Studying online tips: 5 great ideas from a working mum

Miriam Randall has a lot going on. Two kids, both under five. Part-time work. And also the not inconsiderable matter of studying for a Bachelor of Psychology1 online with Charles Sturt. So she knows a thing or two about time management, maintaining a good work-study-life balance, and getting the most out of her uni experience. Here Miriam shares some of her top studying online tips to help you do the same.

Ink it in

“Being organised is key to success. For me, I like to write everything down, have everything in a calendar on my phone and on paper. I like to have it in two places, just in case. Part of time management is making sure you are across what is coming up so you can prepare. Moreover, that preparation has been key to helping me achieve the higher grades I need to be considered for a master’s degree.”

Make time for me, myself and I

“Scheduling time just for me. It has been so important in terms of giving myself time to just relax and get myself ready for the next week. I have self-care embedded in my schedules (and, after all, studying psychology, we learn all about how important it is!). Whether its reading a book for pleasure, having a bath, spending time with friends – I know I function better when I have some time to recharge and get out of the study head space. Oh, and prioritising sleep has also been super important.”

Ask the question

“I also make sure I’m utilising whatever government support is available for my children, like being able to get them into day care. I think it’s all about just asking the question. Talking to people and saying ‘This is my situation; what help can I get?’ A lot of the time if we don’t ask we just don’t know. There are lots of grants out there to help people studying. The government seems keen to help mature-age students, especially at a tertiary level, so that you can do it – and keep the rest of your life running on track.”

Take your time

“If you’re wondering whether you can take on study on top of everything else, remember that you don’t have to go into a full-on session straight away. You can choose to do just one subject to start. Or two. You don’t have to do the full four. You’re not locked into a certain schedule. It all depends on how much time you have available; you can extend things to make your degree work for you. “

Get feedback – before you get feedback

“So, another tip I would give is to use Studiosity. It’s a free service paid for by the uni that provides feedback on your assessments. You submit your assessment and it can be turned around in just a few hours, to give detailed feedback. It’s not a service to rewrite or change the content; it’s there to help you get your ideas across better. Which is what uni is all about.”

Need some more studying online tips?

We’ve got lots of resources to get you in the picture of what online study is like – from tips, tricks and personal stories, to our online study hub all about courses and support.

Want to get the lowdown offline? Download our online study guide.

And you can also chat to our team of uni advisers. They’ll be able to fill you in on what online study at Charles Sturt is like, the support and services you’ll have at the click of a mouse to help you through, and how your course can flex to fit around your life.

1CRICOS: 025518G