First things first… tadaaa!
There’s a superhero in each of us, albeit maybe not quite a latex-clad, dark, mysterious and cape-bearing kind! It’s no mean feat as a mum or dad to juggle school drop-offs, a job and university studies… it takes some awesome skills! We all need to start by giving ourselves a pat on the back. Whether you are a current studying parent, a parent, or maybe even working and just considering studying, I have some hints and tips on how I juggle it all.
Once you start your degree at university, it is important to know that you are not alone! There really are all kinds of university services that can help support you in achieving your dreams. In my time at USQ, I have personally have used The Learning Centre for some free advice on assignment writing etiquette, been to see Student Services and gained some career advice from the university’s career’s guidance officer. These services were particularly helpful in clearly establishing my career goals and were a great resource in my job hunting. I would encourage everyone to give them a go. I really can’t speak highly enough about the support I received.
When you are in the midst of juggling everything in your life, please don’t forget that your family can partake in this awesome journey that you are on (the kids included). By this I mean, from getting help with cooking dinner to making studying a fun experience, your kids can join in. As my son has grown older, he loves to ask me if I need my text book or if he can have a ‘read’ himself. This is very cute, so remember to take photos, as these are all special memories!
I find it really important to keep a diary. This way I can best manage my shifts at work, assignment due dates and special family occasions. It is just a really visual way of remaining as motivated as the day you started and keeping on track. The university sends out a super-large calendar at the beginning of each year. I pop this up on the wall for all of my family to see. I must admit that it has gotten me the odd dinner or two cooked curtsey of my family!
Occasionally I have taken a course off-campus and online. This meant that in the second year of my degree, I had some more free time during the week to get more work done. I really enjoyed listening to the lectures online, and I even downloaded some as audio files to listen to while on long trips in the car.
To sum it all up, I linked in with some support services at university, enjoyed getting my family involved, managed my time with ease by using a calendar and took the opportunity for flexible study options when needed. Everyone is different, but with the goals that I have kept in mind along the way, I found these methods to be key in my success along the way!
What are some of the things that you put in place while juggling carer, family and study? I’d love to hear some really creative brainstorming!