Should you switch to distance learning ?


Do you think life would be better if you didn’t go to university ? What about applying for distance courses instead ?

Six months ago, I thought it would be a good idea. University was stressful for me; waking up at 6 am, taking transports (1 hour), going to classes, eating bread, a few more classes, going home late, and sleeping at midnight.

Well…I thought…why not study from home ?

It was the default choice; I didn’t know which degree I wanted to take, so what was the point in applying for university ?

Now, I’m doing distance courses for a year. I wish I could say: Wow, studying from home really changed my life !!!  It did, in a way. But I’m not very satisfied about it.

So I decided to list some advantages and drawbacks, if you are ever thinking about studying at home:

Why distance learning might be great for you :

  • You’re unsure about your career plan: learning platforms such as Coursera or edX make it easier. Instead of having a “degree” plan, you can choose courses in which you are interested. Programming, music production, graphic design, languages…There’s a large variety of choices.
  • More time: if you’re studying from home, then you won’t need transportation. You just need a computer and internet connection. Click the video, and hop ! You’re already here.
  • More freedom: You don’t need to attend classes. No one is telling you that you have to wake up at x-hour, because y-course starts very early. You get to decide when you want to learn (at midnight? That’s fine!).
  • You hate oral/group presentations: most learning platforms may ask for assignments, but you will probably need to work alone and send your work. This quits the stress of having to talk in public.
  • You’re good at organising yourself: distance courses requires independency. Again, no one is there to tell you that you have to work.

Ok. I was really happy at first, but…strangely, I found out it wasn’t the ideal plan for me. But why ?

Why you might miss your previous university:

  • You miss people: that’s the biggest point, I think. Of course, you get to correct other students’ assignment on learning platforms. You can even talk in the forums. But I really miss being in a place with people. Physically. I miss my friends. I miss classes, even boring ones. Sometimes, there were great laughs and it was awesome. I felt included in a classroom. Or maybe it’s just nostalgia, after all.
  • Oral/group presentations: yes, as strange as it seems (and this is coming from a shy person). The more presentations you make, the easier public speaking is. I feel like I have lost that oral ability, since I’m just working from home with nothing to present.
  • Lack of organisation: it all depends on the person. Personally, I’m not very good at sticking with plans. And I discovered I was very slow…like I’m not progressing enough. As stated before, you need to be independent enough to pick distance courses. And…I think I still lacked maturity.

In the end, I won’t say I regret taking distance courses. It helped me to rethink about what I really want to do in my life. And although I don’t have the answer yet, it might be best to go on and keep learning.


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