As a military spouse and as someone who went back to school as a mom of young children, I know a thing or two about going back to school and juggling life. Military spouses may have just a little bit more on our plate; raising a family, dealing with deployments, working full time – just to name a few. You might be nearing the end of the fall semester and finding yourself wondering how you are going to get it all done.
Going back to school and balancing life can be challenging, but it doesn’t mean it has to be impossible. Finding a means to balance the demands of our loved ones while staying true to our own needs will help enable us to succeed and help us from being stressed out. Based on my own experiences, here are 4 tips that I have found helpful for managing life and academic studies successfully.
Make a Schedule, Stick to It
Now that you are in school, your schedule needs to be extended and arranged. Because work is at a set time each day, you need to determine where school time fits best. Whether it is early in the morning before anyone is up, or late at night after the kids are in bed. Mark set times on your calendar daily for assignments, reading, tests and any other school work that needs to get done. Don’t cram in what you can with the few spare minutes you may have. Plan ahead and set your schedule weekly, this way you know what you have going on for the week and what you can and can’t do.
Tell Your Friends and Family
Don’t let friends and family make you feel guilty about saying no. You may not make it to each family event or get together. Be open and honest, learn to say no if it interferes with your school schedule and deadlines.
Plan, Don’t Procrastinate
As much as you truly think you work better under pressure, don’t ever push back a school deadline. Especially if you have decided to go back to school online, always plan for something to go wrong. Wi-Fi goes down, computers crash, always plan ahead for something to not go as planned. Submitting work ahead of time will assure you to be ahead of the game and not have to stress out over the school dashboard glitch, just 2 minutes before it is due. Don’t scramble at the last minute.
Don’t Get Distracted
This can mean so many different things like; checking your email, Facebook, Twitter, text messages – it takes up so much time! When you are trying to study and your phone rings, do you ignore it or answer it? Don’t even think twice about it; shut it off before starting any school work. Stop the distractions before they start and don’t get caught in the rabbit hole.
Have you gone back to school? What tips can you share with us that have helped you succeed?
About the blogger: Angela Caban is an Army National Guard spouse, published author and branding expert. In 2010, she founded the Homefront United Network, a military spouse and family support blog created to assist spouses who do not live near an installation, but also focusing on bridging the gap between National Guard, Reserve and Active Duty spouses. She has an extensive background in Human Resources and Communications, with her Bachelor’s in Business Administration and a Master’s in Human Resources. Angela resides in the beautiful Garden State of New Jersey with her husband and two children.