Student Testimonial: How Online Courses Helped Me Stay on Track and Graduate on Time

by | Feb 22, 2019

As an incoming freshman at the University of Illinois, I had no clue what I wanted to major in. I spent my freshman year in the division of general studies trying to figure out the right fit for me. At the end of the year, I made the decision to declare as an economics major. This wasn’t an indication that I had figured it all out, but more of an attempt to try and solidify some part of my future. I was in economics for about a year before I realized that it wasn’t the right major for me. As a musician, I felt that I needed a major that would give me more of an outlet to express my creativity. I again went searching for what I thought was the right major for me. During my search, I stumbled upon advertising, and realized that it was the perfect fit. If I wanted to make the switch to advertising, it would mean prolonging the time it took for me to graduate by another year. I was torn between majoring in something I knew I would love, or possibly sacrificing my happiness to graduate on time. After talking with my academic advisor, she informed me that graduating on time could be possible with the help of some online summer and winter courses.

Over my remaining two years of school I took multiple online courses both during the semester and during the winter and summer sessions. When I first took an online course during the summer session, I thought that I would be overwhelmed trying to balance a fast pace course and a full time job. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I had time to complete my coursework, work full time, and enjoy plenty of time with my friends and family. During the winter session, my business management class was condensed into four weeks, but I never felt overwhelmed at any time and still had plenty of time to enjoy my break. Online courses during the semester helped me to fit more credit hours into my schedule while ensuring I wouldn’t spend hours in a classroom every day. I was able to add more classrooms to my semester while learning interesting material at the same time. Without online courses at Illinois, I wouldn’t be walking this spring or starting a job this fall. Without online courses, I would still be an economics major, most likely never discovering my love for the advertising industry. I encourage every student to take an online course while in college, whether it’s to help you get ahead or simply to learn more while you have the chance.