Going to college can be one of the most rewarding and enriching experiences of your life. It’s a time of self-discovery, socialization, and learning that can prepare you for the job market and adulthood.
And while many colleges have been around for more than a century, there’s no doubt that there’s been a lot of change along the way as far as what a typical education looks like.
There’s so much technology involved in learning for modern college students and so many choices in terms of how you want to go about achieving your credits. Before the internet, it was pretty simple for college students.
You bought your books, went to lectures, wrote your papers with a pen, repeat.
Things have changed drastically in current times. Not only do you use a computer to complete your assignments, but you can complete your entire degree without ever setting foot on a college campus. Keep reading to see what life is like now for a modern college student.
What Are Some of Your Choices?
As mentioned above, you used to have to physically be at a college campus to earn your degree. You can still do that of course, and many students do. But now you have multiple options to decide how you want to go about getting your higher education.
Here are a few choices for today’s learners.
On-Campus Degree: Earning your degree on-campus is still a popular choice for many as it involves the social aspect of college. While there is still plenty of technology used, an on-campus choice provides that sense of community that many still desire.
Online Degree: Thanks to the internet, you can now complete an entire four-year degree from the comfort of your own home. People choose this option for a variety of reasons. Some prefer to work while taking courses in their spare time.
Others are busy with kids and decide to work towards their degree at night when they have the time. And others yet just have no interest in going to school on a college campus.
Blended Degree: Many colleges and universities these days offer a hybrid model of an education where you can get the best of both worlds. This can be great for those that have jobs because they can complete courses online after work and on weekends while still keeping their day jobs.
Usually once or twice, the college will have an on-campus portion that will require students to attend for a short period of time (usually under a month).
Tools for the Modern College Student
It’s hard to argue that there’s ever been a better time to learn as a student.
There are so many resources like LiberalArtsEdu.org available to learners that just didn’t exist over the past few decades. Gone are pocket calculators, heavy encyclopedias, and hours spent flipping through pages of a textbook trying to find a particular piece of information.
Nowadays, students have all the information they need at their fingertips. A click of a button or a quick Google search can provide you with information that would have taken hours to find before the internet existed.
Students are also able to quickly submit assignments online rather than dropping them off at their instructors’ desks.
And likewise, instructors can provide a quick turnaround when it comes to marking assignments. The internet has also provided dedicated portals where students can interact with other students in their class, as well as interact with their instructors or professors.
There are apps for almost everything these days, and with most disciplines, you’ll be able to find a variety of apps that will enhance your learning. Whether that be a language app like Spanish or a history app that provides you with all the historical data you need in one convenient place.
Learning Tips for the Modern Student
All of the technology that we talked about above can no doubt be fantastic when it comes to helping you with a college education.
But it’s not without its downfalls. The same technology that can help you become smarter and earn your degree faster can also distract you and cause hours of lost time thanks to incessant scrolling, texting, photo sharing, etc.
It’s crucial for students to find a happy medium when accessing apps and the internet in order to stay focused on their goals. With so many distractions out there, if you don’t have a plan of action, it can be quite easy to fall into the trap of letting technology dictate your life.
With a little discipline and a game plan, you can make technology work for you rather than against you. Here are some tips to keep in mind to help keep you on track.
Track your time spent online – Most smartphones will allow you to see how much time you are spending on certain apps. By seeing where you might be spending too much time, you can come up with a plan to cut back and be more productive.
Eliminate screentime before bed – Studies show that you get much better sleep if you eliminate screentime a couple of hours before bed. Sleep is incredibly important when it comes to learning and retaining information, so making sure you get a good night’s rest is paramount.
Designate time for social media – It’s easy to get wrapped up in social media – especially for younger students. Not only can this be bad for mental health, but it can waste hours of your day.
It’s a good idea to allow a certain amount of time per day where you can enjoy social media responsibly. You can even use this as a reward system. Once you’ve completed something productive, allow yourself five or ten minutes of scrolling.
The Modern College Student Comes in Many Shapes and Sizes
As you can see, there is no one size fits for the modern college student. There have been significant changes to the educational landscape over recent decades, and there has never been more flexibility for those looking for higher education.
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