Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

Online Education Has Its Pros and Cons

DEAR HARRIETTE: I want to go back to get my master's degree, and I am debating whether to physically go to a campus or to take classes online. I am hesitant about the online classes because I feel it would be much easier to procrastinate. However, it would give me more flexibility with other obligations I need to take care of. What are your views on achieving degrees online? -- Back to School

DEAR BACK TO SCHOOL: Obviously there are pros and cons about traditional education and online offerings. You should make a list of your goals, objectives, strengths and weaknesses. Then match your list to the pluses and minuses of each style of education.

What I can tell you from people who have received online degrees is that they have said they do have to actively be responsible and manage deadlines. But the same can be true for those going to campus. In grad school, your professors are rarely going to monitor your progress to ensure that you get everything done. There is a lot of time in both instances when you have to be proactive in order to complete your work.

If you decide to give online education a chance, get yourself organized by creating daily lists of responsibilities, and check them off as you go. Build in leisure time so that you don’t feel like you are depriving yourself of downtime, which you will probably take anyway. Monitor your actions and see how you do. It really is up to you to decide you will be successful and take the steps to make it so.

DEAR HARRIETTE: I am due for some much-needed change. I have been thinking about finally giving my hair the big chop, but I am a little hesitant. Harriette, as a woman who rocks short hair, are there any tips you have on how you maintain it and what you needed to do to prepare for cutting it? -- Contemplating a Haircut

DEAR CONTEMPLATING A HAIRCUT: The first time I dramatically cut my hair was in reaction to a friendship gone wrong, and I needed to make a break. That took the form of shorter hair. Since then, I have kept my hair fairly short. The most important factors for me have been styling and products. The good news these days is that there are so many products on the market for every texture of hair. You have to figure out what’s best for you.

A downside of short hair is that you can’t pull it back into a ponytail. Some people with longer hair never want to cut their hair shorter than ponytail-length. Look at some pictures of yourself with different styles and at others in magazines, online, etc. Figure out the look you like the most, and try it. One thing about hair is that it usually grows back, so experiment a little!

(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)