How to Have a Successful College Career: 6 Tips to Doing it Virtually

Are you a remote college student? Did you take on too many courses this semester? Is that Intro to Psych not as thrilling as you thought it would be?

If you answered yes to these questions, let’s be best friends.

College has been virtual for much of the year and that may not change for quite some time. Even if you’re no longer gracing the halls of your alma matter, you undoubtedly still engage in some sort of virtual environment. Many of us continue our education after college albeit in less formal settings (online certifications, LinkedIn courses, etc.). Some continue our education through formal courses that aren’t technically university.

If you’re using a computer to further your educational growth in any way, you could also benefit from a few virtual learning environment tips. Here are a few tips to ensure anyone can have a successful college career.

1. Do a bit every day

Logging into college courses is the nerd equivalent of getting to the gym. The huge drag usually involves just getting there.

A beautiful benefit of online courses is being able to see most of your upcoming assignments. If your teacher has no issue with it, feel free to work ahead of the suggested work rate. But just getting to log into your courses and plugging away one at a time every day can be the difference between waking up the day assignments are due to cram as many words as you can onto your papers or just double checking that you didn’t miss anything.

Don’t just try to shove words into your assignments. Professors will always be able to tell when you were just rushing to throw sentences together. Your quality of work is always reflected by the quantity of time spent working.

2. Trust your instincts

You know your capabilities and limitations better than most. Don’t try to bite off more than you can chew with courses, extracurricular activities, and your regular responsibilities. If you’re finding you’re performing at just a tick above exceptional, you may not want to add another course or join that 3rd club.

On the other hand, If I listened to the suggested pace of my student advisor, I’d be graduating a year later than I’m on track to graduate now. Don’t let the imagined limitations others place over you keep you from pursuing what you want.

3. Organize your morning routine

Taking charge of your morning routine is the best way to start every day. Those who start off their morning by checking social media, emails, texts, etc. are the type who usually have a slower time getting going in the morning.

“If you wanna change the world, start off by making your bed. – US Navy Admiral William H McRaven

Starting off your morning taking care of basic maintenance helps reshape your brain over time to recognize the very first few moments of being awake as a time to get things DONE. Have a big gulp of water (you’ve just been without any for 8 or so hrs), make your bed, use the bathroom, brush and wash up, start working on your meals for the day. A few weeks of this and you’ll notice waking up isn’t as laborious as it once was.

4. Keep a calendar

My partner keeps a calendar filled with all their responsibilities. They jot down anything that comes due soon no matter how far ahead it’s due. I’ve witnessed smug, elitism mocking my memory as I hammer away on the keys at something that was due in minutes. Learn from my mistakes, keep a calendar or the next pasquinading pompous mockery might be on you.

5. Reach out to your professor

You might find, like many other students, your professor harder to reach virtually than in-person instruction whereas you could just raise your hand and receive an answer then and there. There are still a bevy of ways to get in touch with your professor.

· Email

· Ask during synchronous seminars (usually weekly)

· Use an established virtual office

· Always ask your professors if there are any additional ways to get in touch with them, good times to, not-so-good times to, and how long to expect a reply.

6. Engage in discussion boards

“If you want to master something, teach it.” – Richard Feynman

Engaging with your fellow students in weekly online discussion boards is your chance to flex what you’ve learned that week. If the quickest way to mastering something is by showing others, regularly posting in the discussion board throughout the entire week is your best shot at mastering skills as you go.

The standard workload for discussion boards is making an initial post of your own, then replying to two other classmates’ posts. Be sure to post more than “Great post, many word, wow.” Take it from me, professors consider these posts eyesores. Post anything to actively engage your classmates like an open-ended question or a prompt. And don’t just write up the bare minimum two reply posts. Keep replying to those who respond to you throughout the unit and see how long you can carry on an informative conversation for.

Do you know any other tips & tricks that could boost someone's virtual college experience? Share the wealth of knowledge by letting us know in the comments, so we can all grow and be our best together.

If you missed last week's article on my favorite quote for professional success and motivation, you can still check it out by clicking below.

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