Keep Focused – When you go to university you will come into contact with people from diverse cultures, economic status and varied levels of commitment to their studies and much more. That is why it is imperative for you to stay focused from the very beginning. Having the added responsibility of a child is no joke when it comes to balancing the demands of parenthood with student life. When the excitement of starting your new course ceases and the pressures of project deadlines become apparent it is quiet easy for negative emotions to step in such as regret or self-pity. You know why you made the decision to futher your education so make sure you keep that reason in view, as a way of encouragement in difficult times.
Stay Motivated – Keep your dream in front of you at all times. Write it down and read it everyday to stop discouragement from stepping in. Think back to what exactly it was that drove you to apply for the course in the first place and relive the excitement you felt when you were accepted. This is important because if you stay focused on something negative the greater it becomes so stay positive. With the demands of everyday life coupled with studying with a child you can easily become overwhelmed. Feeling pressure at times is normal and happens to everyone so never think it is a sign for you to pull away from your goal.
Set Priorities – Each day set aside dedicated quality time to spend with your child. This time may be spent reading to them, doing an activity together such as baking or taking them to a park. This may sound condescending but you will be surprised how the pressures of your course can justify to you why you don’t have time to do such activities. If you don’t set dedicated time aside you can quickly become overtaken with guilt and resentment. Make a list of your necessities and priorities them accordingly. This will also stop you from allowing everyday responsibilities piling up and becoming a burden.
Be Flexible – It is important that you and those you work with understand from the beginning that you need to be flexible when you care for children. There will be occasions when your child needs your attention a hundred percent. Such as if they become ill and unable to attend the childcare prevision you have set in place. Talk to your student support staff before anything unexpected happens. Find out what support you can tap into such as any possible extended deadlines if you were late on a project. From my own experience if a final project or dissertation was handed in late then the grade you received was capped.
Clear Goals – Starting your course is just the beginning of your journey and there maybe many challenges on the way. With children in tow these challenges that all students face can will be greatly increased. It is important that your set goals that are realistic and measurable so that when obstacles come you are able to work through them. From the start of your course you should set in place triggers that will help you stay focused especially when problems arise.