Loneliness of a Long-Distance LearnerDecember 14, 2015

You might have read about the latest trend in Great Britain, where more students spend less time in the university. These are Ph. D. students, who have a family and career. It can also be B. A. (or B. S.) majors. It means more time on studying, which spells isolation. If you happen to be one of them, then there's no need to groan. Sacrifices must be made, which will be worth it. It doesn't mean your folks will finance your holiday, but it might happen to you. Think of it as a reward for a job well done.

How do you deal with long-distance learning? Admit that you're part of this lonely group. There are days when you wish your coursemates are encouraging you, only to turn green with envy. (You don't have a social life.) But there's a way if you want it. (And if you don't, then you can think of a reason or two.) Here are some things to keep in mind:

You win some, you lose some. Many students choose to live near the university, as they don't want to miss out on partying. They want to have a good time, but this can be a good opportunity to find new mates. And this is an opportunity on establishing lifelong friendship. If you live from a distance, then you won't have many chances (on getting invitation). It's better than none at all, though. Plan your schedule ahead, making sure it won't affect your concentration (on lectures) the following day and the rest of the week. Nothing wrong about indulging in alcohol, as long as you'll make it back in one piece. Don't expect your mates to carry you, as they might prefer to have fun until the wee hours of the morning.

Social media will assist you. There are moments when you must ask questions, but your mates are nowhere to be seen. Why not send a text message? If you're online, then compose an e-mail. You wish they're around at that moment, but social media is close.

Don't be discouraged by setbacks. You're on your own, and there will be instances when the coursework will overwhelm you. Don't let it get into you, don't take it seriously. If you have a part-time job, then think how this set-up can help you become a little bit richer than the others. Your parents insist on bringing you food, but you refuse it. This is the first step to freedom, which you've been dreaming for years. This is also the moment when peer pressure rears its ugly head, as some mates will tell you to forget the coursework and join them. And then you'll find out that it will take an hour to reach the next town. (You have a short memory span.) Focus on your assignments, and believe you'll get it done sooner than you think.

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