By Nolitha Ngamlana
This article is exclusive to the Online Edition 5 of VARSITY News.
Juggling university and your personal life can be difficult to manage – especially if you have many responsibilities at home or in your personal space. It becomes even more difficult during exam season when you have to study and prep in advance for those gruesome exams that typically last for the whole month of June or December. These responsibilities are many, but students still manage to keep their lives going.
Some of the busiest and committed students are those who are parents. Here are a few tips/experiences from student-mothers who are able to burn the midnight oil while being a nurturer.
I won’t lie. Studying like this was hard. Some days it felt way too hard. There were days I cried. But then there were fabulous days too – when assignments and exams were completed, and I got the reward for the effort. And that fantastic end-of-year feeling when everything was handed in and you were totally done? Priceless. – Ella Walsh, writer and editor for kidspot.com
As a mom and a student, you’ll quickly learn that the early morning hours will be your holy grail of productivity. It’s important to get your rest so try to get in bed by 10 pm. Wake up between 4 and 5 am to get a head start on your work. Plus, it’s good to let your professors and advisers know the workload you’re balancing. – Staci Gerardi, writer for novembersunflower.com
My advice to other mothers who work and go to school would be to never give up. It can get chaotic, but the overall result is worth the madness. Have faith in yourself, believe in your abilities and know that you are doing it to better you! Another tip would be to make time for yourself! I used to feel guilty for having alone time, but I can honestly say it has helped me juggle being a mother, student, and employee! – Lexi, from shestheglue.com interview.
My number one piece of advice would be to pray. Even if you’re not a particularly religious person, there’s positive benefits to regular periods of calm reflection. Science backs this up—studies of people who engage in prayer and meditation-like activities have shown to increase levels of dopamine and decrease high blood pressure, with a host of other health benefits. – Kourtney Leuthold from the rasmussen.edu interview.
It takes a lot of energy and effort to raise children and earn a degree. It’s also wise to call on your support system during this time. If you have family members and friends who are willing to help out, be open to receiving help. Look at the free resources you might have available. If you’re a single mom, you might be able to receive assistance for childcare. If you need certain educational resources for free, local and school libraries might have those available. It’s all about doing your research to find out about these outside supplemental resources. There may be days when it all feels hopeless and difficult. There will be other days when it feels doable. Whatever you do, don’t quit. Before long, you’ll have your degree and you’ll be able to continue pursuing a better life for your family! – Staci Gerardi, writer for novembersunflower.com