Getting an education online has become a popular choice for many students today. The option to get a university degree online has allowed students to take advantage of more flexibility in comparison to studying in a campus environment, making it easier for students to improve their education while fitting it around other commitments in their life like work and family. Along with this, studying for a degree online may cost the same when it comes to tuition fees, but there are several opportunities for students to save money on the cost of commuting and other costs that you would expect while getting a degree in a traditional way. Studying online might be the best choice for you for many reasons. However, many students find that there are also some drawbacks that might have an impact on their mental health, for example, being more isolated while studying from home compared to being in a classroom environment. If you have made the decision to get your degree online, here are some tips to keep in mind for reducing stress and looking after yourself mentally and emotionally throughout the process.
Stress is perhaps one of the most common issues that online students experience, so it’s a good idea to get yourself prepared to combat this as early as possible before you start a masters in business management from Aston University. Getting yourself prepared and knowing what to expect can be one of the easiest and most effective ways to keep your stress levels under control as you can minimise your chances of having to deal with the unexpected. Spend some time going over the course materials as soon as you get access to them and go through your reading list so that you can get the books you need in good time before everybody else has borrowed them from the library.
Find a Schedule That Works for You
One of the advantages of studying for your degree online is that you will often have the flexibility to study at times that suit you best. You don’t need to be in class bright and early for a 9 AM lecture after working late the night before. You can fit your studies around your work and get some learning done on the weekends, in the evening, or even early in the morning depending on what is the best fit for you. Before you start your degree, it’s a wise idea to sit down and go through your current schedule so that you can figure out when you will get the most benefit from studying. This will help you get a routine in place that will ultimately make the experience less stressful for you as you can avoid scrambling to fit studying in. A solid schedule to stick to can also help you avoid procrastinating and falling behind with work.
Take Advantage of Online Social Groups
While studying for an online degree means that you don’t have a campus to go to or a classroom to sit in with your peers in person, this doesn’t mean that you have to isolate yourself. When choosing your online degree, it is a good idea to find out more about the socialisation options and networking opportunities available. Most good online degree courses are designed to not only provide a good virtual environment for you to learn in but also to make new friends and professional connections. Take advantage of any chat rooms, forums, Discord groups, social media groups, group chats, and video conferencing sessions that you can attend or join in to get to know the other people on your course and keep your social life alive.
Get Enough Sleep
If you are juggling work with studying for an online degree, then it can easily start to feel like there just aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done. Along with having a good schedule and a routine in place to help you make the most of your time, you should also avoid working late into the night and missing out on sleep. After a while, the sleep deprivation will add up and this can lead to a negative effect on your mental health and wellbeing including getting stressed and anxious easier and even experiencing feelings of depression. Aim to get between seven and nine hours of restful sleep each night; your work can always wait until the morning when you are feeling more refreshed.
Take Regular Breaks
While getting an online degree can be a lot of hard work if you are juggling it with working and other commitments at the same time, it’s just as important to take some time for self-care as it is to dedicate time to studying. When you’re studying from home, it can be all too easy to get caught up in revision or a project that you are working on and end up focused for hours. Without a lecturer at the front of the class to let you know when it’s time for your ten-minute break, you could lose track of time. Set reminders or alarms on your phone to remind yourself to get up, get a drink of water and stretch your legs for a while. And take regular longer breaks throughout each week, like giving yourself a full Sunday to yourself so that you can recover and return on Monday feeling ready to take it all on.
Keep Your Lifestyle Healthy
When you’re studying for an online degree, working, and dealing with other commitments in your life, then sticking to a healthy lifestyle might be something that can easily fall by the wayside. However, you will find that there are a lot of benefits to making sure that you stick to the basics of healthy living at least, such as drinking plenty of water, eating at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, and getting out for some physical exercise daily. While you don’t have to become a bodybuilder while you’re studying, simple things like a daily walk and getting the right nutrition will keep your body and brain healthy and strong to better cope with your workload.
Getting an online degree can be stressful at times, especially if you are juggling it with other commitments in your life. Keep these tips in mind to keep your stress levels low and look after your mental health and wellbeing as a student.