Today, what I want to address are the top 5 best things you get to experience with an online education. Before I give you that list, I do have to give you this disclaimer – I, myself, am not a student within online higher education. I work in the field, which gives me some insight, but I am still an outside observer. You may or may not agree with my top 5 list, but hopefully it’s at least fairly true to the online higher education experience!

These are in no particular order, and I should also warn you that this is very lighthearted and not at all too serious – in honor of it being the first Friday of fall!

  1. You get to wear pajamas to class! There are definitely pros and cons to going to school online (as there are with any big decision and experience), and this has to be one of the best pros. Now, I know that some traditional college students show up to in-person classes in pajamas and sweatpants, but I have never been on board with that concept. I believe that pajamas and sweatpants don’t belong in public (leggings are not sweatpants in this case, but only when worn appropriately!). So being able to go to class in your PJs, with no judgement and even with slippers on too, is a great perk of online higher education.

  2. You get to make new back-to-school traditions! Instead of buying plaid skirts and sweaters with elbow pads (unless, of course, you want to) and stocking up on pens and notebooks, you get to come up with new back-to-school routines. Perhaps your back-to-school is every 10 weeks, when a new term starts, and it involves you downloading new computer programs or e-books to your e-book reader while playing a song that inspires you. Or maybe it’s the time that you spend arranging your calendar for the next term, and deciding when your time for schoolwork will fit each week, using fun colors to prioritize and organize your days. Whatever you do, I encourage you to make it into a fun routine or tradition. Do something that makes you happy, proud, and excited for school to start again!

  3. You don’t have to live the dorms! Again, there are pros and cons with dorm-living – especially when you’re in your late teens and early twenties. However, I can’t imagine that the prospect of sharing a room with a stranger or even a close friend is all that appealing to anyone. Sure, sharing an apartment with a friend or new roommate can be fun and exciting. But actually living in the same tiny space, with very very little privacy? That’s not something anyone wants to be doing. So rejoice in the fact that you don’t have to suffer through that experience in order to go to college!

  4. You get to make new friends without the awkward meet-and-greets! Online higher education comes with the perk of friendship over social media. Instead of dressing up and making an effort to go meet new people or connect with newer friends over dinner or coffee or a drink, you can send messages and emails to the people in your classes and in your student organizations, and make meaningful relationships all the same! You still have to get out of your comfort zone a little to initiate those communications, but at least you don’t have put on makeup – or even pants – to do so.

  5. You can eat food in class without annoying your classmates! This is directly relates to an email that recently went viral, from a law student to his snacking classmates. I’m not sure this is the typical reaction to students eating during a college class, or that all too many students actually eat in class – but it’s amusing nonetheless. However, you don’t ever have to worry about this! You can eat your tuna salad sandwiches and crunchy apples and jalapeno potato chips (Side note: I personally cannot STAND the smell of those chips!) whenever you want. If you get hungry, you don’t have to suffer the awkwardness of a rumbling stomach – and if you have one, you also don’t have to worry about who else can hear it. So go have your cake and eat it too!

Happy Friday everyone, and I hope you get to enjoy some of the top 5 reasons you love your online education this weekend and in the following weeks!