Making the decision to study when you have kids can be difficult, no matter how old your children are. If you are thinking about going to college or school as a mum, there are some things to consider, and tips that might make the experience more enjoyable, and manageable.
Here is what to consider when returning to studying, whether your kids are young or old.
Understand Time Requirements
No matter if you are a mum or a young freshman in college, chances are that you have underestimated the amount of time and effort needed to do well in a college program.
You should be able to find out from the school how much time you will need to devote to your courses, whether it be in or out of the classroom, or both.
It is an option to attend class part-time, to try and balance in being a mum and working, but this also means it will take longer to finish your course. However, it might be the best option to keep your sanity!
Look For Financial Aid Options
Financial aid options will depend on different factors, such as the institution you are attending and whether or not you have studied before.
Even though you are attending college at a later stage in life, you will be able to find different financial aid options suited to you and hopefully qualify for one.
Consider Alternative Ways To Earn Credit
As you have more life and work experience than the average college student, you might be able to get credit easier. You could get credit for previous work experience or volunteer activities.
You can earn quite a lot of credit by showing the different skills and knowledge you have acquired over the years, which you can display through a portfolio.
These can save you quite a bit of course time!
Some programs and colleges are more suited to adult students than others. As a mum, you can’t spend all day on campus. Try and look for programs that offer different options, such as part-time classes, night classes, online classes, or weekend classes.
With more flexibility, there is a lesser chance that you will run into schedule conflicts. Following a non-traditional schedule is what you as a mum need.
Prepare To Delegate And Prioritize
As a mum returning to college, you will definitely have to juggle school, family obligations, and work. It will often feel like you don’t have enough time in the day to fit it all in.
Be prepared to have to put some activities or obligations on hold, just temporarily until you are comfortable with your study schedule.
Ask friends and family to help if you need to, the more you can delegate, the more free time you will have.
Focus On The Small Wins
Being a mum returning to college can be so overwhelming. You might begin to doubt your decision and think that there is just no end in sight.
You need to dig your way out of these thoughts and instead focus on the small wins. Don’t obsess over perfect grades. Rather focus on learning a new skill, or mastering something you find challenging.
These small wins are the best motivators to keep going, especially when times get tough!