Being a single parent is anything but easy. Add to that your 9 to 5 and you are doing an impressive juggling act. Deciding to add studying to your already impressive juggling act may feel overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be.
Here is a single parent’s guide to studying part-time:
Draw up a timetable and stick to it
The important thing to start with when drawing up a timetable is slotting in all your important prior engagements and activities. This includes things like school meetings and doctors’ appointments. As soon as you have your assignment due dates and test dates, slot them in too. After this, you can block out all your study times to prepare for exams and times to work on assignments. Whatever time is left, you can then use to split between family time, relaxing, and catching up with friends. When you have a timetable and you stick to it, you will be able to stay on top of all your work.
Inform your employer of your studies
It is important that you inform your employer of your studies, as this will prepare your employer for any study time you may need to take off. If your employer is aware that you are studying, they will be able to work with you to help you manage your workload. An added advantage to this is that your employer will see you investing in your development and may keep you in mind for a promotion.
Avoid taking on more than you can handle
The great thing about studying part-time is that you can dictate your pace according to how much you are able to do. Avoid overloading yourself with too much work too quickly. Be mindful of the fact that you are still expected to perform at work and to be present with your family and friends. Remember that there is only one of you, and if you take on too much, another area of your life may suffer and you could burn out.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Everyone at some point in their lives needs a helping hand, so it’s okay to ask for help. Many part-time courses offer student support, have study groups, and provide tutors for their students. Make use of these resources and reach out to your tutors and fellow students when you need help with your course material. Similarly, your family, friends, and co-workers can be great resources when you need a hand. They could help you with housework, look after the kids, or just listen when you need to talk.
Deciding to study as a single parent is not only great for better job prospects or a promotion at work. Studying can also boost your confidence and make you feel good about yourself. In order for you to succeed, remember that it is important that you create a timetable and stick to it. Always ask for help when you need it and don’t take on more than what you can handle.