Higher education and long distance learning - how do you do it?

(13 Posts)
suitsyousir79 Mon 07-Mar-16 17:42:41

I am studying for a work related degree via distance learning. I have a full time job and am the main earner as my DP works part time.

The studying only has deadlines for the return of two essays every 2-3 months and the reading/studying for this is done at the students own pace as long as the essays are returned on time.

My last two essays were late but passed the module and it looks like my current two essays (due this week) are also going to be late.

The plan was that I would spend an hour or two studying late at night (I am a night owl and DP tends to go to bed between 10-11 most nights). I am struggling to do this as I just dont feel like studying that late at night, but when I plan to spend any weekend or earlier evening time to studying, life seems to get in the way.

Does anyone have any hints and tips on how I can get myself motivated to studying and get my work done without what seems to be a mad last week, trying to fit everything in.

Im only in the first year and know is going to get worse. I am thinking of not enrollng for the rest of the course as I just cannot imagine having to fit in even more work.

Thanks in advance.

Headofthehive55 Mon 07-Mar-16 18:56:52

I think it's something you just get used to. I studied in the evening but also early mornings. I think the secret is to do little and often, bite size chunks. I had a box at the side of the settee that I would put my work into and get ready the next task for me to begin at the end of the evening so it was easy to start. Could you stay at work for half an hour and do it there?

suitsyousir79 Mon 07-Mar-16 19:16:38

I work from home and its all internet based. Massive online reading list. I found the main trouble i have is the essays themselves. Im rubbish with essay plans, and find it difficult to stop/start them. I eel like i need to get it all out of my head and onto paper in one go, or else it seems disjointed and doesnt make sense.

Headofthehive55 Mon 07-Mar-16 22:21:06

Think of your essay in terms of chapters write a chapter each night. Could you do a mind map in one go and write a branch each night?

suitsyousir79 Mon 07-Mar-16 23:42:37

I could try it. Ive never done a mind map before. Is it similar in layout to a spider diagram?

slightlyglitterbrained Tue 08-Mar-16 00:04:00

The approach I've taken before (and I hate writing, absolutely dread essays) is to keep gathering little snippets as I go through the reading - good quotes, comments that spring to mind when reading. Maybe the occasional paragraph explaining an idea. (Mindmapping might work but if you find yourself dithering too much about where to put stuff just chuck it in one big text file, as where it fits or even if it fits will become a lot easier to decide later).

The point being to keep the essay "simmering" at the back of your mind, gathering more momentum with time. Especially if you haven't got much study time, and it's broken up, that gives you small bits you can get done that will stick around in your head so that your subconscious keeps working on it. (Being lazy I like this idea.)

If I've actually done this, then the essay comes together a lot more easily. Still hate writing, but it makes it doable grin

suitsyousir79 Tue 08-Mar-16 00:32:39

Ok that makes sense and sounds like a good idea. Ill try that with my next module. Thank you.

Headofthehive55 Tue 08-Mar-16 08:05:00

Yes just a big sheet of paper stick post it notes on it, lines to connect ideas, i.e. Quote and explanation, your thoughts, like a mind dump, so you aren't trying to hold it in your head. Even pages of a book paragraphs you think are useful just write po32-40 etc

suitsyousir79 Tue 08-Mar-16 11:09:24

Ok cool. Thank you very much.

jennykay Fri 25-Mar-16 08:45:33

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

titchy Fri 25-Mar-16 10:36:18

Yeah that's called cheating Jenny. Very much frowned upon in the UK.hmm

chemenger Fri 25-Mar-16 19:55:45

Jenny always has a 'useful' link, whether it is to a cheats essay writing service (don't use this op, if you get caught the consequences could be serious) or handy babysitting services. In fact she only posts dubious links, usually long after the thread has died a natural death.

Lessie Fri 08-Apr-16 05:14:28

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

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