Online Course Survival Guide

By Shaina Verma on August 6, 2017

Hey there, college student! So you thought you could handle an internship and an online course at the same time, only to find out it was a tad more difficult than you initially thought?

Well, you can, it just requires a bit more planning and commitment than initially thought. Follow these steps to make sure you keep up with both while managing to sleep and (hopefully) work out. Friends optional.

1. Create a strict timetable — and stick to it

I know it’s hard to sit down and start studying after you get back from a long day at your internship, but you’ll find it a lot easier to keep up with the increasing course load if you don’t fall behind. Set aside a manageable chunk of time each day to sit down and knock out some work — honestly, once you do, you get sucked in and it’s almost, dare I say it, fun? Otherwise, you risk being as “heckin bamboozled” as a corgi in a cool doggo meme. (Which one, you say? Any of them.)

2. Use ALL the resources

Depending on the type of course, you could have everything from an FAQ page to multiple TA’s to help you with your progress. You will almost certainly have a group of fellow students who have banded together to better understand the material, whether on a class-specific Piazza or through a homemade shared Google Doc.

Of course, the basis of your learning will come from the assigned texts or videos, but two heads are better than one, and a many-headed internet blob of knowledge is immeasurably helpful when you have an hour before the next assignment is due.

3. Keep it in perspective

Do your best, but don’t beat yourself up if you’re late handing in a project once. Make use of the allotted extension time — professors do understand that you occasionally get sick or need to prioritize other things. On the flip side, it can be easy to think of an online class as ‘not real,’ and thus avoid putting in the requisite work.

However, remember that you’re taking this class for a reason, and the only person who loses out if you don’t study and make the most of it is you.


Remember to reward yourself for your hard work! You’re kicking ass by taking an online course, improving your skill set, and learning something new, so the occasional gelato wouldn’t be amiss.

To everyone taking an online class right now: good luck, you’ve got this, and enjoy the painful joy of handing in an assignment at 11:58 p.m. every week (two whole minutes early!).

To everyone who hasn’t, I recommend you try this unique form of voluntary torture so you can add 30 characters to your resume while harkening back to the good ole, academically heart-stopping days of the college semester. While educating yourself, of course.

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