Attending college as a new parent can be a daunting experience.
You’re returning to a world packed full of opened-eyed, and animated youngsters so you might even find yourself feeling out of place before you’ve stepped foot on campus.
It would be strange not to be a little anxious but don’t let those apprehensive feelings get you down; there are plenty of positives about returning to college after having a baby. Just remember, you’ve already overcome the challenges of becoming a new parent so, by following these helpful tips and using your experience to your advantage, this next stage in life should be an absolute walk in the park.
Use parenting to your advantage
Experiencing parenthood first hand can be the most testing time in your life but equips you with new skills and determination that can help you through college. It can also be the very inspiration for furthering your education, and many new parents choose to study child-based degrees. Having a baby doesn’t have to take you away from a long-term career; it can actually be the foundation for a new one.
You don’t have to attend the campus library to study, you have a whole wealth of information at home, and there are plenty of online resources that can support you along the way, it’s not always necessary to rush to the college library. Fit revision around nap time if needs be. You might even want to opt for an online course if attending lectures doesn’t fit around your schedule.
Keep on top of time management
If parenting isn’t time-consuming enough, adding further education to the mix will certainly make the clock run faster, so it is imperative to keep on top of your time management. Nothing will stress you out quicker than a looming deadline with no time scheduled in to achieve the necessary workload.
Buy a weekly planner notepad, keep your schedule up to date and maybe stick it on the refrigerator, so you don’t lose track. Or if you’d rather keep your schedule on your phone, time management apps are available to download and can alert you when it’s time to study or head off to campus, as well as scheduling in baby’s bath time.
Designate an area for studying
Having little ones running around the house means you soon get used to not having ‘me time’ and are often pulled in three different directions at once, it can be really difficult to get some time alone and crack on with your studies. One thing that might help is a designated study area where you can shut the door and focus your thoughts without being disturbed. Make an inviting home office area and equip it with everything you need to achieve your goals.
other valuable tips:
Get involved as much as possible
Regardless of how you partake in further education or what course you choose, one important thing to remember is to involve yourself as much as your schedule allows. Whether it’s joining a mature student society, seeking out a campus parent group or being active on online course forums, connecting with fellow students is key. You’ll feel more included, and no doubt make new friends; what’s better than having a group of companions to help support you with college work.
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