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Having a Support Structure for Online University Students

4/25/2011 9:00 am

online university student support systemEarning an online degree takes patience and time, and you are likely to have more of both with a good support system in place. When life, work, and studying begin to overwhelm you, consider leaning on these sources of comfort.

Family. An online degree can contribute to your life in a multitude of ways, namely your own contributions to your family. Earning a degree from an online university can increase your earning potential and allow you to rise in the workplace ranks. A bigger paycheck can benefit the whole family, so ask them to help you succeed. If you are the go-to household chef, ask your spouse or older kids to pitch in and take care of the meals 1-2 nights per week. If you have younger children, encourage them to clean up after themselves by putting dirty dishes in the sink and laundry in the hamper. This means less back and forth cleaning for you and more time to focus on your work.

Friends. Good friends are there when things get tough. If you are fortunate to have a group of dedicated confidantes, count on them to pick up the slack. Ask them to help you study for exams, corral your kids after school, or simply have a cup of coffee during your break. You will find added strength and motivation from the support that only an empathetic source can provide.

Fellow students. No one understands the trials of earning an online degree better than your fellow student. Many people are actively pursuing the same online degree and probably facing the similar challenges along the way. Reach out for advice and general camaraderie by joining a student or course community, a place where online university students can connect and discuss valuable topics.

Mentors. Your Course Mentors are invaluable to your academic success, so why not take advantage of their knowledge? Ask questions, get involved in discussions, and learn more than the bare minimum. Similarly, your Student Mentor is always at your disposal. Talk to them about your goals, concerns, and overall future.

Yourself. Bottom line: only you can achieve your goals. Seeking outside support is important along your academic journey, but self-motivation is the driving force behind successful professionals. The key is reaffirmation: why are you attending an online university? What is your overall purpose? How will these decisions improve your life? By finding these answers, you are already ahead of the competition. Keep it up.

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