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What It Is Like Being A Distance Education Student and How You Can Be One Too

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at York U chapter.

I, and many other people, have always been told to graduate school, get a job and start a family. That is the way most people live their lives. But what if there is something else out there, what if there is a whole experience that people miss in between? News flash, there is!


Currently, traveling is seen as a goal in the distance for many students. Something everyone wants to do but not everybody, especially university students, seems to have the time and/or money for. I thought this myself as well, until I became a prime example of the unthinkable, which is the best of both worlds: traveling and getting a degree that will make your parents happy. I can’t even explain to you how many times I almost dropped out because I hated sitting in a tiny dorm room, with a little desk lamp and looking out the window that overlooked a suburban city. Or how many times I searched discount flight websites and hostel openings around the world. Then one day I was searching the web, probably at a time where I should have been studying for midterms. And there it was, gold and shiny and just within my reach. An opening to a job in Banff National Park. Before I knew it, I hit apply and my application was sent.


A month later I got an email, then a phone call. I got the job and without even realizing, I had also accepted it. It was one of the easiest processes I had ever gone through. However, it was the time when I had to figure out how I was even going to follow up with what I had done and still get my degree. That’s when I found out about e-Learning and the solution to follow the path my heart wanted.




Most universities, including York University, offer distance education or e-Learning programs. This allows students to study while they live abroad or out of province without getting behind with their degree. However, there are a few catches with one of them being that not all programs are eligible, such as art majors requiring attendance. The second catch is that they don’t carry all the courses you need for an entire degree online. There are still some courses you can only take in class so it is better if you get those out of the way first. To be successful, it is best if you are comfortable taking the time to teach yourself and are dedicated and responsible enough to get your work done even though there are many distractions.

Distance education is one of the best things I have ever done and I highly recommend it. However, with the highs, there are the lows which can be major stressors, such as keeping a full-time or part-time job, rent, bills and pretty much all the stuff that comes with being a full- functioning adult while you are still a low-functioning student that lives off of caffeine. So, if you decide to give this a try, I wish you the best of luck. Until next time, keep your heads high and your wine glasses full.



Wilfrid Laurier University Alumna - BA Honours History & Minor in Sociology and Religion and Culture. York University B.Ed. Her Campus York U Campus Correspondent/ HSA Advisor/ Chapter Advisor.  When I'm not leading the team, advising, or writing you'll find me watching any and every reality T.V show or re-runs of Friends and Gilmore Girls. Semi-classy wine lady who thinks pineapple on pizza is a crime.