The winter term sometimes seems to get the best of us students. While you’re busy staying inside with friends, family, or coworkers, cooking up a big pot of soup or maybe even attending a holiday party, it could be easy to let your courses take the back burner. But remember that with each new course comes a new experience and new learning opportunities!
Keep these tips in mind to start your winter term off on the right foot.
1. Keep your mind open and your hot cocoa warm.
With a new trimester comes new courses, new professors, and new online classmates. That’s a lot of new. But don’t be afraid of the new and unchartered territory, as that is where we as students have a lot of opportunity for growth. Executive coach and Forbes contributor Kristi Hedges wrote that having an open mind “helps us to take risks, find opportunities, understand others, and manage uncertainty.” Give yourself the opportunity to explore the possibility of new passions both inside and outside of your major. And of course, don’t forget to enjoy a cup of hot cocoa during this winter season to warm yourself up to a chance at new beginnings.
2. Organize your school life—but make time for friends and family.
Organization is key, especially for an online student. Sometimes when there isn’t a professor standing up and reminding you to turn in this paper and that homework assignment, you can forget that they were assigned in the first place! I have personally dealt with that problem, and I have found ways to remind myself to get my homework done on time, and oftentimes early! The app, myHomework is available for iPads, iPhones, Android Tablets/Kindles, Android Phones, Windows, Macs, and Chromebooks (so basically everything!) and can help you stay on top of your studies, assignments, and other due dates.
Keeping your school life and studies organized can also allow you to take note of your freetime. Have a family vacation planned? Traveling for work? Organizing your studies can help you remember what is due when and remind you to finish up that paper a few days earlier so that you can celebrate this holiday season stress-free.
3. Stay focused now, bake cookies later.
After taking your first online course, you have probably been able to recognize what days and times you are the most productive, so designate those days and times for homework and studying. Staying focused means something different for online students, because, for some, as studying at home could mean trying to resist the urge to binge on Netflix or spend time with your family. Finding your prime time to study when you are the most productive version of yourself and making sure to rest well throughout the term and the academic year are both imperative for students to succeed and enjoy courses, according to eLearning Industry. Taking online courses allows you to learn more about yourself and your personal work ethic, make sure to take advantage of this time and focus on yourself and your studies.
Remember, cookies can be baked at any time of the day or night ,so save that special treat for when you’ve successfully completed your work for the day!
4. Use your support system, both inside and outside of your education.
There are times when you need someone to lean on, when you need a little push in the right direction, or when you need a bit of encouragement. Use the great support systems you have. Friends, family, coworkers, and even pets! They are all there for you when you need them, and remember that if you need support with a course, figuring out how to fund your education, or any other school-related concern, you always have a support system here at Johnson & Wales University’s College of Online Education.
5. Know how and when to take a break.
Don’t overwork yourself! Breaks are important for your physical and emotional health. Online courses students can often find themselves sitting at their computer or laptop for hours, studying for tests or completing assignments; however taking a break from the screen is important to make sure that you can continue to do your best work. Psychology Today suggests that “breaks restore motivation” and can keep you interested and excited for the course material. These short breaks can also help increase productivity and creativity. Ttry to step away from your coursework to spend time this holiday season cozying up to a fire with a cup of tea and maybe a warm cookie!