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Being a student and a parent - Life skills

Being a parent and studying is a challenge but it can be great lesson when starting your future career. There will always be someone that doesn’t believe in you but the only person that needs to believe is you!

Things to remember

Experience is key: Studying with a child takes up a lot of time but take the opportunities! Although opportunities can mean less family time initially, in the long run it can be the best decision that will benefit your family; a career. Perhaps to some employers studying and being a parent is seen as admirable, however there are a lot of parents juggling life so you can’t rely on this as a way to be above other candidates. Taking opportunities will enhance your prospects for the future.  You will never get where you want to be without a few sacrifices here and there.

From my own personal experience I volunteered outside of study and an opportunity came up for a summer internship at the end of my second year of university. However that meant I was working full-time in the six week holiday when my son was off. I felt awful but I made sure the days I had off were the extra fun ones. Sometimes quality time with your child is better than quantity. I also kept telling myself that this isn’t forever but is something that will help get me where I want to be.

Time management: Unfortunately you don’t have the luxury of doing your work when you want. Your schedule revolves around your child and the people who help you out. A routine really helps how you manage your life and this skill is a great platform to get you ready for the working environment. 

I found the best time for me to work was when my son was in bed. Sometimes it did require late nights (all nights on a few occasions) then I would have to be up and ready for the school run. But who said life was easy!? Working hard made me feel good at the end of each submission.

Was I a crazy mess when deadline hit? Yes! I cared about my grades and really wanted the best. You have to love what you’re studying to make it all worth it. The stress you are under will never seem worth it unless you have passion for it.

Appreciate: You’ve been given this opportunity so take it with both hands. Be thankful that you have got to where you are. But more importantly your family and friends are the ones that have made your passion a reality. Always show people how thankful you are. 

Don’t forget if you are struggling to get the right ratio of parent and student life then don’t be afraid to ask for help! In any line of education there is always a great support team to help you in any way they can. Asking for help doesn’t mean failure, it means you care!

Communication: With your friends, teachers and those helping you with childcare, communication is important. But having a good understanding of schedules helps! It’s great if you can work out a routine so everyone knows their role when it comes to lending a hand with your child. Additionally if your fellow students know your schedule they are more likely to plan a study session or a social event on a time that suits you the best. This isn’t always the case as most students don’t plan ahead, they might decide to head to library to do a study session after class. They of course invite you but can you go? Probably not :) you won’t be able to do everything, but that’s ok as everyone’s journey is different.

Your fellow students will soon work out your free time and how you juggle your home life. It simply comes down to having a great communication so you all work around each other.

Remember that earning a qualification is enhancing your own and your family’s opportunities for the future. With a long term goal in mind, consider how you are going to balance all of the opportunities that come from studying.

Don’t forget to be a student and enjoy it! 

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