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When I turned 25, I decided that I wanted to enroll in our local college. But attending college as a parent isn’t as simple as it seems There are so many hurdles and roadblocks but it is still doable. However, it’s not something you should take lightly and there are certain things you need to consider before enrolling.
Parenting is the most demanding, time-consuming job in the world. While there’s no doubt that it is rewarding, it’s also exhausting. The anxiety that is ever-present from the time you first fix eyes with your child will ebb and flow as years goes on, but it never truly goes away. Lack of sleep, an obsession with routine, and being able to self-manage stress are all common for any effective parent. Ironically, they are also attributes that will be essential as a college student.
The conventional life process might be “high school, college, career, kids”, but it’s not always the case out in reality. Moreover, becoming a parent can change your perspective on your career and have you looking at updating your education. Whatever your reasons for pondering applying to college as a parent, you likely know that college isn’t going to be easy.
Despite the obstacles, about 20% of college students are parents, and the split is 70/30 for moms and dads hitting the books. Your life experiences can be a major asset, so be proud of them.
3 Things to Consider Before Enrolling in College as a Parent
You might be used to doing things on your own, particularly if in a single-parent household. However, this is not the time to be stoic or stubborn. You need support, and you need your village. Get ready to ask for help from loved ones before you get to your wit’s end. People who love you want to see you succeed and will offer emotional support, but don’t be afraid to ask for it.
Financial support services are available at many colleges, with specific assistance given to parents. Student advisors know the system and how it works, so go to them early on to check what type of help you might be entitled to receive. Scholarships for parents and financial aid resources are out there but can be challenging to find if you don’t know where to look.
Have you determined why you are signing up for college as a parent? If you are willing to put in all of the long hours, hard work, and stress, then we are confident that you have your reasons, but it is essential to be able to articulate them. From that point, you can start to set goals and then strategies to attain your goals. As your first mid-term comes around and the third pot of coffee is brewing, you might need to recall why you are putting yourself through all of this.
Choose learning that works for your family
As a parent, you have needs and priorities that are unique to other students. Finding that perfect balance of family time and studying will be challenging, so look for a form of learning that is flexible enough for your requirements. Online learning allows a parent to work in their own time and often at their own pace. If you study your MBA online, then your previous experience might be eligible for course credit.
The focus, willpower, and self-discipline needed to get through college as a parent can be much more motivating when mentally trudging towards a better future for yourself and your kids. As you tuck your children in for bed and kiss them goodnight, you’ll be even more determined to get through another few hours of studying.