College In-Person vs. Online

It has been over a month now since my college classes have been moved entirely online. While I have taken online classes before, I have never taken all my classes in one semester online. Instead, usually I’ll take like four in-person and one or two online. But since we’ve all been thrown into this situation which we can’t control, I figure it’s best to make the most of it.

I’m no expect on online classes, and I’ve seen a lot of advice videos giving tips to take classes online. I’m not doing that. Instead, I’m going to look at some of the pros and cons I’ve noticed when it comes to in-person classes vs. online.



  • There is more accountability, as you get to know the teacher in class and the other students can be great motivators.
  • You can more easily ask teachers questions in class, which often helps all the students, not just you.
  • You do get your exercise in, especially if you go to school on a bigger campus. Lots of walking even if you’re too busy to go to the gym.
  • You make more connections, getting to know teachers who might end up giving you a resume recommendations or important future advice. You also meet more people who might know of a perfect job for you, or have advice you didn’t know you needed.


  • It’s a lot more time-consuming. You not only have to go to class, but you also usually have a lot of homework outside of class too.
  • The classes tend to be harder and more demanding. The tests are usually closed-book.
  • There tends to be a lot more walking on campus, getting lost, rushing between classes, and maybe even being late to class because of weather or traffic.
  • You have less access to food and snacks. Either you bring them with in your already full backpack, or you have to pay a lot for food on campus. Since my school which doesn’t have safe drinking water, I’m forced to bring a gallon jug container of water to school.



  • You can usually work at your own pace, completing assignments when you have time.
  • You don’t have to get up, drive/walk to class, and sit in class for multiple hours. You literally can roll out of bed, jump on a laptop, and go for it.
  • Most online classes tend to be easier than in-person classes, probably because teachers have learned the hard way that a lot of students will do just the minimum.
  • Most of the tests are open-book to some extent, even if they’re closed-browser (meaning you can’t access anything on your laptop while taking the test).


  • It’s hard to stay motivated because you have little accountability in the short-term (like you don’t have the teacher telling you every day that a deadline in coming up, even if you might get a failing grade at the end of the semester that will jolt you into reality when it’s too late).
  • You don’t establish a personal connection to the teacher or other students, making it feel more difficult often to ask for advice if you have questions or are struggling.
  • It can be harder to focus, especially if you have a home environment which is very chaotic.
  • It’s so much easier to procrastinate, because you are usually surrounded with more distractions and don’t really have an in-class environment to force you to stay on-track.

So the question at the end is, which do I think are better: In-Person classes or Online classes? I honestly prefer In-Person classes. They are more challenging, but more rewarding and helpful. However, I like taking at least one online class each semester because it helps make my workload more bearable. And I honestly think every student learns differently, so some students might love online classes.

Which do you prefer, in-person or online classes? Let me know your thoughts down in the comments, follow my blog for more musings and, as always,

Best wishes in your life full of adventure,

Madame Writer

4 thoughts on “College In-Person vs. Online

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