Many parents choose to return to school to advance in their careers or switch to a different career that better suits their needs and talents. That is an awesome feat in and of itself, but if you are a parent, then going to college presents some challenges. Today, we will provide some advice on how non-traditional college students can excel in their classes while caring for their families.
6 Tips for College-Bound Parents
1. Consider Online School
You will likely be crunched for time when you work, care for your family, and return to school. It can be challenging to manage these responsibilities simultaneously, so consider taking your classes online. Doing so will allow you to take courses on your own time, such as nights and weekends. In the end, you will still be able to work, take care of your kids, and earn the same great degree as your fellow students who go in person.
2. Try To Make Money Part-time
While you may still stay at your job while returning to school, you may find that paying for college and caring for your family can significantly impact your budget. If you have the time, consider looking for a side gig that you can do in between your other responsibilities. There are many ways that you can make money part-time in college, including selling items on eBay, working as an online tutor or freelance writer, or driving for a delivery service.
3. Save Money on Birthdays
Yes, money may be tight, and it is easy to worry about finances as a student, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t also enjoy the great memories that parenthood provides, such as your child’s birthday parties. Parents should make it a point to take a moment to celebrate their kid’s special day, and luckily, there are many ways to celebrate kids’ birthdays without breaking the bank. For instance, you can ask parents to contribute by bringing decorations and snacks. You could also stop by your local dollar store, where they have many different party favors and gifts for much less than the other stores.
4. Responsibly Stay in Contact With Your Children
If you go to an in-person college, you need to make it a point to stay in contact with your children to ensure they are safe. Teach your kids how to contact you in an emergency, even providing them with a special phone to use if they are particularly young. Consider buying them a child-friendly smartphone that allows them to call out but not much else. It is essential to be careful about how much freedom you give your kids when it comes to technology. There is a lot of inappropriate content online and plenty of cybersecurity scams, so it is crucial to speak to your kids about what they should and shouldn’t do before giving them a cell phone.
5. Always Make Time for the Kids
As a non-traditional college student, life will be busy, but you must not forget that your children are your top priority. While paying for their needs is important, so is spending quality time with them whenever you can. You can do that even with a busy schedule by setting specific times of the day you dedicate to your kids. That could be the hour or two before they go to bed or early in the morning. Either way, help them with their homework, read books, or do something they enjoy so you can bond because these are times you will never get back.
6. Enjoy College
While you will have a lot going on, it is important that you enjoy the experience that college can bring. Set goals for yourself and reward yourself when you accomplish them. If you constantly worry during your time at college, your grades may suffer. Try to enjoy it and take it one step at a time.
As you can see, there are many ways that you can juggle all of your parenting and personal needs as a non-traditional college student. Consider these tips, and you can make it work.