Future distance learning student? Contemplating the life-changing rewards that further studies have to offer? Returning to studies after a good few years in the working environment? There is no doubt that this form of study enables a greater level of accessibility than any traditional institution could – particularly for those situated away from campuses. Studying long distance can be challenging though, especially if you are not prepared for what lies ahead. Juggling studies with work, family and other responsibilities can be one of the biggest challenges for students, but with a bit of planning, this does not need to become overwhelming.
We have put together some useful study tips that will help you get right down to your studies… while keeping that all-important balance.
Try These Helpful Distance Learning Study Tips
We recommend the following distance learning study tips…
- Make sure that you either own a computer or have easy access to one. This is essential for assignments, modules and e-learning. A cheap second hand laptop will be far more effective than a shared computer at a coffee shop – and a lot safer, too. Budget for this necessity and you will not be sorry!
- Draw up a study schedule and stick to it. Be realistic and plan carefully. Consider your current work commitments, your family and other responsibilities and allow yourself enough time to study. This means learning to prioritise. You could move that dance class to a weekend, for example. Or, you could move your daily exercise plans to early morning and wake up a bit earlier.
- Do not leave assignments to the last minute. This will not only increase your risk of turning in late work – it will also increase the risk of errors made from rushing. Go over every assignment you receive as soon as they arrive, and determine how much time you will need for each one.
- Divide your work into small, manageable tasks. This will make the workload seem less overwhelming and also help you keep a clear head. It is far easier to achieve the day’s to-do list when the tasks are planned and ‘doable’. You will feel a lot less stressed in the process, too.
- Create a designated study space. This can be a corner of your room, a dedicated office or any other space that you can work without interruptions. Be very clear on rules that apply when you are in this space. If you have family, let them know in advance that you cannot be distracted when you are in your study zone.
- Stay organised right from the get go. You will need to ensure that your study notes, material, assignments and textbooks are at all times. Find an organisation system that works for you, and use it. Whether that means sticky notes, highlighters and flow charts or endless lists and whiteboard notes, staying organised will help you reduce stress and get ahead.
- Keep a calendar. Update it with any and all important dates – exams, assignment due dates, study groups and anything else that applies to your studies. Keep it somewhere visible – preferably in your study zone.
- Get the support you need from friends and family. Let everyone know about your studies (and your dreams) and ask them to support you. Explain that you may not be up to mid-week drinks during exams, and help them understand that you need their help wherever possible. Who knows – you may get help with chores, babysitting and other tasks!
- Set goals for yourself. These should be realistic and clearly defined. For instance, achieving a pass rate within a certain range, or completing an assignment ahead of schedule. Reward yourself when these goals are achieved, using healthy treats such as a trip to the spa, time with friends and family or a useful book.
- Stay healthy! Last but not least, it is super important to maintain a balanced lifestyle when juggling work, studying and life. Eat a healthy, balanced diet, get sufficient sleep and exercise each day and set aside time to relax.