A Graduate’s Advice for New Online Students

Graduate Advice

Online learning requires a special kind of commitment. As many students are adult learners, their first impressions vastly differ from those of younger students attending college immediately following high school. There is no move-in day or campus tour for online students, and the advice coming from older students leans more toward organizing priorities than avoiding the “freshman 15” or finding someone with a car.

The online classroom can be overwhelming, and although there are resources available to new students, sometimes it helps to hear words of encouragement from adults who have gone through the same experience.

“You are responsible for your own success or failure,” according to Ashford University alum Matthew Bambrick. “You must be committed to yourself, your degree program, and your progression throughout.”

Bambrick, who graduated in 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Management, has twice been invited back to speak at Ashford University commencement ceremonies. In an interview with Forward Thinking, he offered five tips for students just beginning their online education:

  1. Once you select a program at Ashford University, commit to it and give it your all. There are 24 hours in a day. Use them wisely with time management and self-discipline.

  2. Don’t ever, ever, ever, give up. There will always be roadblocks, obstacles, and events that get in the way. That’s called life. Just remember, many people have overcome more serious and nearly unattainable odds to complete their degrees. You should be no different. Others have done this, and so can you.

  3. Put your 100 percent all into your education. It’s your name on the transcripts, as well as the diploma. Make sure both highly complement each other. Without a doubt, you are truly going to earn your Ashford University education. That’s why when we celebrate your success, the rewards will be well worth the efforts you put into your education.

  4. Always remember, how you earn your degree is one thing, what you do with it is another. This is especially true after graduation. It’s only the beginning of your ever-growing journey to always move forward.

  5. One of my key takeaways as a former Ashford online student is that the answer is out there somewhere. You simply have to either go out and find it, or create it yourself. This is where online learning can apply to everyday situations regardless of any role you may find yourself in.

What’s your biggest challenge or worry as you begin your online education? Could you overcome these concerns with some self-analysis? Read “Navigating the Future with Your Personal Action Plan” and “Strategic Planning and the SWOT Analysis” on Forward Thinking, and use the downloadable resources in both articles to plot your course for success in school.

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Written by Jason R. Latham, Content Manager for Bridgepoint Education.

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