Beat the first-day jitters and learn how to reap the benefits of online education.

Woman working on laptop

Becoming a first-time online student is exciting. Earning a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree online can certainly provide numerous opportunities for graduates compared to those who choose not to pursue higher education. Accredited online colleges and universities are prepared to meet the needs of their students, including those who are returning to postsecondary education after balancing their personal life and career for a number of years.

Online education provides a different learning experience than attending college classes on a campus. Whether you’ve been away from the classroom for a while or this is your first online education experience, here are seven success strategies for new online students—because first days don’t have to be nerve-wracking.

Walden Offers 80+ Online Programs to Move Your Life Forward, find your program now.
  1. Check your technology requirements and connect to your classroom. Online classrooms are often open three to four days prior to the term start, so connect early to get comfortable with the new learning environment. To do this, you’ll need to make sure you review your online university’s tech requirements, which definitely includes reliable internet access as well as other programs to ensure you can write papers and experience the rich media.
  2. Acquaint yourself with the class structure. Each online course has its own structure and each faculty member has their own expectations. Explore, read announcements, and make sure you can access necessary online class components. Some online universities offer tutorials to help new students navigate the classroom, and faculty members may also post tips.
  3. Buy any required materials early. You don’t want to fall behind on your assignments, so check your syllabus to see if your online course requires a textbook or other materials and buy them before class starts. Some online universities don’t require a textbook for the first term course, but future classes likely will.
  4. Introduce yourself. Online students are encouraged to take the initiative and introduce themselves to their faculty members and classmates. Add a photo to your student profile and get acquainted with your peers. Developing relationships early can reap benefits later, including finding a study partner with whom you can discuss questions and materials. Plus, sometimes it’s nice just to chat with someone who knows exactly what you’re going through.
  5. Learn to manage your time. Start by recording important assignments in your calendar. Faculty members may not provide regular reminders, so add assignments, tests, essays, and projects to your personal calendar once you receive your syllabus. Establish a regular study time and schedule it in your calendar. You have to find time to learn as you balance life, career, family, and school.
  6. Plan to participate. There is no back row in an online classroom. It’s important to engage with your classmates and faculty because when you participate, you think more about the material and how everything connects. Put your thoughts together, jump in, and get involved.
  7. Be honest with yourself. Honest reflection is important through your entire educational journey. Earning a degree online requires discipline, especially as you work to balance your responsibilities. Continually evaluate your level of readiness by assessing your time, motivation, support, and ability to be self-sufficient. Determine if you need to make adjustments to be more successful, and work with your student support team to help you achieve your educational goals.

Above all else, as a new student who has decided to pursue an advanced degree, you should be proud of yourself. Oftentimes education is the first step to a new and exciting future.

Walden University is an accredited institution offering online bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree programs. Expand your career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.

Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.

Man sitting at latop
Whether looking for information on programs, admissions, or financial aid, we're here to help.
Whether looking for information on programs, admissions, or financial aid, we're here to help.
Talk to your personal enrollment advisor for more information today. Please use our International Form if you live outside of the U.S.
Talk to your personal enrollment advisor for more information today. Please use our Domestic Form if you live in the U.S.
*Required Field
Academic Interests
Required
Required
Contact Information
Required
Required
Invalid email address
Please provide a valid phone number
Required
Please provide a valid zipcode
Required
Additional Information
Required
Get Started

By submitting this form, I understand and agree that Walden University may contact me via email, text, telephone, and prerecorded message regarding furthering my education and that calls may be generated using automated technology. You may opt out at any time. Please view our privacy policy or contact us for more details.

Required

By checking this box, I agree that Walden University may contact me by email, text message, autodialed telephone call, and prerecorded message at the contact information provided above regarding opportunities and offers to further my education. I understand that I may withdraw my consent at any time and that my consent is not a condition of any purchase. I have received the Walden University Privacy Policy