I’m a distance learning student and taking that big leap has been a major step for me and believe me when I say it’s a leap. Starting a master’s degree is a huge step on its own but doing it via distance learning is like a free-fall off a bridge into water; at first there is panic and fear and your heart is racing but then you land gracefully in water, though it’s also possible to land in a very painful belly flop.
The key to being a distance learning student is to always have set study times. Prepare a timetable for yourself and make sure that you allot about 3 hours a day to studying or work on assignments but also make sure to include activities that you enjoy in the timetable. I love going to the gym, so I make sure that I always have my two hours at the gym at least three times a week. So, whether it’s watching movies, reading, spending time with friends, going to the beach or the gym make sure to get that ‘me’ time. Always remember the saying ‘All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’.
It is also important to stay away from procrastination. As a distance learning student you feel a greater sense of freedom than students that attend weekly classes. This freedom makes way for procrastination at its finest. The freedom of not having to attend classes can very easily make you feel like putting things off until another day and then suddenly deadlines are upon you. So make sure and give yourself target times for each section of an assignment or area of study and stick to them. Just maintain focus and all should go well.