My Prerogative: Online Education

So I’ve become overwhelmed with peoples assumptions, jabs, comments, questions, etc about my decision to study online.

Most of those people either study on campus or haven’t studied for years. One thing they seem to have in common, however, is that they have never studied online before.

So I figured I would explain my decision and what it’s like in an effort to reduce the questions and looks I get when I announce my choice….or at least be able to link them here so they can see for themselves.

Why I CHOSE to Study Online

I could make a nice big list here, and that’s exactly what I’m going to do as it will be neater and more organised. At the end of the day my reasons stay the same, so here is my list in no particular order:

1. I hate Bullshit. A HUGE factor (the biggest) in my switch to online was to cut out the bullshit. When I was studying on campus I would travel for 4 hours a day to and from, and for the first 2-3 hours of class my teachers would read the assignment to the class. They would occasionally expand but to be honest it felt like beating a dead horse to me; I’ve got the assignment, I can read it on my own, and if I have questions I’ll ask them.

I resented not being able to get on with it, it made me really anxious and irritated. I LOVE lectures. I LOVE notes. I do not love that 3 hours of class time was wasted. I could have received help or feedback, and actually used my time productively. Not to mention I could have had more time to do my homework and been able to get a job…which brings us to point 2.

My silent scream for bullshit. Can you hear my pain?

2. Time is EXPENSIVE. If I cut out the bullshit I would have more time to get a job and actually do my homework. I had 5+ hours of homework a night. And when I say + I mean I usually had 8 or 9 hours a night….so I get up at 6am, work until 11 and then travel to school. I arrive home around 7-8pm depending, and I would be so exhausted (mostly from the travelling) I would usually crash by 9 or before I’d even eaten. A couple of times I didn’t even take my shoes off because I stupidly tried to hug my bed in an over dramatised gesture of exhaustion, and it hugged me back.

So I would have 6 hours spare a day, not enough to do all of my homework in….let alone get a job in. When the weekend rolled round I would usually have 12+ hours of work left to do, and somehow I always used an entire day doing it because I underestimated the time it would take to complete assignments.

So that leaves one day for work….or trying to get my brain cells ready for another gruelling week. Everyone deserves to have weekends or at least one day a week to recharge, and I took it because I needed it. Not to mention, the teachers told us the course would be very intense and advised us NOT to get jobs or to quit them if we had them because they would not take work based excuses or any for unfinished work. Those of the class who had jobs would take sick days and see a doctor to get a certificate if they fell behind, and many dropped out or failed.

By switching to online I cut out 4 hours of travel a day, and 5 hours of class. With that, I can do my work in 5-10 hours a day and have time to either do more work to get it out of the way quicker, or get a job. Or both!

3. I’m Poor. When on campus my selected course would cost me $90 a 28 day month in travel, $20-100 a month in supplies/equipment for class, and approximately $20-50 in printing expenses because it relied on professional printing and a lot of it. That’s $130-240 a month, which might not sound like much but was half of the money I had to survive on each month (rent, food, bills, etc). By switching to online suddenly all of those costs are gone, bar supplies.

Noooooooooo!

4. It Makes Classwork/Life Easier. I can work at my own pace (usually faster than others) and organise my own days. If I’m sick it’s fine I can work from my desk or bed looking like some sort of diseased zombie. If I need to go to the doctors, I can move my study blocks around. I don’t lose time (other than free time) and I’m more employable. Why? Because I can school around work instead of working around school…which as we saw in point 2 wasnt possible for me while on campus.

What “Online Study” Means

Many people assume it’s easy or lazier than on campus study, and you just get up at any old time and work in your PJs. That’s not true. For one, I have not worked one day in my PJs, unless you count my PJ pants, but I wear them when I’m inside because they’re comfy.

My awesome PJ pants. They have duckies AND super powers!

It means I am able to work when I need and want to, and organise my day to fit my priorities…and not to fit a schedule of wasted time, energy, and effort. Hooray!

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hanbar101
hanbar101

This makes me want to study online too. The benefits you give here make it seem pointless to ever consider studying on a campus. But I think the only thing I think that I would miss is social interaction with other students. I’m a very shy person so even though making friends in a new environment is going to be challenging (and working alone at home at first seems like a much more attractive option), it beats the other option of having to go out and actively make friends in the real world! Sad to hear that it didn’t work out for you because on paper this sounds like the perfect way to obtain a degree.