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college for single parents

5 Helpful Tips for Single Parents in College

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.

college for single parents

Don’t quit

   
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.

Plan accordingly

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!

J.C. Zeller

J.C. Zeller

J.C. Zeller is a journalist and media consultant with a strong interest in all issues related to education and family life. After studying linguistics and media studies at the University of Aberdeen (UK) and the University of Queensland (Australia), he returned to his home in Graz, Austria, where he is part of an extensive patchwork family. He has three sisters, five step siblings and a plethora of nieces and nephews who he enjoys spending time with. Other spare time activities include climbing and exploring the night skies with his telescope. He currently pursues a PhD in media and cultural studies. Feel free to follow him on: Twitter

11 comments

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  • Being a single parent is tough enough as it is. I can’t even imagine how hard it must be to do it while also going to college! College was already super difficult without having to worry about caring for a child…

  • What a great post, being single parents with the two boys was really hard, I salute to the Single Parents

  • This is a great post for the single parent who is attending college. It is so important to have a plan or more than one when you are trying to balance college, work, and children. I know from experience it can put a lot of stress on someone. The number one key is to not give up and to plan ahead. These are great tips for the single parent in college.

  • Kudos to those hard working and studying single parents. It’s tough out there and I’m sure you are making it a bit easier with your article of support and tips!

  • I can understand what many single parents go through. While I am not a single parent my children and I spend one third of the year away from their dad. In these months it can get really difficult at time. I know that having a support system is definitely a must.

  • That support network tip is really a huge motivating factor. You’ll really need to work with peers and friends alike. There are cases wherein the source of holding on is third-person, much to my close friend’s experiences before.

  • I’ve never experienced this before, I’m sure a lot of single parents struggle with this issue. It’s nice to have options, so long as you’re not thinking about quitting. These are helpful tips!

About Author

J.C. Zeller

J.C. Zeller

J.C. Zeller is a journalist and media consultant with a strong interest in all issues related to education and family life. After studying linguistics and media studies at the University of Aberdeen (UK) and the University of Queensland (Australia), he returned to his home in Graz, Austria, where he is part of an extensive patchwork family. He has three sisters, five step siblings and a plethora of nieces and nephews who he enjoys spending time with. Other spare time activities include climbing and exploring the night skies with his telescope. He currently pursues a PhD in media and cultural studies. Feel free to follow him on: Twitter