Hi y’all! Welcome back to my blog! Today’s post probably won’t intrigue most people, but I wanted to write it anyway. In case you missed it, a few weeks ago I wrote about my college experience which you can read about HERE. Today I’m going to share the pros and cons (in my opinion) of online university. Also be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel, I’m posting a video on Wednesday about my college experience as well!
Before I start my lists and explanations I just want to say this is all based off of my personal experience. Other’s experiences may differ from mine, but these are my thoughts on the matter.
- Flexible Schedule – Online allows you to work on school when you have time. While you still have to work on stuff every week because you have to keep up with certain due dates it’s not like going to classes from 10am-4pm each day. This allows more time for a job or other activities. School doesn’t control your schedule and life.
- Work From Anywhere – We love to travel, whether it’s on trips or visiting family. Doing school online allows me to work from anywhere I have WiFi. And because Grant works remote as well, we’re able to travel basically whenever we’d like.
- Little Social Interaction – This is personally a pro for me, but may be a con for others. I am not a very social person when it comes to school. I’m there to do what I need to do then go home. When I went on campus I didn’t have many friends, and I was okay with that. Online there are no people in class to distract me and group projects aren’t common.
- Test Anxiety Lowered – I have terrible test anxiety, I have ever since I was a kid. My test anxiety has lowered significantly since starting online school. When there is a silent room with the professor walking around, kids finishing before you/after you, etc. it creates a stressful environment for me personally. While some tests are proctored (someone is monitoring you via webcam) and a majority of tests are timed, the fact I can be in the comfort of my own bedroom takes a lot of stress off of my shoulders.
- Classes End Earlier – So this is not always the case, but occasionally it is. Professors who teach online often teach in a classroom as well. Campuses have “finals week” and all of your finals are normally within one week. With my experience online, my finals normally happen over the course of 2-3 weeks. Most professors who also teach on campus want to get online class and grading out of the way before on campus kids start finals, so they’ll schedule them earlier. For example, my one class ended April 18th this past Spring while other classes didn’t end until May 2nd.
- You Can Work Ahead – This isn’t all the time, but it is the truth for most classes! Some professors keep modules locked until the week before it is due, some have everything published right away, some unlock modules as you complete the prerequisites. This has come in handy for me a lot during the years. If I know I’m traveling or if I have some extra time on my hands that week, I can work ahead so I can “slack off” later.
- Less Time Spent On School – Again, this may not always be the case from week-to-week, but in most of my experience this has been the case. In traditional college you’re going to class 2-3 days a week for 1-3 hours at a time, and have about 5 classes. That’s an average of 30 hours a week just in the classroom, which doesn’t seem like a lot considering there is 24 hours in the day. BUT then you you have to study, complete homework, etc. Plus you have stuff outside of “school” like clubs, sports, a job, family life, church, etc. Not to mention with classes alone you’re EXHAUSTED mentally and physically. I would say I spend between 2-3 hours on each class per week (don’t tell my professors). This obviously changes depending on the task for the week and if I have an exam or project due. But overall, I spend much less time on school. You have to consider my “homework” is basically what is teaching me and counts as my class or lecture. This is great for me because I was able to have a job, work on my blog, and still have a life without feeling overwhelmed.
- Resources Not Always Easily Accessible – If you’re working on a project of some sort your only resource given by the school when you’re online is the online library. In my opinion and experience it’s much more difficult to find resources from an online library than a traditional one. While you can always visit your local library, professors often require resources to be from the school’s online library. When I went to school in person I would often make use of tutoring services; online you don’t have anything like that. While my grades have improved since switching and I haven’t needed tutoring since switching, it is something to consider.
- Teachers/Counselors Aren’t As Easily Accessible – While professors say they’re always an email away they may not always respond in a timely manner. You can’t just go to office hours or ask a question before or after class. Sometimes you’ll wait days for an answer you needed to know in the moment you asked it. It can make communication hard. You also don’t have easy access to deans, counselors, etc. If you have questions about your credits, IT problems, or about financial info you basically need to call a help line. And most of the time with PSU it is less than helpful.
- If You Aren’t Motivated You’re Screwed – This may seem a bit obnoxious to say, but it’s true. If you take fully online classes you HAVE to be self motivated. You can’t just show up to a class and not pay attention. You’re essentially teaching yourself and professors provide the information to do so. Needless to say, online school isn’t for everyone.
- Time Management Is Necessary – This isn’t necessarily a “pro” or “con,” but just a fact. Some people just have no time management skills and it is crucial to being successful online. There are due dates you have to keep track of and if you let the week get away from you you’ll regret it.
- Not A “Normal” College Experience – This is once again a “pro” for some people and a “con” for others. For me I would say it is both. I sometimes miss the activities and opportunities I got to be a part of on campus, but I am also not a person who likes to party or anything like that. If you’re going to college solely to party and go to football games, I personally don’t think you should be going to college in the first place. But, if those are things you want as a part of your college experience, fully online isn’t for you.
So those are my thoughts on the pros/cons to online university. I know this may not have been a super interesting blog to everyone, but I hoped it helped a few people out. If you have any other questions feel free to leave them down below or get in touch with me on Instagram.
Thanks for reading!