Online degrees are the perfect choice when you already have a degree under your belt and want to either specialize with another or perhaps are ready to take your career in a whole new direction.
Online learning means being able to study in a way that suits your schedule. To succeed, you need to choose the right degree and then know how to adapt your everyday routine to help you stay healthy and stay focused.
How to Choose the Right Degree
You will already have an idea of the degree you want to pursue. For example, if you want to become a psychologist, it is a long journey specializing further and further with one psychology degree after another. It may seem like it’s easy: you need to get started with a BSc in psychology.
Though it may seem straightforward, you do need to be careful when selecting your degree. There may be specialist degrees that allow you to focus on a specific area of psychology right off the bat, for example. You may prefer to go through a different route to become a counselor instead of a therapist. You may be better suited to a bachelor of science in psychology online or may realize that an on-campus learning option is better suited for you.
Explore all of your options. With career paths like psychology, you will want to double-check that the options you shortlist for yourself all work towards your goal. The last thing you want is to earn a degree that no master’s program will accept, after all.
From ensuring that the degree offers the best curriculum, the best faculty, and the best boost for your career, there are many things to consider when choosing the right degree for your future.
How to Prepare to Get Started with Your Online Degree
As obtaining a degree on-campus is more straightforward, as it is typically tackled full-time, online is an entirely different matter. Most who obtain an online degree will have personal responsibilities that they will need to contend with, which means that not only will you need the right degree designed to support you in your endeavor, but you will also need to prepare for your personal life as well.
1. Create a Study Space at Home
The first step is to create an effective study space at home. You could spice it up and work in multiple locations, yes, but you will always need a great area at home where you can get work done without distractions.
This space should be brightly lit, have enough space to comfortably spread out and learn, and should also have some storage capabilities for any printed-off notes or materials.
A great way to further improve this space is to create playlists. Music, in particular, can help you stay focused as you work, but you will need to be careful about the type. Shuffling your entire music collection can be very jarring and distracting. Spend the time to create large playlists of music that doesn’t distract you and help you stay focused on the task at hand. If you aren’t great at curating playlists, find great playlists shared by others.
2. Create a Routine that Works
Slow and steady wins the race. Rather than allowing yourself to become lax and then have to push yourself to the brink in order to catch up, commit to a regular routine that you can rely on. A great way to do this is to spread it out. This way, you can listen to a lecture on psychology in the morning, for example, have a break, and then go and read a few case studies or recommended readings at a later point in the day.
Your routine will look different depending on whether you are working while studying, as well as how your online degree is structured. Any live activities will have to be prioritized, while everything else can be worked into your existing routine with great results.
For example, you could listen to lectures while you are driving on errands or can create voice notes to help you memorize better during your commutes. There are so many ways you can adapt your routine so that the work is spread out comfortably, regardless of whether you are tackling your online degree full-time or part-time.
3. Make it Easier for Yourself to Stay Healthy
Staying healthy is one of the best ways to maintain and manage your energy levels throughout the day. You want to be sharp, and you want to be ready to learn, which means you need to have the energy. Not only will you be more alert, but you’ll also actually be able to memorize better when your body is working with you rather than against you.
There are a few ways that you can make it easier to be healthy. To start, commit to a consistent bedtime and a consistent wake-up time. Keep this schedule even on the weekends, and make sure that you get enough sleep every night.
Follow up with meal prep. By prepping certain aspects of your meals, you can eat better and healthier. For example, you can make sauce packed with vegetables and use that throughout the week as an easy and healthy addition to your meals. You could even prep the whole meal if you have the time and inclination.
4. Get Your Friends and Family to Help
Completing a degree is hard work, so get your friends and family to help out. They can help you prep your food, can help test you for any tests, can proofread your essays, and so on. At the very least, organize study times. They can work on a personal project or even just read while you study so that you can benefit from the social study space and take breaks together.
5. Rely on Your Peers, University Support, and Faculty
Always get in touch with your peers. They are a great support option and also the perfect candidates to start a study group with. You may even be encouraged to work together on certain projects and in certain credits.
You will also want to use the student support services and careers services so that you get the most out of your degree for your future career.