Re entering the academic life? Gulp.

Ashley - posted on 02/02/2010 ( 7 moms have responded )

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I am absolutely thrilled to be starting school again as a full time student this summer. I have been out of classes for about two years now, due to financial and personal reasons, and I'm ecstatic to start learning again. I would be lieing if I said I wasn't a little more than apprehensive about returning, though. I work full time at a medical office, a position which I fully intend to maintain, and besides that I am a single mom. Of course I have a wonderful support system of my parents, friends, family, and even my ex's family, but that still doesn't stop my own inner fears. How will I find time to study? When will I be able to play with Muck? Can I handle working full time and going to school full time?

I know I'm probably being to analytical, I mean I've been there before and I have so much more determination now than I did previously, but just looking at classes and reviewing material has a big knot rising in my throat...one that I'm not sure will remedy itself.

Any pointers?

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Toni - posted on 03/26/2010

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Ashley:

I just finished my freshman year, taking online courses. It helps to have a good support system. Also, figure out when you are most productive. For the last year, I have been waiting for my boy to go to bed to do homework or whatever needs to be done. I have realize recently, I can concentrate better in the morning. So, now I get up an hour before I know he will, and do work.

I am going through the "will I be able to handle full time job, full time student and full time mom." I will be working for the first time in 2 years in a week or so. I am a little worried, but remember you have breaks (lunch) at work to get some school work done. That will add time you can be with your child. :-)

You can do it, just believe in yourself and remember that what you're doing will only be for the better for you and your baby!!!

Elissa - posted on 02/24/2010

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Debbie's advice above is really good -- take notes on that! My kids are older so there's nowhere near as much demand for my time. Even for those of us with older kids, though, you do need to remember to take a break from school and keep an eye on what they're doing, too. But chances are good that, if you're trying to go to school while they are, too, they'll be inspired by your example. They may roll their eyes and pretend to be embarrassed, but I guarantee that later on they'll have nothing but good things to say about it all, and how it helped them push themselves to succeed.

If you have young children, whether babies or toddlers, it's definitely going to be a big challenge for you -- but it's still possible. Take advantage of nap time, for example. Don't let TV be the only babysitter, but if you need an hour to work on homework, then turn it on. Ask your partner or family members or close friends to babysit on occasion. And if it's not very demanding homework, it may be possible to do it while nursing or feeding a baby or "playing" with your toddler (if it's a quiet playtime activity).

If you work as well, bring your homework with you and try to work on it during your break times. Not all employers will be supportive or sympathetic, but some will be and may on occasion turn a blind eye if you're unavailable for 15 minutes (especially if what you're studying makes you an even more valuable employee).

Good luck. :)

Stacey - posted on 02/17/2010

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You will be just fine!!!! I went back to school after 21 years. And I absolutely love it. If you can, try to take some online classes. They are more flexible than classes on campus. I do want to say that, It is great that your excited to go back, that is the first step. You enrolled and that counts for something, major. Now, you just have to take one day at a time and you will get through it. I wish you the Best Of Luck!!!!

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I started my first semester back to college (online) one month after I found out I was pregnant with our 1st daughter. That was back in January 2005. I was working full time and for that semester, I attended full-time. After our daughter was born, it became much more challenging, and I learned to accept the changes I had to make to my schooling commitment. I've had another daughter since, and for 2 semesters, I attended school part-time, while working full-time. And then I quit my job. =) I am not a single mom and it was an option my husband & I had already been discussing.

You have to juggle your priorities sometimes. While you have the same typical "top 5" or so, sometimes you might have to shift them around. If your support system is willing to babysit - even overnight - when midterms, big papers or finals come, that might help. You may have to adjust the number of classes you participate in depending on your job, your health, your child's, etc.

I would suggest this: DON'T try to do it all. Find a balance and be willing to adjust. That's been difficult for me sometimes. You DO have more reason to succeed in school now than you may have had before. It will be hard work. Sometimes you will want to quit school. Sometimes you will want to quit work. And sometimes, you'll want a break from mommying so you can focus.

Be up front with your support system and see who is willing to back you up "on the fly" if necessary. Review your syllabi and schedules and plan out your days and times for studying - writing in pencil so you can adjust as needed.

The first semester was my hardest. After that, finding the balance has been something I've learned. Even now - no longer working - I struggle to find the time to DO all I need to for my school, but I ask for help when I need it - and I take a break when I need it, too. And sometimes I just cry and throw my hands up in the air. But hopefully in about 18 months I'll be coming to the end of my schooling and will have my degree in hand.

Danielle - posted on 02/05/2010

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Are you going to tranditional college classes or online? What are you majoring in? I tried to maintain traditional classes (Nursing School/BSN) it got too overwhelming for me. I changed my major to Healthcare Administration and go online to the University of Phoenix. I thought I'd never be able to discipline myself enough, but I love it!!! I get to make my own schedule and only take one class at a time (they're 5 week classes). No matter what, enough determination will take you far! Try to schedule study time just like you would your child's doctors appointment, something you HAVE to do no matter how tired you or how many other things need to be done.

Another thing I learned was that sometimes you have to let the little stuff go, like laundry or dishes or certain chores around the house. You are only one person, first your child, then work and school. Keep your head up, it will be rough (don't lie to yourself),but YOU CAN DO IT! After all, you're a mom, and us mom's can do anything we set our mind to!

Stacy - posted on 02/04/2010

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I know how you feel. I went back to college a couple of years ago after being out of school for a good 9 years. I to this day am still in school. You just have to take each day in stride. I am not sure what your school schedule is like or how old your child/children are. But if they are school age, one day do your homework with them and see the amazement in their eyes of what you can do. Your child/children will be your support and motivation to realize what your doing is great and your worries will start to melt. Even if your child/children are not of school age yet, show him/her what you are doing and it will help too. I do my homework with my two girls everyday and not only does it make it easier for me to get by each day, but it motivates them to do their best. Another thing to do that helps too is to write a schedule out and rearrange it to fit in your homework time. Good luck and congratulations for going back to school!!!

Shawna - posted on 02/02/2010

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I started classes in October 2008. It is overwhelming at times but I just keep my eyes on the future and how much better things will be when I'm done with my degree. Making time to do everything is hard but just remember kids are kids only once. I try to do homework after my little one has gone to bed or if he takes a nap during the day. You can do this!!!! We are moms, we do what we have to do. Get yourself into a routine and that will help. Good luck to you!!!

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