3 Reasons I Wish I Considered Online College

When I was a senior in high school I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do with my life or where I wanted to go to college. At the time, I was not ready to do the research on schools or make any life altering decisions. However, the pressure from everyone around me made me feel like I needed to make a decision, and I needed to make one fast.

I chose to major in film because I knew I loved movies, and I chose DePaul University because my brother was a student there, and I knew they had a pretty up-to-date film program. That was about it. I hate to admit it, but I only applied to that one school and just went with the flow of things.

As the years went on, I questioned whether I made the right choices. My first issue was my major, which I ended up changing during my junior year of school.

I kept asking myself why I chose everything I did without any real thought behind it. Since money was short, I chose to commute to school. Plus my brother had already been doing it for a year and seemed happy with it. Scheduling became more difficult since I wanted to avoid having to commute more than I needed to, and I spent many hours wasting time and being bored on the train.

One of the biggest things that helped me throughout my time in college was online classes. I had always been very self-motivated, good at scheduling my time and great with keeping up on assignments. After my first online class, I was hooked.

I did all I could to schedule at least one online class per term. It helped me tighten up my in-class scheduling and gave me so much more time overall. It also allowed me to work a somewhat part time job in my home town.

It was only recently that I learned more about schools that are completely online! Even here at TheCollegeHelper.com there are several articles that describe online schools and offers tips and information on them. I only wish I had known more about them when I was still in high school.

Here are the 3 reasons why I wish I had known more about online schools so I could have considered them when making my college decisions:

1. Learn at your own pace

One thing I have come to love while taking online courses in college is that it allows you to learn at your own pace given certain deadlines for assignments. Instead of having to get to a specified class room at a certain time, you have the ability to take the information when you want, and learn how you want. You don’t have to sit through lectures or abide to a teachers’ specific learning style. However, some online classes do offer helpful lectures. In that case, you can get the input but have the ability to pause and go back. So often I miss something in a lecture and wish I had a rewind button. Online lectures give you that luxury. I love the choices and freedom online classes can offer.

2. Traditional college may not be for everyone

Many students wish for the typical college experience that involves living on campus and living away from home. That was never a priority for me. College for me was strictly about gaining an education and learning tools that would help me in the future. I always felt that I could meet people in other situations, and I always did. Money has always been a big issue in my family as well, so going away to school and living the typical college life would have meant huge amounts of debt in my future. Online college could have given me the school experience I wanted, plus the added bonus of no commute.

3. More flexible schedule

This is probably my favorite aspect of online courses, and why I would have loved to go to an online school. The flexibility allows for learning at a comfortable pace as I mentioned before, allows for time to work at a job and make more money, and leaves more room for a schedule that works for me.

Although I have had a great college experience, I wish I had known more about the option of online schooling when I was making my decision. With the downfall of the economy, the increase in technological capabilities, and a higher accepting of alternative forms of schooling I really believe an online school could have been a better fit for me.

The best advice I can give is to explore your options. Anyone who is not sure what they want to do and are open to different ideas of what college is all about should do their research. Going with the flow in the moment may seem easier at the time, but I still wish I had thought about it more when making decisions.

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Molly Stallman

Molly Stallman

Molly Stallman is a senior at DePaul University working toward an English degree with an emphasis on Creative Writing. She also has a minor in Digital Cinema. Molly especially enjoys spending time with loved ones, listening to music, watching movies/television and playing with her dogs. She also has a passion for antiques, crafts, animals, photography and the great outdoors.