Falling flat on your face is no fun. Sure it’s how we learn sometimes, but some mistakes can be really demoralizing and even lead the bravest of students to give up what would have otherwise been a wonderful college experience.

With the advent of the internet and lightning speed computing technology chances are that you may be considering attending an online college for your degree as opposed to the more traditional route of packing your bags and bunking with a few strangers for several years.

if you can avoid these three top mistakes you’ll be more likely to stay in school and complete your online college degree.

First, many students fail to plan and thus, they plan to fail. If you’re used to flying by the seat of your pants, you’re gonna need to get out the rope and weights to buckle down enough to make and follow a plan. Planning doesn’t need to be stressful. It’s actually quite fun because you can even plan in activities with friends or things you love to do as rewards for dedicated study time.

Lack of planning has been the downfall of many a student. It doesn’t take long to get behind in one class, and then allow another to slip while you’re playing catch up. When students get behind in all their classes they may drop out or just ride out the remainder of the class, hoping that they don’t fail. Neither scenario is fun, so plan ahead and keep your college experience enjoyable.

Secondly, due to the inherited amount of new freedoms that moving away from home often means students spend more time exploring them rather than focusing on their classes. They put social activities above their studies. While working towards an online degree may not come with such great liberties, it has its own temptations to be careful of. Oft times in online education you are not required to be in a class at a certain time and if there is a set lecture to attend it is often recorded. You need to fight the desire to procrastinate your classes and schoolwork.

Lastly, unique to online college degrees, but becoming increasingly a problem with traditional degrees is the struggle of burning out from prolonged exposure to computer screens. When burnout occurs one of two things often happens; one, the student consistently hesitates to start new assignments and gets behind or two, the student just sits there in front of the computer and does anything BUT the work. It’s at this point that Solitaire seems more fun and emails get reread several times. If you get burned out chances are greater of falling behind and even of falling out of school. If you would like to steer clear of burnout make sure to take regular and active breaks. Go jog behind your house or play with your kids or shoot some hoops. Wish I didn’t have to say it, but make sure your focus isn’t so intense that you forget to eat.

By planning and avoiding procrastination and burnout you can keep your eye on the prize and make sure to make earning your college degree online experience the best one possible.

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