How Distance Learners Can Make College Rock

Jaime Dalbke

There's more to higher education than sitting in a classroom. After hitting the books, college students play ultimate, date, party, flirt, order pizza, and grab late-night lattes to keep their eyes open.

Sound good? Yes, it is. But what if you are a distance learner? Does that mean that you can't enjoy all those extras? Not necessarily. Here are some ways to keep college rocking, even if your campus looks more like a laptop than a grassy quad.

  • Join a Facebook Group for your online college. Our StraighterLine group is a great example. It works like a virtual campus where students can connect and communicate about their online college experiences.
  • Visit your online school's blog and comment on what you see there. Hopefully, your school has one where you can stay attuned to what is happening - and interact with your school's representatives and other students.
  • Create your own Facebook Group to stay connected to other students in your area. Setting up a Facebook Group is quick and easy. Consider starting one for students who are taking the same courses that you are - or for all distance learners who live in your area. The result? An instant community that keeps the college experience real.
  • Set up a Twitter account and send out tweets about your learning experiences. The result can be a fast-growing community of people who are attending your online school - or tweeting about distance learning in general. Example: A quick search for "Straighterline" on Twitter just turned up a bunch of tweets that have already been flying around about us.
  • Find real-world replacements for the stuff that your online school doesn't offer. Instead of the university gym, you can head to your local health club. Instead of hanging at the dining hall, you can grab lunch with other students - maybe those who you just met on Facebook or Twitter. Instead of flirting with that cutie over a foamy barista drink, you can . . . hey, we don't have to tell you everything, do we?

The point is, taking courses online doesn't mean that you have to go it alone.

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