Why I Chose Distance Learning
When I first began to consider returning to school to pursue my degree, I admit to a fair amount of trepidation about whether or not I should do it. I began going over my past attempt, and why it didn’t work. I had 2 children the last time I tried to enroll in school, I was 23 years old and working full time. When I envisioned being in school, I always saw myself attending the traditional campus, sitting in 1 ½ hour classes, or 3 hour classes. I had a car, but it wasn’t very reliable. There was no denying however, that I really wanted to advance my career options, and pursue my dreams of a writing career. I knew there was no way I would be able to do this without a degree.
I decided to enroll at my local community college. I decided to try 2 classes on campus, and 2 online. I worked Monday thru Friday from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm. I opted for the evening classes – 6pm to 9 pm. I knew this would leave me with a grueling schedule, but I really wanted to make it work. About half way through my first year, my car broke down. I was devastated. I didn’t want to give up on my dream just yet, but I wasn’t sure how I was going to get to my classes. I started taking the city bus to campus. The campus wasn’t far from my job, but was a significant distance from my home, and was not in the best area of town. I was getting home at about 11:00 pm. I survived the semester, but realized there was no way I was going to finish with my current situation being so tenuous.
When I decided to return this time around I had 3 children, a full time job and a husband. I felt much more stable, and beseeched my husband right away for his support keeping the house together while I embarked on this journey. I felt more mature, and better able to handle the hectic schedule I was about to put myself through. Now in my third year (I have also added a fourth and FINAL baby) I have really been enjoying my college experience. Distance learning has really been the best option for me to complete my degree. There are some advantages to distance learning that have really worked in my favor.
One is the flexibility. During the week, I am reading and participating in discussion questions while making dinner, giving baths and putting kids to sleep. On the weekend I am working in between family activities and doing laundry.
There is also the pace. At the University of Phoenix, I attend 1 class at a time for 5 weeks. This is a much more feasible pace for me. It allows me to devote all of my efforts to each course without becoming too overwhelmed.
The fact that there is no travelling is one of my favorite things about attending classes online. I still have to go to the library for research (which for a book addict like me is not a chore) but other than that I get to work from the comfort of my home. Distance learning is an option that many older and working students choose for a reason. The flexibility, pace and lack of travelling makes it an easy option. Finally seeing this dream come to fruition is the best feeling in the world.