So I’m in graduate school online. (To those of you who are my friends that I haven’t told – Surprise!)
- Don’t underestimate the workload! I have been in graduate school for like 3 weeks now, and every week I am underestimating the workload. Although, it only is about 3 – 4 assignments a week per class, but each assignment is extensive. Trust me, you don’t want to underestimate it and drown every week on Sunday when everything is due. I’ve been there and done that, and I don’t want that for you.
- Work ahead! This kinda goes with the tip above. You may think the stuff is easy and that it won’t take long to complete on the day it is due – BUT DON’T FALL INTO THE TRAP! If it’s so easy and won’t take so long, work ahead! So that you can have much more free time to do whatever you want (and so you don’t experience the deadline-induced panic attack).
- Create a schedule – make a plan and stick with it. Create a schedule of when you are going to do the homework. I suggest you make a calendar (either buy one or create one in your phone) with literally everything you have to do outside of school (such as events), your classwork schedule (the day and times you are setting aside for school as if you were in an actual classroom) and when the homework is due. It’s so great to see everything you have to do in one spot – instead of having to look over here for school things and then over there for personal things.
- Have a regular workspace! I find that when I work in the same space every week, it helps me get into the “work mood.” I suggest you pick a place that is easily accessible (and always available), quiet, internet friendly, and free from distractions. This way there is no excuse as to why you’re not focused. I like to work in my formal dining room – it’s always clean and far away from other things in the house that could distract me.
- Ask for help from your classmates/professor – if you need clarity or just want some reassurance please reach out to someone! It is better to reach out, then to not reach out and get a bad grade on an assignment. With this, I would also advise you to check your school’s website at least every other day. You don’t want to miss anything, especially with an online class because the website is literally the source of everything you need.
- FOCUS and Stay on Track! You can do this and you are extremely capable of getting through these classes with the best grades ever. Focusing for me is honestly the hardest part of grad school thus far. I urge you to put away your phone and download the Self Control App (if you have a Mac). SelfControl blocks websites for certain periods of times making it much easier to stay off those websites when you are trying to be productive.
It is easy to become overwhelmed with online classes – be sure to have balance in your life with your personal, profession and online school obligations. You got this!
Are you taking online courses or have you in the past? What are some of your tips and tricks for handling the workload? Share below in the comments!