For an adult with a family, getting back to school is a big decision.
How will your loved ones be impacted by the change? What effect will
it have on daily routines? Can you and your family work together to
make this dream a reality?
These are important questions to ask as you return to the path of
academic achievement. Being prepared isn’t just about schedules,
books, and tuition. It’s about setting the stage for success where it
matters most–within the family unit. Here are ten steps to follow to
make your return to school a success the whole family can celebrate.
Break the news early.
Don’t wait for an acceptance letter to tell your family about your
plans. Instead, make them a part of the process from the very
beginning. Let them know you’ve been thinking about going back to
school. Talk about what it would mean for you and for them. Keep
them informed during the research and application stages. Seek
their feedback, and talk it through together. This way, when the
first day of class rolls around, a solid foundation is already in
Put your daily planner to work.
The demands of your coursework–and the impact it has on
family life–will change from week to week. Your course assignment
list contains valuable information that can help you plan more
carefully. Combine this with detailed planning of family
obligations, and you’ll be surprised how effectively you can map
things out. It makes a big difference when you and your family
know what to expect on a given day or
Remind your family (and yourself) that it’s all
Planning and communicating
will help to create a more positive experience for everyone in the
family; but the fact is, your personal reserves of time and energy
will be stretched beyond the norm. Remind your family–and
yourself–that the situation is temporary, and that reaching this
important milestone will be worth it in the end.
Keep them involved.
common mistake is to try and separate coursework from family life.
This is a missed opportunity. By involving family members in your
studies, you can build knowledge while strengthening family bonds.
Ask your loved ones to help you study for exams and quizzes
(flashcards are a great tool) and, to the extent that the
assignment permits, help you with an upcoming presentation. They
can help track your progress, and even find clever ways to reward
you for a job well done!
Talk about your classes.
Parents are well-known for asking their kids what they learned at
school that day. Now is the time to turn the tables. Keep your
family engaged in your academic progress by sharing an interesting
fact or theory you picked up in class. This can spark lively
dinnertime discussion, and it might inspire your kids to say more
about what’s going on in their own coursework.
Make study time a shared event.
If you have school-aged children, you won’t be the only
person in the house who needs to hit the books on a given night.
If possible, make study time into a shared family event. This can
add an extra layer of motivation to your shared pursuit of
Find small opportunities to maximize study
If time is short, it helps to find
small study windows and exploit them. When driving home from work,
listen to audio notes from your coursework. When using public
transit, absorb yourself in reading. Recorded lectures and audio
notes are another great way to strengthen your grasp of the
coursework while doing everyday chores.
Building self-care practices into your weekly routine (e.g. yoga,
nature walks, or even the occasional visit to a massage therapist)
may help to keep your stress levels down and your energy reserves
Be an inspiration.
decision to go back to school can serve as an inspiration to the
household. Is your spouse also considering a career change? Do you
have a child who wants to join a team or extracurricular activity?
Following your own dreams might just give your loved ones the
extra push they need to do the same.
Always make time for family.
When school starts, spending quality with your family
becomes even more important. Set aside time for a trip to the
movies, the park, or a sporting event. Join together for dinner as
much as possible. Keep in mind that it’s not all about school.
This will go a long way toward achieving the balance you and your
loved ones need.
A SUPPORTIVE SCHOOL MAKES A DIFFERENCE
Kelley Everett, founder of Youth Angel Scholars Incorporated, had
this to say of her experience at Strayer University: “I returned to
school shortly after giving birth to my daughter, and completed my
graduate degree upon the birth of my son. It took a tremendous amount
of time management, balance, and patience, but Strayer University
staff supported me every step of the way! I never saw my education as
something that would take time away from my family or business.
Strayer always encouraged me to view my education from a holistic
approach and as something we all could accomplish
Working a job and having a family doesn’t mean your academic goals
are out of reach. With the right approach, the next great milestone is
closer than you think.
Learn about Strayer University
and their unique programs to help adults balance the demands of
school, work, and family life. Or call an admissions officer at 877-445-7180.