Going Back to School. Balancing Family and College
Going back to school as an adult learner can often times be tough when you have a family. Making time for both may seem like an impossible task – but it doesn’t have to be, well, impossible. Here are a few things to remember when taking on the challenging act of balancing family and college.
Stay organized. It is always a good rule of thumb to keep school and family separate, unless it comes to your calendar. Keeping a combined calendar of school related tasks and family events will keep you ahead of the game, organized and help avoid scheduling conflicts. Just make sure you color code to easily distinguish between schoolwork and family obligations.
Consider the non-traditional approach. You are in a unique position, so consider going back to school in a unique way. Nowadays, it is easier than ever to earn a degree from the comfort of your own home. Online courses are often times quicker, more affordable and flexible with your time. While online learning may be more convenient, it is still important to remember to set aside separate time for your family and time for schoolwork.
Ask for help. Don’t expect perfection. Whether it’s asking your professor for an extension, or a loved one or close friend helping you transport the kids to and from, it’s okay to ask for help. Let the appropriate people in your life know your situation. They will be more likely to help you during those times when you have too much on your plate and feel like your world is spinning out of control.
Be realistic. You are not a superhero – you can’t be everywhere at once. It comes down to prioritizing your time. Sometimes you will have to give up going to a dance recital to study for an exam. Although decisions like this may be tough, you need to think about the reasons why you are going back to school in the first place. Do you want a better life for you and your family, or maybe you just want a better job – whatever the reason may be, it is important to stay focused on the ultimate goal.
Being a full-time parent and a college student can be extremely challenging, but if you prioritize your time and stay focused, the challenge will be well worth your success in the end.