This is a guest blog post written by Heather Lanuale.
Does the every day routine of going to class bore you? Do you excel in classes but have to go at the pace of others? Do you have a tight work schedule that makes attending classes difficult? Have you ever thought of completing your degree online? If not, it’s something worthwhile to look into.
I am currently a student at an online university, and I was extremely hesitant about applying. I work 40 hours a week, have a busy social schedule, and I was always exhausted trying to balance school with my outside life. Online school has been a very seamless transition into a lifestyle that’s much more manageable for me.
If you’re considering school online, I want to share some pros and cons that could help you make the decision.
If you have the accessibility of a college campus that’s convenient with your workplace and schedule, that’s a great asset you have. However, many students are facing issues where a traditional college setting cannot fit. Because of geography, financial status, physical disabilities, and schedule restrictions, many students find the ease of online classes to work better for them. You set your own schedule which I believe works much better than that of traditional universities. Flexibility is a beautiful thing.
In addition to accessibility, there are endless options. You can get an associate’s, bachelors, masters, and even your doctorate. You can major in almost anything, and more often than not, the classes you’ll be taking relate more to your major than they would on a traditional campus because it’s more streamlined. If you’re a business major, you’ll take economics and calculus without spending too many of your credits on eight types of science and liberal arts. You take classes that relate to your major, which prepare you more for the real world.
One of my favorite parts about online school is the cost. Online tuition is much cheaper than it would be because you’re using fewer resources than on a campus. You have your own technology and basically pay for the classes, professors, and any proctors who oversee testing. In addition to tuition being cheaper, your schedule is flexible, so you can pick up a part-time or full-time job without worrying about not being able to work certain days and hours. I work over 40 hours a week, so I can do school work when I can. I’m with a company I love and hope to grow with, so I wouldn’t want tight schedule restrictions that could keep me from a better job offer. My flexibility is appreciated, and is a huge reason I have the job I do. I save money on tuition, and make money at my job.
Of course, every rose has its thorns. Online school does have negatives, and I wouldn’t be truthful if I didn’t share them.
Online college is not for those who are not self-motivated people. You need to be able to set a schedule and follow it. You need to manage your responsibilities and ensure you get them done, because there are less people pushing you to get things done. The real world will try to pull you away from work, and you can’t let it.
Another issue that was pulling me away from online college is that you miss the college experience. This can be an instant deal breaker for many students, and almost was for me. You can make some of your best friends in college and have some of the best memories there. Of course, with online school, you can find students in your area and meet up with them, but it’s much more traditional on campus to do so. I went to a university for two years and had the full experience; I was in Greek life, I was the president of two clubs, and I had a busy social life. However, I was more drawn to working and earning money than sitting in a classroom, so the switch was worth it for me. You have to really think about your priorities, and make the best choice for you.
Online school is great, and if you think it could work, I’d recommend looking into it. There are so many great programs that accommodate every need you’ll have. I don’t regret my choice, and neither will you.