3 tips for success when starting life as an online college student

January 18, 2022 · 3 min read · By Lauren Dohr
ASU Online student and brand ambassador Lauren shares the advice she would give her past self to aid in her college success. 

As a master’s student at ASU Online, I’ve learned quite a bit about myself, from what I’m passionate about to the goals I want to set for myself. I’ve gained a lot of perspective and learned so much since I started. But if I could go back in time and give my past self advice about my journey knowing what I know now, there are three important things I would bring up.


1. The power of connections.

Throughout college, I have discovered the benefits of networking and joining clubs and organizations to build a community. I was nervous to reach out to “strangers” and held back on meeting new people. When I finally did step out of my bubble, I made some amazing life-long connections and friends. These connections are not just for my own benefit. I want to be the person people feel safe coming to with questions, but it took me a while to realize that. Thank you OGL courses!


2. Take advantage of resources available to you. 

If I could go back, I would probably meet with my success coach more often and do a study abroad program. Now I’m planning to try to talk some friends into going out of the country with me so we can learn in an engaging environment (and enjoy some amazing food!).


3. Know what works for you.

Something I’ve learned about myself is that paperless note-taking does not work for my learning style, and that’s okay! Not every study method you see works for every person. We’re individuals, and we learn differently. I find using planners and notebooks helps me learn more easily. 

I would tell my past self that team assignments and projects aren’t as scary as I think they are, and I can make some great friends during those projects. I would advise myself that balancing parenting, work and being a student is tough but doable. I must keep a schedule and manage my time very carefully. Finding a planner or calendar app that worked for me made a huge difference. 

There may be times you have to say no to things to focus on school or family, but the result is amazing. I would also advise myself to use classwork to get out of things that I really don’t want to do in the first place, like when I wanted to avoid crowds of people and just wrap myself in a blanket like a little burrito and eat snacks, drink tea and read a good book. Saying, “Sorry, can’t go. Have homework!” is perfectly acceptable. As I continue to work on my wellbeing and saying “no,” I have given myself a chance to take a step back and avoid becoming overwhelmed. 

What advice do you have that would have benefited your past self? Make sure you always follow it and do what’s best for you. I’m cheering for you!


About the author

Lauren Dohr is a brand ambassador from south Florida. She’s pursuing a bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership and a minor in history through ASU Online. 

We're so excited to share Lauren’s story! Lauren is a part of our #learnASUlive team, an ASU Online brand ambassador program highlighting students who are earning their degrees while living their lives to the fullest. If you enjoyed this, be sure to check back for new articles from Lauren so that you can follow along with her journey. To check out all her posts to date, visit Lauren’s Instagram!

Want to hear from our other ambassadors, too? Use the #learnASUlive hashtag across your favorite social channels to browse through them!

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