Surviving Distance Study

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By Erika Johnstone
Degree: Bachelor of Communication
Campus: Distance/Online

When going to classes each day and having to stick to a strict schedule became too much to deal with due to an anxiety disorder, I thought my university life was over. I was devastated when I had to leave university after my first year, as getting a degree has been a goal of mine ever since I was little. Having to drop out was extremely disappointing. I spent a year working for my dad, not doing much and I felt dissatisfied with my life. I love learning, and always have. I felt like I needed to be learning, using my time to grow and develop opportunities for the future.

Then my Mum suggested giving distance studying a go. I was doubtful I would manage considering my past experiences with university, however I’m 2 semesters in and loving it. Studying by distance has given me the flexibility a campus degree doesn’t. Days when things are a bit much, or if i’m feeling overwhelmed I can afford to take a break and come back to the work when it feels a bit more manageable. For the most part I can work to my own schedule, and the best part is I can view lectures in my pajamas from the comfort of home!

Although it can be difficult to stay on track, if you’re motivated and put in the work distance learning is a great option. There is plenty of support available and lecturers are quick to respond to emails. Sitting exams were a breeze as well, as you can select where you want to sit them in the location that suits you.

Even though you aren’t turning up to class a couple times a week with other students, it’s easy enough to get to know people online as there are forums people participate in and I’ve already made a few friends myself. It’s great knowing you’re not alone in studying via distance, and Massey really helps to make you feel every part the student as everyone else attending university.

Distance learning isn’t something I had originally considered for myself, but it’s a great option for people with disabilities, families, or jobs, and really makes achieving goals that much easier without having to commit to a specific time each day. So far studying by distance has been exactly what I needed and has given me the confidence to take on more papers and help me work towards achieving my goal. Now the first thing I do in the morning is tune into a lecture with some breakfast. I love being able to learn from home, and have time in between to do other things life calls for.

Although it’s not easy, if you put in the work and have the motivation to keep on track, distance learning is extremely rewarding and I would recommend it to anyone!

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