Tag Archives: online college

Top 6 Things I Learned at SNHU

6 Things That I Learned at SNHU

 As I approach the end of my time at Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU), I would like to share the top eleven things that I have learned. (Note: These eleven things are not in any particular order).

1. Time Management

Since I take online classes at a brick-and-mortar college, 95 percent of my education is dependent upon me and how well I can get my work down on time. Like most online students, I have extremely busy with work, personal life and school. This means that I have had to learn how to prioritize and plan. I have to plan my work in advance. I have to take it one assignment or task at a time. Once one task is done, then I can move on to the next. This is the key to managing my stress level. I’m glad that I have had to learn how to manage my time because this will be extremely important post-graduation.

2. Teamwork

Taking online classes at a traditional brick-and-mortar school, it may seem as if I don’t have many opportunities for collaboration. Not true! In my Writing for Public Relations class this term, my professor divided the class up into two groups. I am a member of group A. Every week, we work on a different project together using a Wiki platform. One week, we created a flier for an organization. Another week, we wrote news leads. It is an interesting experience as we all learn to set aside our differences and work together to create a project. It has helped to bring new ideas that I alone would not have thought of.

3. Leadership

Teamwork is tied closely with leadership. Teamwork cannot happen without leadership, and vice versa. On SNHU’s social media site, I am one of the Peer Leaders. I motivate new students by giving advice and sharing personal stories. I learned that being a leader is not about giving orders. It is about setting an example, accepting and receiving feedback, and working as part of a team. It is about motivating others and holding others accountable. Leaders are the first people to get up and do something. They set the bar high and expect others to follow.

4. Motivation

I have to stay motivated at SNHU to succeed. Since I don’t have to attend class three or four days a week, it is up to me to make sure that I know what the assignments are and when they are due. It is up to me to make sure that I do these assignments. For me, motivation comes in the form of my impending graduation. I have three classes left, after this one, and then I am done. When I am that close, that’s even more reason to keep going. Another way that I get motivated is (call me crazy) is by watching SNHU commercials. Those commercials are really entertaining.

5. Networking

Since starting at SNHU, I have tried to cultivate my online presence by polishing up my personal brand. I have a LinkedIn profile, which I use to connect with fellow SNHU students and alumni, as well as connecting with people in my chosen field. I also have a Twitter account for networking and promoting this blog. Networking is about making friends, connecting with industry experts, and putting myself out there. I communicate until I get heard loud and clear. I make a name for myself so that I am not just some random person out of a million with a Facebook page.

6. KISS

Chances are, you are familiar with this acronym. KISS stands for Keep It Simple, Silly. As a Communications major, I do a lot of writing for my classes. I write news releases and articles. I create brochures and write memos. In each of these assignments, I am realizing the value of using short sentences and common words. I have to write to be understood and not just to impress.

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Being Comfortable Being Uncomfortable

A very wise person once told me that I need to be comfortable being uncomfortable. I did not understand what he meant then.

But eventually, it hit me. It means that I need to take risks. I need to be comfortable doing things that I don’t like to do out of fear or some other reason. I need to put myself out there.

Doing the same things over and over again in a very repetitious manner can be boring. But it can also be comfortable. We like things that are safe. Being safe ensures survival. But when we constantly are engaging in safe things, then there is no opportunity for growth.

Recently, I hosted a Google Hangout with some of my friends at my school. As you may already know, I attend college online. One thing that I’ve been missing is the face-to-face interactions that are the norm at traditional colleges. Now, the Google Hangout was a very casual exchange. It was equivalent to a group of friends meeting in the dining hall for lunch on campus.

But I’m not going to lie. I was pretty terrified prior to the meeting. I have a fear of public speaking, and it seems to increase in an online environment.

But instead of letting this fear define me or hold me back, I confronted it head on. I hosted a Google Hangout meeting because I wanted to get comfortable with video conferencing.

I’m not going to say that I’m a pro at video conferencing now. I would need more exposure before I’m really truly comfortable. But it was a start. And I felt proud of myself for taking this risk and confronting my fear.

4 Benefits of Online Education

For today’s post, I’d like to discuss the benefits of online education. As a disclaimer, I’d like to point out that I am not an expert on online education. I am, however, a student who has been attending online classes for one year, since January 2014.

When I first decided to go back to school — online, if you will — I was nervous, apprehensive, scared, intimidated. I was all of those adjectives rolled into one — and more! My academic advisor at the time went over the platform that the University uses, advised me to only take one class my first term, and made sure that I had dotted all my i’s and crossed all my t’s. In short, I really appreciated her taking the time to acclimate me to the online learning environment. It wasn’t my first time at college but it was my first time doing it online.

After the first few weeks, I adapted. I flourished. I enjoyed it. I had fun. I learned a lot. And continued to do so.

One thing that I loved was that I could work at my own pace. I could study at any time of the day — night or morning. I could work ahead, if I wanted to. Or I could stay with the class and take it week by week. It was my choice. But I relished that freedom.

Second, I loved that I could continue working while going to school. I could gain experience in and out of the virtual classroom. It also gave me an excuse to use what I learned outside of the classroom.

Third, I can work from home. I don’t have to worry about paying room & board. I can cut costs and reduce the amount in student loans that I take out.

And finally, I enjoy attending school with people of different ages, life experiences, and cultural backgrounds. In my classes, I am not only learning from my professors, but the students as well. We are all learning from each other. And collaborative learning is a skill that is used in the workplace.

To recap:

Benefits

  • Work at your own pace.
  • Real world experience while taking classes.
  • Save money on residency / meal plans.
  • Collaborative learning

So, what do you think? Comment below and tell me what you think about online education!