Juggling school, life and work is a challenge for many online learners. When you combine being an online learner and the stress of the holidays, it can become overwhelming. There are ways to stay on track to find balance between school and the holidays without losing your mind. While using the same skills and techniques that make online learners successful, you can manage online learning and the holidays to create a place that works for both. The key is finding balance during this stressful time of the year.
Schedule Your Work Time
Keep your schedule updated! This will keep you focused and on task. Build your holiday parties and get-togethers around your academics. Be aware of upcoming due dates and holiday get-togethers that may conflict with your academics. Prioritize the holiday events in your life so you make take the time to do research for your paper or to complete assignments.
Take Advantage of Downtime
One of the greatest things about being an online student is you can work from anywhere at any time. The holidays can provide some unexpected downtime, most of which can be used in your favor. With holiday travel, shopping lines and last second changes to your schedule or others, there are opportunities to check in on your school work. You can utilize apps on your phone or tablet to submit work, ensure you have completed assignments, check in on your calendar for upcoming due dates or post in a discussion board.
It’s OK To Say No!
Know when it’s too much! Be mindful not to overextend yourself with requests from friends and family over the holidays. Keep them informed of your academic schedule and due dates. You might not be able to commit to all of your invitations, especially when they conflict with your upcoming due dates. Family and friends will be more accepting when you politely decline invitations when they are aware of school commitments.
Take periodic breaks from school to charge back up. Spending all of your time on your studies can add more stress to what can be a stressful time of year. Find a quiet place for yourself where you can relax and take a deep breath, unplug from your school, clear your mind and “just be” where your feet are. There are a variety of wellness apps that promote wellness and relaxation.
Impacts On Other’s Schedules
Be aware of University closures and holiday schedules. Your instructor and University staff will be unavailable to answer your questions since they too will be spending time with their families. Be sure to reach out to your instructor prior to the holiday to ensure you get a timely response.
Enjoy The Holidays
Don’t ignore school, but it’s the perfect time step back and enjoy this time of the year. Share time with family and friends and enjoy the holiday traditions!