by Donna Hayes
5 TIPS TO HELP YOU THRIVE AS A STUDENT PARENT
Life as a college student is no walk in the park. It consists of countless hours studying, lots of rigorous coursework, ongoing networking, group interaction, internships, critical thinking and a lot of sacrifices and commitment. In a nutshell, being a student is hard. What’s even harder, though, is being a student parent. Taking on two major responsibilities such as college and parenting simultaneously can be overwhelming and discouraging so it’s important that you mentally and physically prepare yourself before committing to the student parent life. Here are some tips to help you succeed as a student parent:
1. Utilize Resources
For many parents, childcare arrangements can be the obstacle keeping them from accomplishing their goal of obtaining a degree. Some people have family and friends that can assist with childcare but for those that don’t, don’t be discouraged, there are other options. One option available to students is The Isabel Patterson Child Development Center which offers affordable childcare for students with young children attending California State University, Long Beach. Their staff is made up of highly trained and qualified teachers. For more information visit their website.
2. Create a Schedule
With what seems like a million and one things on your plate, it is critical that you stay organized and prepare for your day to day activities in advance. Utilize a calendar, a planner, your phone or whatever works for you to create a weekly schedule that incorporates daily activities for you and your child.
3. Incorporate Parent Child Study Time
When creating a weekly schedule, make sure to incorporate time to complete activities with your child. With such a hectic schedule, there may not be much time to go out so having study time together is a great way to check two things off of your to do list at once.
4. Stay Focused
It’s easy to lose sight of the ultimate goal with so many responsibilities on a daily basis. Many student parents get to a point where they feel like the task of trying to maintain good grades and raise a child is unbearable and they consider giving up. Whatever you do, don’t give up! A good way to stay motivated and focused is to write out your goals and look at them often to remind yourself of what you’re working hard for. Also make a list of assignments and tasks and check them off as you complete them so that you have a visual of your progress.
Lastly, relax. Step away from all the chaos every now and then and just breathe. Engage in fun activities like a fun day in the sun at your favorite beach or catch a matinee to see the latest Disney movie with your child. It’s refreshing and will help maintain your sanity.
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