Defining School in Online Degree

If you attend an online university, you probably don’t follow the same schedule as other people. Most online programs are not setup in traditional semesters, where you basically have the month of December off for winter break. As a result of that, you may need to define your own breaks to still enjoy the holidays while going to school online.

Here are a few tips you can follow to feel as much like a “normal” student as possible throughout the year.

Taking Some Time Off

Most online schools will allow you to take your own break in the middle of the school year if you let your adviser know before the next class sessions start. If you attend a different class every month, you can just skip a month and then pick back up when you return. Seeing that a lot of online programs have classes starting literally once a week, you could make your break as short or long as you want it to be. You just need to let people know ahead of time so they can help you develop the ideal schedule to follow.

You may want to take your break at an odd time to avoid the college crowd that comes along at certain times every year. For instance, you could define your “Spring break” as sometime in February, rather than waiting for the actual spring break season to hit. Then you won’t have to worry about dealing with the drunken college students that will likely be running the streets. You can have more time to spend with your family in peace and quiet.

Doing Your Work Early

One of the beauties of online degree programs is that they are self-paced. If you want to get all of your homework done early, you can do that. Then you will have spare time to use in place of traditional school breaks. This will obviously require more work on your end, but it will be worth it when you get to relax in a school-free environment. There is an amazing sense of accomplishment that comes with getting work done on or ahead of schedule. You should give it a try and see what it could potentially do for you.

Taking Your Work with You

Who says you can’t do homework while you’re on vacation? This may be the only way for you to work everything out. Bring your computer with you on break and try to get classwork done when you aren’t doing anything else. You are bound to have some hours of boredom on your vacation, and those hours will be perfect times to get your school work done. You could even do homework in the car on the way back home if you’re riding with other people. All you need is a computer, online study tools and a remote internet access point.

Final Thoughts

You can still enjoy school breaks even if you go to  You just have to practice self-discipline and learn how to stick to your own schedule. At this point in time, you should know how to do that anyway. That is the essence of going to school online. If you want to reap the benefits of independent study, you have to exert some control on your scheduling. If you can do that, you can make your own breaks for school.

Good Study Tips – Time Management Strategies

You might also consider some of the hi-tech software that can streamline note taking and even your ability to share class notes with friends and classmates. This includes items like digital recorders for lectures, note taking software, and even tablet pens that both record audio and transfer your notes to a tablet computer. If you find yourself struggling with the quality of your notes from lectures some of these cool tools may be worth considering.

Setting Goals and Priorities

This process is like putting all your possible activities through a filter. Everything you need to do- your important activities, must pass through this evaluation system.

Here are a few of the good study tips to help you with writing if an activity is worth doing. First, brainstorm for a few minutes to get a list of activities and school assignments that have to be done. Then decide which of the following categories an activity belongs to:

  • Time sensitive and important
  • Important but not time sensitive
  • Time sensitive but not important
  • Not time sensitive and not important

See? Right away you are able to focus on what is important while eliminating the others for a better time.

As you prioritize, you can also consider the 20-80 rule. If you are like most people, 80 percent of your productivity will come from 20 percent of your actions. This is one of the good study tips for perfectionists. If you can’t be perfect 100% of the time, be perfect at the 20% of stuff that gets you better grades!

Next, buy a paper appointment book, or use a piece of information management software to build a calendar. Enter activities and assignments with due dates so you can reach your daily, weekly, monthly, and end of term goals. Of course you will want to pack that little gem with you to lectures, so you can make new entries for new assignments. Congratulations! You’re in the driver’s seat!

Build a To Do list every day. It may not be very different from yesterday’s… just fill it out and give a glance to how it relates to your overall goals for the week, the month, and the school term. Some people use paper and pen. Some prefer the latest software. Just jump in, set the system up, and watch your productivity rise!

Now that you have your time management strategies in place you may want to check out some more good study tips below and integrate them into your system.

Control Your Study Environment

Once you set up a study time,  filter out distractions like socializing, internet browsing, e-mail, and so on. Stick to your own agreements about these decisions. You will be a better student and will also feel better about yourself. Don’t yield to “peer pressure” to break your commitment to study, and don’t be surprised if other students start adopting your good study tips. Treat time as if it were sacred. It is. Hang out with folks who think likewise.