5 Things you need to do to finish your degree while being a parent

This post has been long coming, but I just couldn’t bring myself to believe that I did it. You see, I started to study before I had my baby and I always said I’d finish before I had any. However, God had other plans and I was pregnant right before my summer internship. Many changes had to be made and at some point, I thought I was not going to be able to finish. All these things led me to speak with my Academic Advisor, which in turn led to a change in my concentration, and once that was done I realized I was only two classes away from graduating. I was not about to give up!

As Fall Semester approaches, I wanted to take a few minutes and share with you all some tips and a whole lot of encouragement because YOU CAN DO IT TOO!

  1. Take it one day at a time– On the first day, when you get your syllabus, go ahead and write it all down on a calendar. Then, divide each reading assignment and paper into daily tasks. Focus on those daily tasks. If you see the big picture you will get overwhelmed. Also, checking off daily tasks lets you know that you are doing something. The sense of accomplishment will carry you on.
  2. Schedule time to study– We live crazy lives and our kids will always be first, so just like in a job, schedule time in your day to work on schoolwork. Be it an hour, or two, even a half hour, but I do not recommend more than three at a time. Be accountable for your study time.
  3. Take breaks! Go on vacations- Although we always strive for the best and we want to dedicate all our “free” time to study, there must be a balance. At times, a break from school is the best option for your mental health and your family.
  4. Understand that the grade is not all– Of course we all want to get straight A’s, and of course, a good GPA is important, but it is not all. There are times in which we need to decide between getting an A and sacrificing time with family, or spending that time with family and getting a B. I promise it will be rewarding to go for family time. Besides, when you graduate, your employer will not look at your grades but at your degree.
  5. Know that you are doing the best you can- Be it that you are a working mom or a stay at home mom (or dad), you are doing the best you can and in the best way you know how to. Do not give up and listen to those that want to help you. Filter all the info and decide on what is best. It is ok to have moments of not believing this but move past it, you are doing your best.

As I said, I felt like giving up and it is OK to feel that way. The important thing is to keep on pushing and to not give up. I believe in you! Grab hold to God’s hand and walk by Faith. Be it that you are going to finish an Associates, a Bachelor’s, or Graduate Studies, believe in you because I do. Being a parent does not have to hold you back from finishing what you started, yes dads- I’m talking to you too! Fill yourself with courage and give it a go. You will not know until you try it.

Anchored in Faith,

Hermaris

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