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The following student blog was created by online MSc in Psychology student Plamena Ivanova.

As a student on the MSc in Psychology from the University of Liverpool Online, I can safely say that the three Cs of online study have helped me immensely during this invaluable academic adventure.

When you’re trying to balance personal and family health, work and home responsibilities, as well as your studies, care, consideration, and control are the perfect way to get (and keep on) going throughout your journey.

1. Care

I’ve found that caring for myself as much as others has been vital for maintaining momentum, not getting stressed out, and producing my most successful work. Being comfortable is key. Whether on a hot summer’s day or a cold winter’s night, a cup of tea and the right chair (or bed!) were my only necessities to block out other distractions and focus on my studies.

This helped to build both personal and professional skills, such as relaxing my body and mind to allow for deeper concentration, determination and reflection, which also helped to develop my writing and communication abilities.

2. Consideration

Remembering to consider all the details involved can help make studying online a little easier. Things like checking invoice statuses regularly, registering for modules and ordering textbooks on time can sometimes raise questions or uncertainties. But resolving these early can often prevent later complications, thanks to the excellent student and technical support that’s available.

Don’t overlook study content, though. Answering and asking questions as analytically and accurately as possible will help to clarify the content and create a momentum which can be easily managed with just a little time and patience. Ticking off the “to do’s’” on my list made a big difference for me, as it meant I could focus on my studies and not worry about the administrative details.

3. Control

Control has been the core ingredient for the overall success of my online learning experience. It helps that payment options and scheduling are flexible, but to maintain smooth progress through your programme, time management skills are also crucial. Balancing all aspects of life, including family, work and time for yourself, requires flexibility. That’s why planning ahead is so beneficial – forewarned is forearmed.

Each week I allocated a certain amount of time to researching, drafting and writing a weekly assignment, while still making time for the discussion question and the follow-up posts during the classroom discussion. That control really helped me to manage my workload, ensuring my work was completed and submitted on time.

So, you can see that with care, consideration and control, finding a personal sense of balance can go a long way academically, personally and professionally.

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