Juggling a full time job with full time college is hard enough. Add in a child or two and life can be pretty complicated. Does this mean you shouldn’t do it? Not necessarily.
Without the benefit of scholarships or a 529 college savings plan to pay for school, there will be tuition and book fees at the very least to pay. In addition, as a single mom, you have to support your family. This probably leaves you little choice about working full time. So now you have to figure out how you can work full time, carry a full load of classes and still have time for your family.
Tips for Making Time
In order to fit in all the things you have to do, you will need to give up some things you like to do. Cut down on the time you spend on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. Reduce the number of personal phone calls you make. Instead, try sending a text to get important information across. This reduces the temptation to chat and use more time than you have to spare.
School Comes First
The time and money you are putting into school are an investment in your future, a future that will benefit your family as well as yourself. When you have homework or studying to do, you have to make the commitment that school comes first. This may mean you have to skip some outings or watching TV programs with your kids sometimes. Remind yourself it isn’t forever and will be worth it in the long run. This focus will be extremely important during midterms and finals. And you don’t have to go to school during the summer. With summer, spring and holiday breaks, there will be plenty of time to do things with the kids.
After the first week or two of school each semester, you should have a pretty good feel for how much studying you will need to do. You can plan your week to make the most of your time. Schedule certain days for studying, house cleaning and running errands. Stick to the schedule and you will find you and your children will adapt in no time. Make sure to include some down time for yourself. All work and no play make Jane a dull girl. Set aside one day each weekend, if you can, to spend with the kids or get out with friends.
The advantage to holding down a full time job while attending college full time is that you can continue to support yourself while finishing school more quickly than if you only attended part time. You might also be able to apply some of what you earn to paying down what you owe for college. Getting out of debt sooner is always a plus. Handled properly and diligently, you can be supermom.
Choosing to major and obtain a degree in a certain area to improve your employment chances and advance your career is a typical situation and plan of action for a single mom returning to school. But what if you are a single mom who has no idea exactly what major to choose and what degree to seek? The first step to getting started as a student is to choose a major.
There are a few different ways you can go about choosing a major, they are often intertwined and each could have an impact on your education plans. Take the time to explore these options thoroughly and don’t rush into selecting classes and planning for a degree until you are sure that it is what you want to do with your life.
Besides supporting and raising your children what are your interests? Do you enjoy science or history? Are you an art lover or a woman with a keen business mind? Are you an avid gardener or do you enjoy working with children? Each of these interests and many others can help you to choose a major in one of those fields.
As a single mom you more than likely work to provide for your children. Why not use your experience in the working world to help you choose a major? If you have been working in a fast food restaurant a degree in business management would help you advance. If secretarial work is your J.O.B. you may want to look into an administrative degree. If the company you work for is a Real Estate office you are already familiar with the ins and outs of the Realtors. You could go to school to earn a degree in Real Estate and join the ranks of successful Realtors instead of making their copies and answering their phones. Use what you know to help you select a major.
A student counselor will help you narrow down your interests, administer tests to locate your aptitude for certain subjects and career as well as discuss with you the requirements for certain degrees and the scheduling available for the major you choose. Remember to choose a major that interests you because you will be reading a lot about it!
Choosing a major is the first step in going back to school as a single mom. Once you know what you want to achieve it is up to you to follow through with scheduling, financial research, admissions and completing your courses to earn your degree.
As a single mom you are well aware that any decision or choice you make regarding furthering your education requires a great deal of planning and arranging. Not only do you have to look at scheduling possibilities you also need to check into child care, financial situations and even your work load at your job. This means that actually getting everything planned and prepared and choosing a college or university are probably the most challenging aspects you’ll face as you get ready to go back to school.
When looking at Universities and Colleges there are many different options that a single mom can utilize to help make those difficult decisions and overcome or work around the things that have been keeping her from going back to school.
Scheduling: Many colleges and universities have flexible scheduling including night, weekend and even online classes. This makes planning easier for a single mom who probably has to work as well as raise her children to go back to school and earn a degree which will benefit both her and the children over the years.
Child Care: On campus child care centers make it convenient for a single mom to go to school while having her young children nearby. Often the rates for on campus or school sponsored child care is based on a sliding scale or added in to a financial aid package for single moms.
Financial Aid: Nearly every college and university offers several different financial aid packages for single moms. There are also grants and scholarships which single moms may qualify for to help them further their education and be able to provide a better life for their children.
Work Load: Most employers understand when a single mom wants to further her education. If you make an appointment to discuss scheduling and your work load with your supervisor you may find that they will be more than willing to help work around your school schedule and help you in any way that they can. Some employers even offer programs to encourage their workers to get a degree.
Even as a single mom you can go back to school, you can earn a degree and you can even keep your job while you do it. Take the steps for yourself and for your children. While it may be difficult to manage your schedule while attending classes, the benefits of earning your degree far outweigh the difficulties of going back to school. Planning for the challenges of college will prepare you for this important endeavor.