With tuition on the rise, more and more college students have to work to finance their degree. A recent study event calls learning while earning “The New Normal”. This leaves many students in a difficult situation, especially parents who not only need to balance their academic career with a job, but also with raising a child. This balancing act becomes particularly challenging if you are a single parent. We have gathered some tips that can make the lives of single parents on campus easier.
Sooner or later, the idea of dropping out will cross your mind if you’re a single parent/student. It may be to care for your sick child or due to the constant interruptions while you are trying to write an essay for class. Whatever the reason, we know it takes a lot of stamina to finish a degree while being a parent.
Don’t give up! Remind yourself of the time (and money) you’ve already put in. Remind yourself of what you’ve got to gain when you graduate. If you’ve missed a few classes, keep going. You can still pass.
Build a support network
It’s only natural for a student to want to establish relationships with professors and classmates. Undoubtedly, this is much more of a challenge for single parents who lack the time to attend social events or hang out at the library regularly. Nevertheless, building a support network is a great way to take some pressure off your shoulders.
You could consider making friends with other student parents and perhaps find ways to help each other out. Getting to know your academic and career advisors could also be very helpful. This opportunity could get you first-hand help on pursuing your career goals.
There are many ways to find help and support. Just don’t be afraid to take advantage of them. Your success as a single parent on campus may depend on whether you manage to build the right support system for your academic career.
Planning and coordination are key aspects of the lives of every single parent. If you are a student too, planning for childcare is one of the most important things you will need to do. Many universities have on-campus daycare facilities you can take advantage of.
Don’t be afraid to ask a counselor or someone in the administration office about your student/single parent needs. They could be very helpful since their job is to help you succeed.
Learn how to delegate
For many single parents, delegating responsibility is a luxury. However, there are only 24 hours in a day and sometimes you will have to decide which tasks you can take care of yourself and which ones you can pass on to someone else.
Some academic services have specialized in providing support to single parents on campus. There is nothing wrong with delegating certain tasks to an academic expert – be it the citation referencing style, editing a term paper, or preparing a presentation.
It can be a great relief to delegate to people you can trust. If you engage an academic expert, you can build a relationship with that person. Working with the same expert throughout your program will help establish trust and reduce your worry. After all, parents have a billion other things to worry about than the referencing and layout of academic papers.
With the right expert on your side, rest assured that your work gets done on time. If daycare sends your child home with a fever, you can snuggle up with your little one and know that your GPA is in good hands.
Take your time outs 🙂
Let’s face it: It’s tough being a single parent. Your instincts will tell you that your child is your priority, even if this means cutting down on your own happiness. But it is crucial you find ways to be happy, because, in the long run, your own happiness is a prerequisite for your child’s happiness. So don’t forget to take time out for yourself and the things you enjoy!