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How to build a support network when studying from home

Posted on 28/09/2016 by
We know that students who are supported by family and friends are more likely to do well - so get them on board early!

We know that students who are supported by family and friends are more likely to do well – so get them on board early!

Welcome to Part 4 of our six-part series ‘Becoming a Successful Distance Learner’. Every week, we share one practical tip to help you excel at your studies. If you’re new to the series, be sure to check out Part 1: How to Get Organised, and Part 2: How to Improve your Reading and Writing Skills, and Part 3: How to be a Great Communicator.

Becoming a successful distance learner is often a team effort – the road to success is rarely travelled alone. Behind every ITC graduate, there is a supportive friend, family member, tutor or mentor.

We recommend that you enlist the help of your friends and family throughout your studies. While they can’t write your assignments for you, they can help you manage your time and cheer you on from the sidelines.

So how can you go about building a support network?

The first thing to do is to inform your close friends and family of your intention to study from home (or, if you’re already studying, to keep them updated about your progress). Tell them your reasons for studying and let them know that you might be busier than usual throughout the duration of your qualification. Also tell them your career goals and what you’ll do with the qualification once you graduate.

Telling your friends and family will help them feel involved in your decision, and they might even offer to help! For example, they might offer to babysit the kids one day a week or take on some extra chores around the house.

If they don’t offer, and you feel like you could use some extra support, try asking – they probably didn’t realise you needed help, and will be more than willing to lend a hand. The most helpful thing they can do is give you time and space to focus on your studies, especially when you’re working on an assessment or preparing for a telephone role-play.

That said, no matter how supportive your friends and family are, if they have never studied from home then they probably won’t “get it”. Sometimes the best support comes from your fellow classmates. Connect with people taking the same course as you online through the Moodle forums or ask your tutor to pair you up with someone in your course. Two minds often make better than one.

If all else fails, you can always rely on the tutors for support. Whether you need some extra guidance about an assignment, or just want someone to cheer you on, the tutors are there to help you succeed.

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