By Dr. Robert Gordon
Program Director, Reverse Logistics Management at American Public University
The holiday season is closing in on us and, unlike brick-and-mortar schools that close their doors over the holidays, online schools are still in session. Many online students feel that these days off from work will give them the extra time to finish papers and other assignments. A few extra days off from work are nice, but it does not always equate to more time for school.
The reality for most is that the holiday season of Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanzaa, and New Year’s means family obligations, shopping for gifts, and other commitments. After all, the turkey will not cook itself, someone has to watch holiday football, and no one can avoid a shopping trip to the mall.
What can a student do to make sure that their online class does not suffer during this busy season?
The best advice for the online student is to take a good hard look at what really needs to happen over the holidays and then plan time for the online class. This may mean missing a football game, cutting a holiday visit short, or skipping a holiday gathering. The important thing is to commit to some dedicated time for schoolwork.
Here are some tips on how you can make some extra time for your online class:
- Wake up at the usual time. Many of us love to sleep in during our days off, but you will lose hours that could have been put to more productive use.
- Avoid social media. It is great that everyone is posting pictures of their travels over the holidays and it is wonderful to see everyone so happy. However, the reality is that you can always catch up later.
- Don’t turn on the TV mindlessly. There will be a lot of great distractions on TV and turning it on during some spare time will only mean that you will waste more time.
- Put your planned classwork time on your calendar. Put classwork time on your calendar so you can hold yourself to a time commitment.
The first year I was an online student, I had a class over the holiday season. I had great hopes and aspirations of how much I would get done. I ended up with an incomplete (extension) in the class and spent a painful January trying to keep up with my next class while finishing the last class that I fell behind in. The next year, I went in with a firm plan and did a lot better.
Enjoy your holiday season and make a plan to get schoolwork done over the holidays. I guarantee it will help you towards a successful completion of an online degree.
About the Author
Dr. Robert Lee Gordon is the program director for the Reverse Logistics Management department at American Public University. Dr. Gordon has more than 25 years of professional experience in supply chain management and human resources. Dr. Gordon earned his Doctorate of Management and Organizational Leadership and his Masters of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix as well earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from UCLA.