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Going Back To School As A Single Mom

You’ve decided to take a chance and return to school. After years of working at a job you’re not satisfied with to provide for your family, you’re ready for a change. Obtaining a college degree will put you one step closer to starting a career that pays the bills but also fuels your passion. Though you’ve come to this decision, you can’t help but wonder how you’ll complete your studies while raising a family. 

Going Back To School As A Single Mom

Going back to school as an adult already presents a lot of challenges. When you add to that the responsibility of taking care of your kids on your own, the challenges only multiply. The good news is that while it won’t be easy to obtain a college degree as a single mom, it is possible. All you need is an efficient plan and lots of support. Below, are a few tips on how to balance chasing your dreams with caring for your family. 

Talk to Your Family

You may not be in a committed relationship with your children’s father but that doesn’t mean you don’t have others who won’t support you in reaching your goals. Now is the time to talk to your relatives about your desires. They will be most willing to try and provide you the support you need with caring for the children. Whether they pick them up from school and help them with homework, make meals a few times a week, or make sure the kids get to their extracurricular activities, these things free up your time allowing you to earn your degree. 

Choose a Schedule That Works for You

Depending on what type of degree you’re trying to obtain it can take 2 or more years (traditionally) to complete the educational courses. Since you’re a single mom likely with a full or part-time job, you have to be realistic. It may take you twice the time to get it done, but it’s a lot better than overloading yourself. 

As you look at colleges and choose your major, look for classes during a time that’s most convenient for you. If you’re interested in a bachelor of graphic design, for instance, and you work a 9-5 job M-F, then you’d want to choose classes bright and early in the morning, in the evening, or on the weekends. 

There are also colleges that offer degree programs with online options. This allows you to get your education when it is most convenient for you. You can log on, participate, and complete assignments 24 hours a day meaning your education schedule can be flexible to accommodate your personal life. 

Look Into Scholarships, Grants, and Financial Aid

Another major hurdle for single moms wanting to go back to school is the cost. The average cost of education is an average of more than $25,000 a year. When you have several mouths to feed, this is a huge sacrifice. To try and cover some of the costs of going back to school as a single mom, look into scholarships, grants, and financial aid opportunities. 

Scholarships and grants are free money provided to eligible applicants to continue their studies. You usually have to complete an online application and may also be required to write an essay or submit your transcripts for review. If you’re low-income, you may also qualify for financial aid. This can pay for all or a portion of your college tuition. 

Another option to cut down on the cost of college would be to look into local or community programs that tend to be cheaper or apply for a student loan. Some schools also offer payment plans which allow you to pay for your tuition in smaller amounts.

Self- Care

The last bit of advice for single moms returning to school, self-care will be very essential. You’re taking care of your children, working, and going to school which can be a lot physically and emotionally. To accomplish your goals you need your health. So, make sure that you’re eating balanced meals, exercising regularly, and getting adequate sleep. You also need to find ways to unwind when you get stressed like having a cup of tea, reading a book, taking a bath, or getting a massage. 

Whatever has brought you to the decision to go back to school and get your degree, use this as motivation to get you through. Though there are some clear obstacles to overcome like finding balance, finding the time, and affording higher education, there are solutions to make these things easier. The next few years will certainly have its highs and lows, but when you’re finished you’ll realize just how worth it everything was. 

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