Last winter, I moved to Kissimmee (from Toronto, Canada) and began working on a writing certificate. Both the education and the move were dreams of mine, and I was ready to make them happen!
Learning outside of the traditional classroom allowed me to explore my interests, gain real career experience, acquire vital time management skills and become more responsible– all independently, with some virtual help from teachers, family and friends.
As I continue working on my certificate and writing my heart out, I would love to share with you the actionable strategies that have made my distance education experience so fulfilling:
1. Take classes you love (whenever possible). The more you enjoy a class, the more motivated you will be to do your best at all times.
I took a class called Business of Freelance Writing, and I loved every minute of it. The teacher was great, the textbook was a surprisingly interesting read, and the lessons were immensely helpful to my blossoming career. All of these factors combined to help me excel; I earned Honors!
2. Find a comfy, quiet place where you can focus on your work.
I spent hours writing under a palm tree in my backyard, and when I needed a change of scenery, I sat on my favorite chair at the dining room table, which was laid out with my laptop, pens and pencils, lined paper, a lamp for optimal lighting and bunch of flowers to make it pretty and serene.
Whether it’s a desk, a Starbucks or a couch in your living room, as long as you can curb distraction and are prepared with all materials you’ll need to study, location doesn’t matter.
3. Keep a list of due dates and to do’s. It’s vital that you remember to complete assignments on time, especially because you won’t be in a classroom setting with teachers to remind you what to do every day.
Find a system that works for you. Color coding your notes? Marking important dates on a calendar or in a planner? Programming your smart phone to remind you to study? Try lots of options until you find one (or many) that you like.
4. If you don’t enjoy your compulsory courses, find a way to stay motivated to complete them. Get them over-with and do as well as you can, by what ever means necessary: Bribe yourself. Focus on the parts you do enjoy. Start a countdown to the end of the class. What ever it takes! You can do it!
No matter how or why you’re studying via correspondence, your distance education can be an incredibly fulfilling learning experience.
What school strategies do you use?
Rebecca Esther is a Canadian/Floridian freelance writer and independent student. She loves history text books, citrus fruit and learning new things.