So, you’ve made the choice to continue your studies and get your online Masters of Education degree (M.Ed.). You’ve found a program and taken all of the necessary steps to enroll. You’ve done your research, know what to expect, and feel ready to take on your program academically. But, this time around, you’re not just focused on school. You also have familial and work obligations to balance along with all of your work for your degree.
How do you handle it all?!
Take a deep breath, and remember these 4 simple strategies to balancing your online Masters in Education and your life.
1. Create a schedule
Without a set class schedule, you don’t have any specific dates and times that you have to be “in class”, which is one of the major draws of online classes. But, it can be really easy to put off classwork in favor of doing something (anything) else.
Set a schedule for yourself that has “class time” built-in and don’t let anything take priority over that time. Use this time to complete assignments, listen to lectures, or work on any exams that you have. And if you don’t have any assignments or lectures to get caught up on, use it to go over the work you’ve already completed.
Having a schedule will help you to stay current with your classwork, and help everyone else in your life know when you’re unavailable because of your classes.
2. Set Goals and write them down
At the beginning of each term, write down your goals for that course. Whether it’s a certain grade, better time management, or something specific to the coursework, set a goal and write it down. The simple act of writing it down will make it more official, and therefore harder to ignore. Posting your goals somewhere that you’ll see them every day–on your mirror or computer for example–will help you to keep them in mind and help you to stay on track.
3. Surround yourself with a solid support system
One of the biggest things that you can do for yourself is to surround yourself with people who are supportive of your return to school. If you’re working on a difficult, time-consuming project, they may be able to help you pick up some slack with other aspects of your life. If you’re struggling to feel motivated, they’ll help you remember why you decided to go back to school in the first place.
4. Get to know your professors
Even though you won’t be meeting with your professor in person on a weekly basis, get to know them! Just like going to school on campus, you benefit from your professor knowing who you are. If you can create a relationship with your professor, they are much more likely to be understanding about an emergency situation or helping you with a difficult portion of your course work.