7 Tips for the Single Parent College Student
BY PAMELA CURRIER
Being a single parent isn’t the end of the world, and it certainly doesn’t mean that you can’t get your degree and have the career you’ve always wanted. You just have to work a bit harder, and do things differently than you would if you didn’t have kids. Many single parents are going back to school, not only because they want to better themselves and the lives of their children, but also because they want to set a good example for their children. If your family planning includes going back to college to make a better life for your family, here are some tips that will help make things a lot easier.
- Find Your Support Network: No man is an island, and no man stands alone. Everyone needs help once in a while, especially single parents trying to get an education. You need to set up your support system, which will include those who have always been your biggest cheerleaders. You need people in your life who are going to encourage you to go the distance, and help you get there.
- Secure Child Care: One of the biggest problems for single parents attending college is finding affordable child care. If you are lucky, you have a friend or family member who is willing to take on this job for little to no money. Otherwise, it is a good idea to start looking into on-campus child care, local daycare centers, etc. to find the best child care at the most reasonable price.
- Manage Your Time Wisely: You are going to have a lot on your plate, and if you don’t manage your time wisely, you are going to end up not being able to get everything done. Now is the time to set a schedule that includes everything you normally do with your children, classes, and study time. Get a good day planner, and block off time for classes and study. Then, you and your children will know when you have time for other things, including school plays, sports, story time at night, etc.
- Don’t Push Yourself: “If you are trying to juggle taking care of your children, classes, and a job, things are going to get pretty hectic, and you could end up burning yourself, and then you won’t be any good to anyone, including yourself,” says Dr. Pedram Bral at Manhattan Women’s Health & Wellness. It may be that you can’t take on as heavy of a course load as you would like. You may have to take fewer credits, which means that it will take longer to get your degree, but you will actually be able to put more time into your studies and do your best.
- Don’t Feel Guilty: Many parents feel guilty about attending college classes and studying when they could be spending that time with their children. They don’t realize just how much they are doing for their children, and that they should not feel guilty. When you return to school, not only are you getting a better career to earn more money for your family, you are a shining example for your children, and you will see the pride on their faces when you receive that diploma.
- Make Homework a Family Affair: You and your children are going to have homework now, so why not do it together? Not only is this a great way to bond, you also get to make sure that your children are getting their homework done, and that you are there to help them with any problems they may have. Also, when they see you studying hard, it is going to encourage them to do the same.
- Look at Alternate Learning Options: These days, it isn’t always necessary to physically be in a classroom. Most colleges and universities offer their programs online, so you can take the classes at home, and work around your own schedule instead of having to be in the classroom at a specific time. This gives you more flexibility, and the freedom to be at home more with your children.
Pamela Currier helps recent grads land the jobs of their dreams, she is a career coach and educator.
On Mon, Sep 25, 2017 at 10:22 PM, Pamela Currier <firstname.lastname@example.org