At Johnson & Wales University’s College of Online Education, we know that making the commitment to go back to school can be tough. In order to do well as an online student, you will need to make time for your studies while managing the aspects of your everyday life — and that can be overwhelming. But don’t worry; we’re here to help you!
If you’re trying to find a balance between your schoolwork, job and life, keep these five tips in mind:
1. Make a schedule — and stick to it!
Use a calendar and mark down all of the things you need to get done — include school, work and family. For school, pinpoint all important assignments, due dates, tests and projects, and make a note of when you will have other conflicts. Don’t stray from your calendar! Having a plan in place will help you see the timeline you’re working with and will keep your studies, and your life, on track.
2. Get into good habits early.
If you’ve been away from school for a while and are making a comeback — or if you’re fresh out of school and are continuing your education — don’t panic! If you allow yourself the time to get situated, it will be easy to fall into a routine. But make sure to practice good habits from the get-go. If you start cutting corners and skipping assignments early in the term, you’ll regret it later on when you’re studying for an exam or looking for extra credit to make up some of the things you missed. Make school a priority and don’t let the stress of starting a new program dictate how and when you get your work done.
3. Treat your schoolwork like a job. No excuses!
Would you procrastinate and skip going to work? Probably not. It’s easy to fall behind on your studies if you’re not making the same kind of effort you would for your career. School is important, too! If you’ve signed up (and are paying for it), treat it like it’s part of your job and make study time mandatory. This way, you can rest easy knowing you’re giving your online classes the attention they deserve.
4. Manage your expectations.
In order to succeed in the online classroom, you’ll need to manage your expectations realistically. If you’re expecting to breeze through your program with no issues at all, you should reconsider. Your program is supposed to challenge you — and if you’ve never taken classes online before, that will be a challenge in itself! In the long run, the satisfaction of getting your degree and furthering your career will be worth all of the time and effort you put in.
5. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself.
Above all else: don’t stress! Yes, you should make a huge effort to put a school plan in place — but being organized will only get you so far. Mentally, you have to be up for the challenge that comes along with starting an online program. If you know that you’re someone who gets stressed out often, make sure you give yourself time to do things that make you happy. Getting bogged down by your studies will only make getting through your program harder.
We know going back to school and completing your program will be hard! If you need support, reach out to your Online Academic Advisor or send us an email and let us know how we can help. We’re here for you!
In the video below, see what some JWU Online students have to say about managing your school schedule: