For the single parent, getting a college education seems an almost impossible bridge to cross. The issues of finances, demanding studies, day-care provision, and many more issues underscore the the desire to get an education. However, approximately twenty percent of the college student population are single parents.
To date, the divorce rate is on the rise, thus, the increase of single parents who make the choice to go to college is also rising. How do they manage? What steps do they take? If you are a single parent considering going back to school, here are some things to think about.
The first thing to remember is, ultimately, children come first. While this may seem the more obvious point, once the pressures of school start, the common thing to do may be to sacrifice the children’s needs to the demands of your studies.
Keep in mind that children thrive on consistency and absolutely need active participation from their parent in their lives. As much as they push the limits, they innately desire structure. If you, the single parent, make the decision to begin the schooling process whether for the first time or to further your degree, you have to remember that your responsibilities as a parent are most important and the demands of school is an additive piece. How you manage your time is most crucial. Studies should begin after the needs of the children are met.
Being a single parent myself, I can attest to the fact that there never seems to be an abundance of money or time. For the single parent who decides to go back to school, a crumb’s worth of money and time that they had to begin with decreases much more. Tough choices and sacrifice must be made; therefore, stellar time and money management must be achieved.
Before taking college on, rate yourself at how well you manage both time and money. If you feel that you have a handle on both, that is a great start; however, now is the time to start saving more money and making more time available so the school pressures and financial pressures can ease off a bit as you make your transition.
If you feel that your money and time management skills are not where they should be, you may want to consider ways to polish those areas of your life before you take on college-level learning.
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