Chapter 3: Staying in Touch with Family, Friends and Colleagues


No person is an island in the middle of the ocean. All of us are connected to other people through a network of friendships and associations. It is in the nature of people to be supportive – don’t forget your friends and family when you start to study online – they’re interested, they care, and they will provide encouragement when the chips are down. There’s nothing quite like support from other people. It feeds our pleasure sensors, we feel good about what we’re doing, and encourages us to keep on at it too. You already know the secrets of behaviour shaping, and how this process can, and will, work for you.

Family and Friends
Family and friends are among all of our most precious assets. If this is your first experience of studying online for a degree then you may not have thought through the impact that your virtual absence may have on them.

Close Family – Your nearest and dearest must remain your core interest throughout your virtual education program. While parents and siblings may understand more easily, your spouse or partner, and especially your children may find the adjustment difficult, and you need to adapt to them in this regard. Besides, the chances are that they are one of the main drivers behind your thirst for career improvement, meaning that it would be a disaster if you lost them along the way.

Thus, when you devise your study program, it is of incredibly vital importance to plan your online education degree program around core family times – that is, periods traditionally spent with the children on return from work, and taking Sunday together, for example. Small children especially need handling with kid gloves, and in their case you will have to learn to make an exception to the rule. When they need to talk to you, let them disturb you for a moment, before you send them off with a gentle daddy (or mommy) has some work to do.

People at Work – These people are also vitally important for two reasons as well. Firstly because they have a bearing on your career, and you do not need a career change while you are studying. Secondly, because they are inevitably your friends too, and will have to stand in for you when you are on study or examination leave. So, please nice to them, and when they ask you, tell them how you’re doing, in a positive way.

Friends and family will also be more than interested to know how you are getting on. In this regard, I suggest that you provide more detailed information, but also on a want-to-know basis, and on demand. Consider making available a progress schedule posted somewhere in your home where everybody can see it – displaying your progress proudly and publicly is also another way to get pleasure out of your online education degree study program.

Chapter 1: Using the Pleasure Principal to Your Advantage
Chapter 2: Thinking in Terms of Goals
Chapter 3: Staying in Touch with Family, Friends and Colleagues
Chapter 4: Creating a Special Place to Study and a Formal Study Plan
Chapter 5: Establishing a Formal Study Program and Balancing Your Time
Chapter 6: Expanding Your Capacity to Study
Chapter 7: The Final Hurdles – Spotting for Success and Examination Time