Lifestyle Magazine

How to Return to School as a Mom

By Ty Watson

Cost, time, and commitment are just three factors a mom needs to think about before applying to college. Aside from your already busy schedule, these added responsibilities can seem overwhelming and in fact, even deter some moms from pursuing their degree. Even if you still have small children at home, you can still plan on earning your degree. All it takes is a little strategic planning and the desire to succeed. Below, we'll go over some of the top tips to return to college and a mom.

Finances First

Besides wondering how you'll juggle schoolwork on top of your other responsibilities, paying for school is probably another concern. Most don't have such a surplus that they can pay tuition out of pocket. If you fall into this category, you have several options. You can apply for financial aid, or you can opt for a student loan. Contrary to federally backed aid that usually has high interest attached, a student loan can be tailored to suit your financial needs. That means you can avoid going into debt that you may never be able to pay off. The key to successful borrowing is knowing how much you can afford before you apply.

Create a Timetable

Just like you manage other parts of your life, you need to create timetable for your education. From attending in person or online courses to completing homework or studying for an exam, you need to create a schedule that works for you. Keep in mind that you also need to pencil time in for yourself as well. Far too often, moms put everything and everyone before themselves. As such, they might not leave enough time for self-care or doing things you enjoy. Schedule time for yourself each week and make sure it isn't only for studying. Even if it's only for an hour or two, find time to do activities you enjoy.

Be Realistic

Rome wasn't built in a day, so don't be too hard on yourself if you don't feel comfortable at first. Even though many in their thirties and forties return to school, they might attend online. If you choose to attend in person, you'll probably find yourself surrounded by students as young as 18 or 20. Does this mean you shouldn't go? Absolutely not, however, you do need prepare yourself to spending time this younger demographic. If you feel more comfortable attending classes online, it's okay. You need to feel at ease while learning, not miserable and uncomfortable. Don't forget to treat yourself during stressful times as a way to celebrate having overcome some of these anxieties.

Appreciate the Process

If you're working towards your first BA, understand that it's a process. Everyone is in the same place, so don't feel like they have a leg up on you. If you're working towards your masters, note that unless you attend online, you might not have as much flexibility with course selection or timetables. It's always a good idea to research where the courses are held, meaning in person or online, and at what time. This way, you won't end up having to drop a class or withdraw because it doesn't align with your schedule. Also, make sure to check out more than one college before you apply. Smaller ones might offer the same courses but at different times.

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