The Collegiates Guide to Passing an Online Class.

If you’re used to the typical schedule of waking up, going to class, physically turning in assignments, and being reminded of deadlines every class period, then the idea of taking an online class may be terrifying for you. Trust me when I say that online classes really aren’t as bad as everyone makes them out to be, so long as you go in with a plan and motivation. They definitely require a lot more responsibility than the traditional college class, but I truly think taking one or two is completely worth it.

Taking an online class can no doubt be super intimidating - but this guide will walk you through to help you succeed!

With that said, with the good comes the bad, so you need to make sure that you keep a few things in mind when you’re considering taking an online class. Really weigh the pros and cons before you make a decision and think about your learning style.


  • Class in my pajamas.
  • No walking through the cold to get to a boring lecture.
  • I like the freedom they offer.
  • You essentially are the teacher.
  • They aren’t as bad as everyone says, at all.


  • They are a huge adjustment.
  • You don’t have anyone reminding you of deadlines.
  • You aren’t meeting people and socializing during them.
  • You essentially are the teacher.
  • They require a ton of responsibility.

At the end of the day, being able to wake up, open my laptop, and instantly be in class while my peers are walking through the rain was enough to motivate me to sign up for a few online classes. I had two last semester, along with 4 regular classes, and I have the same arrangement this semester, too. Just because they work out fantastically for me, that doesn’t mean it will be the case for everyone.

Some qualities that you are probably going to need to succeed in online classes are:

  • Self-motivation – this was the hardest for me to master. When you are taking an online class you have class whenever you want. With that arrangement it’s easy to let deadlines sneak up on you! Don’t do that, get things done ahead of time and enjoy not being stressed.
  • Organized – this one is so important. Like I mentioned in the cons: you don’t have anyone reminding you of deadlines and you’re not making friends in that class so you are completely on your own. You need to fill out a planner or come up with some system so that you don’t forget any deadlines. The biggest downfall for students taking an online class is that they aren’t organized enough.
  • Time – If you are super busy and struggling to cram everything in as it is, the freedom that online classes offer you can work for or against you. You need to make sure that you are prioritizing your free time to finish your assignments rather than doing something unproductive.

So you’ve taken the plunge and decided to go for it! Good for you! There are a few things you should keep in mind in order to be successful in your online class.

  • You need to be incredibly proactive in order to keep on top of things. Write due dates in your planner, put alerts on your phone, and email your professor to clarify anything that you may not understand. You’re essentially on your own, so make sure you stay on top of things!
  • “Bad Internet” is not going to be an acceptable excuse for you not turning in assignments. Work far enough ahead of time that the internet going out won’t be an issue. And if you have any time sensitive assignments or online lectures, make sure that you are somewhere with a reliable internet connection.
  • Don’t rely on Google for your answers. When you have the internet at your fingertips, it’s easy to punch in the information you need, get your answer, and call it a day. By doing that you’re not going to be learning. Listen to online lectures, do your readings, and really try to absorb the information. It will serve you well during exams.
  • Don’t get lazy. Online classes can be done from the cozy comforts of your bed, and that’s absolutely fantastic! But on the flipside without the formal setting of a classroom it is also easier to blow them off and that is not something that you want to do!

Have you taken any online classes during your college career? What did you think of them and did I miss any important tips?


  • The only online class I ever took was not good and it most mostly my fault haha. I do not have the drive to learn this way, which thinking about it now is so interesting, seeing as how I’ve taught myself so much about blogging by reading and connecting with people online! crazy!

    • It definitely is a huge change! I think it helps that now when I’m on my computer my brain is automatically on ‘working mode’ given I associate my computer with blogging. So it’s easier to buckle down and get things done whereas a lot of students associate being on their computer with winding down and relaxing!

  • I took a nutrition class online over the summer once, thinking I was going to love it and it would be a breeze…I was wrong! I had so much trouble keeping up with the dates because I just wasn’t in school mode and I realized that I absorb so much information by just going to class and taking notes. I have taken a few online classes during regular school semesters, and they haven’t been as bad.

    • I haven’t taken summer classes yet, and this summer will be the first time. I’m nervous! Online AND during the summer sounds so tricky! I am glad your ones during the semester weren’t so bad!

  • Tya

    I hate online class but it is easier

  • So does 4 in person and 2 online classes mean 18 hours total? If so then I would love if you wrote a day-in-my-life or a time management post. I’ve never been bad at managing my time, but college is eye opening, haha! My high school didn’t offer duel credit, so I did a lot of online college courses outside of high school so that I could be ahead when I came to college. They definitely meant that I really had to stay on top of things and double check dates, but they worked out very well for me!

    • 16! I have a few two hour classes instead of the traditional three. And one ne of those is an online one! I have never done eighteen hours before – that seems so intense! But I really love the idea of doing a time management post, because it’s something that all college students have to get good at after a while!

      That sounds really intense! I had dual credit in high school, but my classes didn’t end up transferring over, which was a bit frustrating! It is awesome that you were able to start ahead!

  • Emily Mohler

    I loved the freedom online classes gave me, but I never could push myself to have the motivation to actually get on there and do what I was supposed to. I’ve taken a break from school for a little over a year but I’m thinking about returning this fall. I just might use some of your tips and try taking an online class again!

  • Jess

    Your tips are spot on! Thanks for sharing!! Love! I’ve also used tips from . You should definitely check it out!

  • I’ve taken online classes before and been really successful in them but next semester I’m taking Spanish online and I’m uncertain about how that might turn out. Have you ever taken a language course online?

    • Hi Madison
      How did you Spanish online class go?

      • Hey Elizabeth! It actually went very well! I stressed all semester but ended up with an A- so I was very happy with that. If you have any questions, I would be glad to chat about it! You can find my contact info on my blog 🙂

        • That’s SO awesome! This semester I am taking 5 online classes so I have to be very good with my time lol I want to create a serious for it haha

  • Elizabeth Trejo

    I’ve taken online classes as well, & this semester I will be taken 5 lol but yes I agree with every word you said. I invested in the Passion Planner and it works amazing! The planner is a biggie for me and also maybe putting a calendar reminder on your phone is also helpful!

  • Sarah

    This is my first year in university and I had to take one online course. We had assignments due every second Friday and 5 lecture videos a week so what would end up happening is that I wouldn’t watch the videos the week the assignments weren’t due and I end up having to catch the previous weeks work in order to start on the assignment. Your tips are so helpful and I’ll use them next semester.

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