What I Wish I Would Have Known Before College

There is no step by step guide to survive school while pursuing a higher education degree. Many people describe college as some of the best years of their lives. However, higher education is a dramatic lifestyle change that can be hard to adapt to for many students. As a recent graduate reflecting on my college years, there are a few things I wish I had realized before I entered college. Here are a few things I wish I would’ve known, including stress, studying and money management.

In high school I was a three sport athlete, a member of the National Honor Society, the secretary for the student council and part of many other committees. I balanced these activities very well and loved every minute of it. However, the set schedule I was used to changed when I came to college. You are in charge of managing your schedule. No one is there to guide you along. This can be a major change of pace for many people. So my tip to you is to set a schedule. Sit down and plan out your week. Designate times to do assignments, tests and to study. Stick to your routine. Your grades will thank you.

If you had poor study habits in high school, it’s time to make a change. Students are often shocked by how much effort they must put into their classes. Even though students are often told how much time and effort they will have to put into their classes, they are typically stunned when they are actually expected to do it. If you’re really struggling, reach out to your advisor for helpful tips on how to manage your course work. They may also have resources available to you to make studying easier or more enjoyable! Don’t take on more than you can handle. Some students can handle four courses at a time while others may only be able to focus on one. Wherever you fall on this spectrum, that’s okay! Progress isn’t linear. Lastly, ask friends and loved ones what worked for them or look up studying tips online. If one method fails, don’t give up! Everyone is different, you just need to find your niche.

In all honesty, college was the most stressful time of my life. When my routine was no longer existent, I found that I had to discover new ways to manage stress and anxiety. It wasn’t until my junior year that I was able to find ways to manage that stress that worked for me. I found that what worked for me didn’t necessarily work for my friends. I had always been an extremely active person, so I naturally gravitated towards fitness to take my mind off of whatever I was stressed about. Going to the gym at the end of the day helped me relax and refocus. Other stress relievers can be painting, reading a book or even just watching a movie or tv for a little while. Find a healthy coping mechanism and make sure to incorporate it into your new routine.

Last but not least, money. Money can be a huge concern while earning your degree, and managing it can be difficult. My advice would be to set a budget or allowance for yourself. You can make it weekly, bi-weekly, or even monthly. Factor in the cost of your loans, along with other expenses such as books and materials. When I made my budget, I also included money for food, extracurriculars along with how much money I would put into savings. I really stress putting money aside for savings. When my senior year rolled around, I was able to pay off my whole first semester with what money I had put aside which saved me the stress of paying more interest on my loan. Every bit counts, save what you can, when you can.

For many students, college is a whole new world and what comes along with it can be stressful and overwhelming. Finding what works for you during this time is extremely important. Sometimes, though, a little guidance can be helpful — take it from people who learned the hard way.

Defining Distance Education

Distance education needs to be clearly defined and understood for a variety of reasons. Without a clear meaning, significant discussion and analysis on pedagogy cannot occur. Furthermore, a precise meaning is important for both teachers and students when thinking about distance education and learning. Interpreting distance education and learning is made more difficult because the development of this type of education has changed quickly from first-generation correspondence education and learning to fifth-generation intelligent flexible learning. Furthermore, there are multiple published explanations. Before developing a usable meaning, it is helpful to see how distance education’s meaning has been both created and pushed up to now.

distance_educationValentine talks about distance-learning explanations by discovering colleagues’ differing views. He declares, “Greenberg (1998) describes contemporary online learning as planned teaching/learning experiences that used a wide variety of technologies to reach the student at a distance and is designed to encourage student interaction and documentation of learning.” However, Valentine’s notes that Greenberg’s meaning doesn’t address whether the student is learning asynchronously or synchronously. Valentine says that Teaster and Bliezner’s (1999) meaning makes clear that distance education and learning happens when the student is separate in space and possibilities. But the author features that technological innovation isn’t mentioned at all in Teaster and Bliezner’s meaning.

Middle States Commission on Higher Education (2009) describes online learning as “an educational process in which all or the majority of the instruction happens with the instructor and student in different locations.” In this meaning, Center States makes no mention of technological innovation or whether learning is going on asynchronously or synchronously. In evaluating Keegan’s meaning, Valentine says, “Keegan (1995) gives the most thorough meaning. He says that distance education and learning and training result from the technological separation of instructor and student, which liberates the student from the necessity of traveling to ‘a set position, at a set time, to meet a set person, in order to be trained’.” While Keegan’s meaning of online learning is indeed thorough, it is not able to determine education and learning. Learning and education do differ. Furthermore, for successful research to begin, defining online education and learning is imperative.

Combining Medicine and Humanities

You do not have to be a biology major to be a physician. Specializing in the humanities and being pre-med can be both possible and achievable. To help learners in those areas, Wake Forest has lately released the Interdisciplinary Humanities Pathway to Medicine program or IHPM that allows learners who major in the humanities guaranteed admittance to Wake Forest University of Medicine upon completing this program. Applications must involve two faculty recommendation letters and an article. A maximum of five learners will be approved by IHPM for this program at the end of their sophomore year.

Humanities-in-MedicineThe guiding committee for this program includes director of the Wake Forest students and put in interdisciplinary humanities Tom Phillips, director of the Wake Forest humanities institute Mary Foskett, director of the health professions program Pat Lord from the Reynolda Campus and Sean Ervin, Gail Cohen and David Grier (associate dean of admission) of Wake Forest University of Medicine. “The program appeared from a year-long interdisciplinary discussion that started among WFU staff and directors in the college and at the School of Medicine,” said Foskett. Medical school admissions are certainly aggressive. Wake Forest Medical School generally gets over 8,000 programs per cycle for 120 available seats. However, there is an increasing interest in expanding the higher education student body.

“When I look at somebody, I think, ‘are they going to bring something into the class that is different?’” said Grier. “With this program, you definitely bring something different into the class. This program will promote a different type of variety in instructors we do not usually get.” While humanities learners add an exclusive viewpoint to medicine, staff stress that IHPM is not the only road to an effective medical profession. “It should be highlighted that our program is one road to medicine. We’re not saying that it’s the best road,” said Foskett. The current field of medicine, however, identifies the significance of the holistic approach. “We want to move away from the mechanistic way of considering medicine,” said Ervin. “We’ve kind of lost touch with this other way of considering the person.” Faculty also highlight that this program is a mutual connection between the college student and the medical school. Thus, while the medical school will guarantee approval, there is a firm dedication expected from the student.

The Focus on Credit by Examination

credit_by_examinationToo many students are targeted on the classes they need to take. English, Psychology, Chemistry, Accounting etc. It’s simple to see why. Choose a college course book and you will see that degree programs are set out as series of classes to take. Successfully pass them all and you graduate with the degree you desired. Yet, this is actually a superficial way to look at higher education. As it turns out, credits are the real foundations of degrees, not classes.

Take a closer look at your college’s course book. What you will see is that you actually need a certain variety of credits to graduate, usually 60 for an associate degree and 120 for a bachelor’s. This is a key understanding, because once you move your focus from classes to credit, you can begin researching methods to buy them for less. The costly classes your university provides are just one way of getting those credits, even though most learners thoughtlessly believe it’s the only way.

In reality, there are three methods to generate higher education credit:

  • Classes at four year public colleges/private universities
  • Classes at community colleges
  • Credit by examination

Most students are acquainted with the first two choices. But hardly anyone knows about credit by examination and even less understand its full potential. Credit by examination represents college-level subject assessments like CLEP and DSST. With this strategy, you take a large test covering an entire subject (say, English) rather than a semester-long course. Successfully pass the examination and you get credit just as if you had taken the class. What this implies is that you can possibly cut lots of money off the price of graduating by replacing as many of these examinations for classes as your college will allow. Unfortunately, many colleges and universities have tight “residency requirements” restricting how many attributes you can get this way.

Distance Education and Getting a College Degree

The benefit of distance education programs, perhaps the biggest and the one that has the most effect on people is budget. Different people enroll in distance education programs for different reasons, but the greatest objective is the same: to generate a college degree to help enhance their personal and professional lives. And if it comes to a price tag lower than a degree in the educational setting, then who can complain? The actual training and costs for programs on the internet cannot be much less costly than conventional school applications. Although educational institutions can pay a little less for their distance education or online degree, the difference may not be important. This is especially true for educational institutions that have already recognized themselves in distance learning.

distance-educationHowever, the improving competitors between institutions and universities and colleges to entice the growing group of on the internet learners at the turn could drive the cost of web based programs down, making them even more cost-effective for learners. Learning the primary reason for studying applications online is usually less costly because they allow learners to sustain a job and go to school simultaneously. Many on the internet learners are full-time professionals with serious careers.

Juggling school with a full-time job is much easier with the online degrees and provides the versatility to study from anywhere, just adhere to the program and work at your own speed. This is a far cry from the programs normal educational setting adhere to. This on the internet programs means learners can continue to work to their full-time job and get the same wage they were before they start studying; guaranteeing that the learning they do will not cause major upheavals in their financial life. Another thing is, being employed while participating college is that you can be able to get economical aid from your company. Many companies are willing to invest in their bright and promising workers. If you are able to persuade companies that the abilities and training obtained by your degree on the internet can benefit, then they may accept to finance part or all of your education and learning.

Future of Higher and Distance Education

Just in case, just soon enough, just enough, just for me… What do these say about our degree components, the time (and resources) our learners need to finish full credentials developed in a past era and where the truth of obsolescence need different responses? These three experiences also provide some feeling of a possible upcoming gestalt of greater and online. In a course I am, I had to elaborate on the different opportunities for and difficulties in using asynchronous and synchronous technology in online situations. I also registered for the Open MOOC provided by Henry Siemens and Rory McGreal discovering the history of open knowledge. The third experience composed an involvement with a school in my home organization showing on issues about the number of our learners who do not finish a three-year bachelor’s degree in eight years’ time.

There is furthermore proof that non-academic aspects such as changes in clients’ life-worlds, institutional problems and macro-societal aspects, etc., effect more on clients’ choices to dropout or stop-out than educational aspects. The high dropout rate in distance education should therefore not be used as proof that learners studying through range and open studying are of smaller quality or have fewer prospects than learners in private colleges. Distance education and studying also draws different types of learners making any evaluation between complete prices in personal and online organizations trivial.

If we agree that most online learners take about 50 percent of the course load per season than private learners, it seems affordable that online learners finish a three-year bachelor’s degree program in six years. If we consider that learners do not complete all of their programs in time and may repeat programs, then eight years for a three-year undergrad certification does not seem to be irrational. How does this describe the 40% dropout and 30% that take more a chance to finish? It doesn’t…

Advanced Placement Courses

One of the top topics on the thoughts of juniors and seniors as well are the popular Advanced Placement Courses. Advanced Placement Courses are college-level programs offered in secondary school. AP programs indicate what trained preliminary college programs are. These are available for the benefit of the best and smartest juniors and seniors who wish to ease up the stress of further education by removing some of the classes that otherwise they would be doing in college.  It allows learners to complete their daily activities with more complex programs when they get to the school as well.

The Advanced Placement Courses have consistent higher education testing and AP Examinations that will give them credit for the course on their college programs and cover letters and resumes.  Students who do well on AP Examinations can earn credit and/or placement into advanced programs in college. Not only are AP Sessions great for learners attempting to do well in higher education, they can also spend less by reducing quantity of courses learners who have attended AP applications actually take during the course of their college years. Although the attractive thought of taking less higher education courses for less cash is a very attractive idea.  The work that it requires to get into training alone is enough to have second thoughts.

AP Sessions are very essential if one desires to be effective in an aggressive profession.  The more experience you have or programs you take will help figure out how further education goes for an individual. Besides the benefits that one profits educationally during contribution in AP programs, there are also public and psychological benefits a person can obtain. Learners create assurance, by getting the feel of higher education level classes they are more ready to deal with what is ahead as they go to their chosen colleges.