For millions of Americans each year, the need to go to college is evident. Whether they are fresh out of high school or graduated from high school when their potential classmates were just born, more and more people are making the decision to go to school now more than ever before. For a lot of people, especially younger students, the want of attending a university far away from home is there simply so they can party, while for a lot of people, especially non-traditional students, staying close to home or taking classes online is needed.
This is one of those debates that will live on for ages, but what is the best environment for you, learning on campus or in front of your computer?
What are Benefits of Each?
It doesn’t matter which method you think you would prefer or what has worked for friends, there are various reasons why each might work best for others and not you.
Among the benefits of taking classes online is the ability to work at your own pace and on your own schedule. Yes, you will still have deadlines and required papers like you would with an on campus class, but you don’t have to block out those several hours each week and be forced to attend class. The only way you can pass is by logging on to the class website and completing the required work, but if you work multiple jobs and can only work on classwork during your lunch break, this helps you.
Another benefit of taking classes online, especially for non-traditional students, is the ability to further your education without having to worry about taking classes with kids half your age. While that isn’t the worst thing in the world, there are some kids who are disrespectful to older students and this would be your way to go back to school and get an education without being harassed.
Some of the benefits of taking classes on campus are getting the real college feel of attending classes, parties, and other activities, ability to discuss the topic with the class, and the ability to get immediate feedback from classmates and professors. For students who care about their progress as they attempt to learn and retain information, there is immediate gratification from hearing others agree or even disagree with you. That is something you can’t get by taking classes online.
What are Disadvantages of Each?
For those looking to venture off to school on campus, there are many disadvantages that come about. First and foremost, unless you live on campus, you will need to drive there each day. That extra gas expense can lead to having to work full time on top of a full time academic schedule, which could be too much for some to handle. On the flip side, at least when the weather is bad, you won’t need to drive to school if officials decide to cancel classes. For those students taking online classes, there is no campus for anyone to drive to, so if the weather is bad, you still need to complete your work.
Another difficulty for those taking classes on campus is the need to keep up with the class. For those who don’t learn as quickly as others, you will need to pick up the pace to keep up with the progress and that could set you back further.
The biggest disadvantage of going to school online is you won’t be able to make those same connections with your peers that you can in person. College friendships are meant to last a lifetime, but it is difficult to make those connections through email.
How to Judge What is Best For You?
When the time comes to decide what class is better for you, you need to look at yourself and your own personality. If you are an outgoing person that doesn’t have a full time job, you might as well go to school on campus and create lasting friendships. If you work 60 hours a week and aren’t as worried about making those connections, online classes are your best bet. Either decision you make, be sure you enjoy what you are doing.