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Bringing It Home – The Saint Rose Blog

How to be a successful online learner from one college student to another

Computer with notepad

By now, we can say that both in-person and online learning during a pandemic is a challenge, but it does not mean that this challenge can’t be overcome.

In the fall of 2019, I started my in-person college journey at The College of Saint Rose, a place far away from my hometown (Boston, Massachusetts). A year later, I can say I have experienced the “best of both worlds” in terms of online and in-person instruction. For the fall of 2020, I decided it was best for me to stay home due to the onset of COVID-19. I am enjoying my online classes, but that does not mean that everything is perfect. I sometimes struggle to balance home- and school-related activities, which I’m sure many of my peers can relate to.

Online-learning is teaching me a lot about myself, and also, many new skills. I realize that this is a difficult time for everyone, but I think it’s all about doing what you can.

Here are a couple of things I have gained from my experience so far, and I hope you can learn from:

Skills I have gained throughout this experience:  

  • Critical thinking

  • Personal time management

  • Technological experience

  • Communication

Benefits of online learning from home:

  • Developing better nutrition

  • Getting to know  my learning style

  • Saving money

  • Working jobs outside of school

  • Building a close-knit support system at home

Tips for students who are taking online courses:

  • Plan your week ahead of time (I do it on Sundays) either:

    • Digitally: Plan your week with a Google calendar, for example.

    • Tangibly: Use a planner to map out your week.

  • Ask family members for their critical advice and unique opinions!

  • Take breaks; remember to breathe!

  • Communicate with your teacher every doubt or question you might have.

  • Keep a daily routine.

  • Participate in class discussions.

I never thought I would attend college online.  Although e-learning was scary at first, I am learning a lot and adjusting.  If you’re struggling to get used to it, remember there are always ways to improve your experience (see above!). I will continue to chronicle my journey with online learning and provide advice to other students who are getting used to this experience. Until then, do your best and do what you can (we all are).


By Emy Diaz ’23,  a communications student at Saint Rose

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