Becoming a student when you are a parent can be an overwhelming experience. If you have kids and are considering going back to school in order to further your education and increase your career prospects, you will need to be prepared to make some lifestyle changes in order to find time to balance your educational and family duties. As a parent, it’s important to have a very different approach to studying than the one you may have had when younger – pulling all-nighters before an exam might have worked well when you were at high school or college the first time around, but as a parent, this can be a recipe for disaster. But, with the right planning and perseverance, you can successfully go back to college as a parent.
Schedule Study Time
Making the most of the time that you have at home and setting aside specific times to study is often key for parents who have returned to education. This is especially true if you are studying for an online degree, which will require students to complete all of their studies remotely. Online degree courses such as this online nursing program from Arizona State University can often be ideal for parents returning to study as they offer a lot of flexibility for fitting study in around your hectic schedule as a mom or dad.
Study on Campus
If you are studying at a college which you can easily reach from your home, studying on campus can help you to remain focused and avoid the many distractions that can be found around the home. Even if you choose to study for an online-only program such as an online nursing degree, you may still be able to access on-campus resources such as the college library. If possible, arrange for your partner, friend or family member to have the children as much as possible so that you can have some quiet on-campus study time. If you’re struggling with childcare, ask your college whether they can arrange anything for you – with more and more parents returning to school, colleges are meeting the rising demand for on-campus childcare services.
As a parent and a student, you will need to be constantly planning ahead to make sure that neither your family nor education suffer as a result of your hectic schedule. Keeping a diary, calendar or even a wall planner with details of all your appointments, lectures, independent study times and more is an ideal strategy for staying up to date. Ideally, you should aim to get ahead with your studies – if you are an online student, you can often access the entire years’ worth of resources as soon as you enroll, giving you the perfect opportunity to start studying in advance.
Going back to college as a mom or dad is never an easy task, but it is often essential for parents who want to improve their career prospects and bring more money in for their family. Succeeding in college as a parent relies on good planning and time management, along with getting the right support.
This post was written by Bill Clark. Bill is a freelance journalist who specialises in writing about culture and the arts, however will write about anything that piques his interest including business, travel and lifestyle. He can be reached on Twitter @BilboClark01.