Going back to college can be a great way to take control of your career by taking the opportunity to develop your skills and aid your professional development. Although it can be worth it, the decision to further your education can be a difficult one, especially when you have children to take care of. This doesn’t, however, mean it isn’t possible. Many people decide to enter back into education later on in life, having forgone it when they had just finished school. There are plenty of things that can help people who have other responsibilities maintain a balance in their lives while they work towards a career change or progression. Here are a few tips to help you maintain a balance between work, education, and family life.
Ensure you have a clear goal
Having a reason and a clear destination in mind for where your further study will get you, will help with your motivation and determination to keep going and reach your goal. If you haven’t got a clear goal in mind, when things start to get hard, you could begin to question why you went back to school in the first place. Your family can even be one of your motivations if you want to study to improve your job prospects so that your family can live a better life.
Picking the right course to help you reach your goal is also essential. Make sure you research and ask questions before you choose your course. If you want to get into accounting, study a degree in accounting from the University of Alabama Birmingham. If you want to retrain as a nurse, pick a degree that will help you do that. Studying something that doesn’t contribute to your goal will just take up your time and give you unnecessary stress.
Consider your mode of study
There are many different ways you can study a course nowadays, allowing more and more people with varying levels of responsibility to study and develop their skills. Different modes of study work for different people. Some may choose to go back into education full time, and others may take it part-time. Some colleges even offer more flexibility, with the option to decide how many modules to take a semester. This means there should always be an option that you can make time for.
If you are worried about having to ensure that you have the time to be physically in a classroom, there is no need to be. There are many university accredited courses that you can do online. Take your time to pick a course with a mode of study that will fit best in your life.
Ensure you have support
Having people around you that can support you will make the whole experience of starting something new easier and will relieve you of any extra pressure you may feel. Having the support of your friends and family will be great when things start to get hard, and you need help with the kids. Being able to count on them will ensure that you can ask for help when you need it.
You should also check if your educational establishment has any support services available to you. Many have helpful sessions on academic writing to help get you back into the habit of completing assignments. If you build a good relationship with your tutor, they will also be able to support you with your academic work.
Your classmates can provide you with great support as they are going through similar stresses and worries as you. You and your peers can support each other through deadlines, give each other the motivation to get through the course, and provide each other with someone to talk to about all your school worries. They may even be able to offer you solutions to your problems and other useful tips. Being friends with your classmates can also give you some much needed time to connect with people when you don’t have time to socialize alongside everything else you are doing.
If you have a job, you should ensure you have the support of your boss. If you have the support of your workplace, they may let you be more flexible with your shifts so that you don’t have to worry about rushing from work to class and then to your family. You will be able to organize everything so that it works in your favor.
Create a schedule
Staying organized in your everyday life is essential. You need to carve out time in your day to study or complete work, while also ensuring that you can still do things like picking the children up from school and cooking them tea. Having a schedule of where you have to be and when, will enable you to visually see when you have space to complete work, relax, and hang out with the family. It will also help to ensure that you don’t fall behind.
It can also be useful to have a calendar with your work hours and any important deadlines on it so that your family knows what is going on in your life and the times in which you may need a little bit more support.
Have a dedicated workspace
A quiet, dedicated workspace that you use only for studying and assignments will help you to complete work without being distracted. You can get a desk in your home, or your designated workspace could be in the college library. Wherever you decide it is, it needs to be in a place where you can work and stay focused.
Having a dedicated workspace means that when you want to relax or spend time with your family, you can do it without feeling guilty about seeing your work and thinking you should be spending time on that instead.
Make sure you also have a space just for relaxing with your family and friends, as it is just as important as having a workspace. It will give you a chance to recharge so that you can work more efficiently.