As a young working mother, online education is the best fit for me to complete my college education because it gives me the flexibility to have a full-time job and stay home with my family. My goal is to become a registered nurse, I enjoy working with people, and my desire is to care for others, which makes nursing a great career for me. However, like most college students I also undergo many challenges that makes me feel like I might not make it to the end, but at the same time they push me forward.
Some of the obstacles that hinder my success to be a nurse while doing online classes, especially during this pandemic are time management, unclear priorities, and staying with a positive attitude. These challenges make it very difficult to be successful in my online classes, however, I don’t let them take control of me, but instead, they help me to make a stronger me by having better self-discipline, which leads me to be successful in my online classes.
First, before the pandemic started, time management has always been an issue for me because I want to spend time with my family after a long day of work, but at the same time, I have to work on schoolwork, therefore it makes it harder for me to manage my time. One of the plans that I made to overcome this challenge is to print a weekly calendar. The calendar provides me with the ability to set time to fully concentrate on my online class and spend time with my family.
Setting myself a regular study routine helps me manage time, but more than that it also helps me to study with no interruptions. For example, now everyday I wake up at the same time, which allows me to not procrastinate with schoolwork, I edit my papers, review notes, or read a few pages of required reading.
Making a schedule has significantly decreased my stress, it has increased my productivity in school, and I’m able to spend time with my husband and daughter. During this semester, I have grown in the habit of studying because I always study at a particular time every day, which helps me to learn more efficiently as I feel my brain has become conditioned to studying at that time.
Second, unclear priorities, sometimes I’m not sure which classwork to focus on first, especially when taking multiple online classes at the same time. This is definitely a big challenge, for example whenever there is upcoming testing for multiple classes, and deciding for which class test to study first, or when it comes to the assignments and their due dates, sometimes when not having the right priorities I might not focus on the assignment that is due first, and then I have to be rushing to finish an assignment. It is quite possible that with proper time management, I will be able to fit everything in, but I also have to have work in my priorities for a better balance in school, work and family, which are things that cannot be ignored.
I do have to keep reminding myself why I started going to college, which is to become a registered nurse, this keeps me motivated to know that I’m getting close to my goal. Watching a movie with my family for two hours every night makes me unable to work and keep up with my homework, before watching a movie with them I have to decide what is more important a movie or doing homework to get caught up. Making a schedule helps me to have dedicated time for work, school, family.
However, in that same schedule I have now learned to also add items by priority which has given me enough time to do schoolwork. When I set my priorities clear and give myself enough time to do the more essential things like studying, and taking care of necessary errands, I actually find that I still have plenty of time for family and friends. This allows me to prevent myself from stressing and having to decide between classes and it would help me achieve any goals that I have during the week.
Last, staying with a positive attitude, especially during this pandemic time is hard because you have to continue living like everything is going well, knowing that some family members are sick and are being affected by the pandemic. Therefore, when I have a lot of things to do like homework, taking care of my daughter, and cleaning, I always keep in mind that it will get better, and it would be worth it when I graduate.
Sometimes is just more easier to listen to the negative thoughts, especially during overwhelming times when it seems that nothing makes sense or that I won’t be able to make it, however in those times I like to see how far I have gotten so far which makes me change from a negative attitude to a positive attitude as if I have made it this far, I can surely make it to the end of my goal.
While it’s not easy to turn a negative attitude into a positive outlook, it has definitely help me to keep going even when I want to procrastinate on an assignment or give up in school. Accomplishing new goals or completing an assignment feels wonderful. For this reason, I reward myself like watching a movie and spend more time with family by doing this it creates even more internal motivation for myself. When I stay positive throughout my online courses, I feel like everything becomes a little easier.
Overall, every college student faces the struggle of completing a course online, as it is not easy because you have to dedicate time to your courses. Online education will always have challenges that might want to stop me from my success to be a nurse, including time management, unclear priorities, and staying with a positive attitude. Now, if I apply these strategies to overcome the challenges, it will help me to succeed not only in this class but also in my other classes.