My name is Jeremy Carden, and I am a student at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va. When it came to deciding why I should become a traditional student instead of an online one, the answer was simple: I could experience more things and meet new people if I moved to a college campus. There were many things I had to adjust to while making the transition between being an online student to becoming a residential student, but the end result was worth it.
Here are 5 helpful tips for students making that transition:
1. Make sure you keep in contact with your academic adviser and set your course schedule wisely. Being on campus means you can visit your adviser’s office for face-to-face meetings to see firsthand whether or not you are on the right track as opposed to over-the-phone or email conversations.
2. There is nothing wrong with taking online courses while on campus. It helps you keep a sense of independence while also helping you finish a course much faster. Sometimes you cannot afford to take five residential classes due to time being split between a job, friends, and doing homework for other classes. Most online courses are only 8 weeks long as opposed to 16 weeks like a residential course.
3. Homesickness does occur, but become involved in campus activities (join a club or play sports) to keep yourself occupied. My first few days on campus made me yearn to go back home because I was used to having my own room and being in familiar surroundings. However, the more activities I participated in, the less I felt homesick.
4. You are no longer on your own schedule because residential classes start at specific times, not like an online course when you can do the work as you please. Make sure you adjust to this quickly as deadlines are sooner than they are for online courses, and some residential classes begin at 7 a.m. and others at 4 p.m.
5. Get used to interacting with different people because most college campuses are like a “melting pot” of nationalities as well as personalities. You will meet a lot of people from different countries exposing you to multiple cultures that you would not be able to experience on a computer as an online student.
Online classes are similar to traditional ones in that the professors are very helpful and responsive to any emails that you send them. Book prices are generally the same and you can interact with students in either style of learning. Taking courses online prepared me to be independent, but not so much that I would not be willing to ask for help. They also taught me the importance of being in a classroom because that environment is more fulfilling in terms of helping me become more of a people person. So, all things considered, being a traditional student can do things for you that being an online student cannot.
My name is Jeremy Carden from Clover, Va. I graduated from Liberty University in 2013 with a Bachelor’s of Science in communications, advertising, and public Relations, Associate of Arts in religion and a minor of biblical studies. In the fall of 2009, I began as an online student at Liberty and then in the spring of 2010 I became a residential student. As of right now, I’m applying for graduate school at Liberty as well to study theological studies along with a graduate certificate in communications, business and human resources. Some of my hobbies include: reading, video games, writing, doing voiceover work, public speaking, and listening to music. My dream job is to become a professional songwriter.