One of my biggest regrets in life was intentionally falling out of touch with high school friends. I had joined a group of people who convinced me that the only important thing was their group and if friends or family did not understand, they should be cut off (read: I got into a pyramid-like scheme). I missed out on so much, and now the stream of Facebook updates from my high school friends makes me sad.
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Online courses are popular ways for students to earn college credit while balancing working and other time commitments. Since you are working through the course on your own time, it is important to follow a specific schedule and to complete your reading and assignments online. You may be taking an online class through your two or four year college or through an online college program. Regardless of the class type, there are specific things you can do to ensure that you succeed.
This is the person who will help you with course conflicts, adding or dropping courses, scheduling of classes for future semesters, deciding on majors and minors. This person is a key resource for you -- and should be the person you turn to with any academic issues or conflicts. And don't be afraid of requesting another adviser if you don't click with the one first assigned to you.

Book Shelf No.1   The books for college instructors here on Book Shelf No. 1 have been selected specifically for new college instructors as well as for experienced instructors who want to brush up on teaching basics. Most college instructors enter the classroom for the first time with little or no formal formal training on how to teach. Many of them find out the hard way that college teaching is not easy. It r ..... READ MORE


Let’s be clear—having a degree does not get you a job. Forty years ago, a bachelor’s degree was almost a guarantee of a job upon graduation, and a lifetime career. Those days are gone. While those with degrees tend to be compensated better than those without, this is not a hard and fast rule. You must be able to talk to your interviewer about your experiences and the knowledge you gained, and relate those to the role for which you’re being considered. Best of luck!


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There are several test taking strategies, such as making acronyms or making visual pictures, so find out what works best for you and use it! Professors are full of ideas, so don’t be afraid to schedule an office visit with them to ensure that you’re on the right track. Oftentimes, they will give you pointers and guide you through all the material that you need to study.
Appreciate your summers and use them wisely. Don’t let the system brainwash you into thinking that you need to do something this summer to get that internship next summer, which will lead to that other internship and then That Job. Travel to Japan or Patagonia, write a book, read, spend time with family, learn a new language or skill, follow things that interest you, that cliché but wise voice in your heart.

Since a large part of online coursework will be in written form, there is an opportunity to submit well-written, polished work that will positively impact your grades. Good grammar and correct punctuation will help convey your message accurately, and it’s always a good idea to be clear and concise in your writing. I suggest reading Write to the Point by Bill Stott for direction in good writing.

Many adults return to college only to drop out three weeks into their studies. Why? One of the most common reasons is that online learning is hard work. It takes time. It takes discipline. It takes quiet. How can you guard against prematurely dropping out? The first step is to look around your house and find a place to claim as your own. Some students have found a quiet space in the garage, basement, attic or laundry room. After you’ve claimed your study space, make sure everyone in the family understands it is your sacred spot. Put up a DO NOT DISTURB sign and enforce it! Even if you can’t follow all the tips for success in online courses, your odds of staying in school will increase if you find a study spot.
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A lot of problems first-year students face can be traced back to an illness that kept them away from classes for an extended period of time that led to a downward spiraling effect. Get enough sleep, take your vitamins, and eat right. If you haven't heard the jokes about college food, you soon will. And without mom or dad there to serve you a balanced meal, you may be tempted to go for those extra fries or cookies. Stay healthy and avoid the dreaded extra "Freshman 15" pounds by sticking to a balanced diet.
I was/am a nontraditional student (about five to seven years older than most students at my university), so this was not quite in my realm, but I was often jealous of the many opportunities afforded to these students. Yes, you have to go to social events. Yes, you might get categorized as a snob or fill-in-the-inappropriate-name-blank, but you really can benefit from the social network and resources (such as old tests).
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