation: We sometimes forget why we start or do things. Perhaps it was a higher wage, a better job, a different career, better grades, taking advantage of a scholarship… Reminding yourself why you are taking an online program will serve as a great self-motivator.
2) Goal-Oriented: Because you can work at your own pace, you may be less likely to push yourself towards a deadline if it’s going to stress you out. After all, you started online schooling because it was convenient and allowed you to work at your own pace, right? Be careful, because this kind of thinking can prolong your program’s length to twice or three times what you were expecting. It is important to have self-discipline and to stick to your plan of finishing the program in a timely fashion.
3) Creativity: Just because you’re at home alone taking these courses doesn’t mean it has to be boring! Take the time to be creative with the information you are learning. You have an advantage over traditional in-classroom students who do not have access to the Internet in the middle of a classroom lecture. Chat with your virtual classmates about the lecture knowing you won’t be interrupting the class. Look something up online if you think it will help you learn or remember a concept. Think of ways that will make studying more fun!
4) Cheating: It is very tempting to cheat when you have an exam and haven’t studied for it. But guess what? At the end of the day, cheating on an assignment or an exam is cheating oneself of the opportunity to learn. Besides, online schooling gives you the opportunity to take the exam when you feel ready, so there is no need to cheat. Take the time to study and give the exam or assignment your best shot.
5) Organization: Making sure you set up a really good study area at home will have a big effect on your overall productivity and efficiency. This means limiting distractions and procrastination tools, turning off the TV, and making the most of the time you have set aside for lectures and homework.
6) Procrastination: If there is one thing almost all students can identify with, it’s procrastination. Procrastination is an issue whenever you have important things to do or big responsibilities to meet, and can think of more fun things you’d rather be doing. Identify those things that get you to procrastinate and aim to limit their effect during your study time.
7) Communicate Clearly: Communicating clearly is an essential skill for everyone, regardless of your line of work. Online schooling is actually a good way to improve your written communication. Since you are limited to electronic communication, you have to learn how to ask questions and enunciate your own point of view clearly and succinctly.
8) Quitting: Finishing your online program should be a given, not a goal. Unfortunately, there are too many online students who drop out when they realize their program is too demanding. Nobody starts something expecting to quit. So before you become a victim to the dangers of the infamous “Q” word, do everything you can to reap the benefits of completing your online degree – after all, what use is an unfinished degree?
9) Independent: Learning to let go of your teacher’s hand can be a good thing. Why? You learn to make decisions on your own and to trust your intuition and own judgment. This is an important skill that will carry over to your job and be a good indicator of the success you will have.
10) Risk taker: Being a risk taker means different things to different people. If it means taking the plunge and starting an accredited online degree, perfect. For some, it may mean communicating more in the class dialogue and correspondence or asking questions no one is asking. Perhaps it means cutting off some of your social activities in order to focus more on your online program. Whatever it is if you think it will help you successfully complete your degree, do it.