How do you balance Family and college?

on Mar 24, 2015 @ 08:42 pm

More and more women are going back to school, college and university. But what is the best way to make sure that you find time for your family, and still ace your studies?

8 Replies

priorities on Mar 24, 2015 @ 09:03 pm

I think you need to set priorities. Your studies will end soon enough, your family will still be there. You need to book time with them, but at the same time make sure you're taking your studies seriously and not skimping on studying. Getting the right kind of degree will improve your chances of getting a higher paying job, which will in turn provide better for your family.

So true on Mar 24, 2015 @ 09:15 pm

I agree with you glumbumble, I am off to college in the fall so I was just polling to see how others handle it. Thanks for your input.

School/Family on Mar 25, 2015 @ 12:43 am

It helps to be organized and to create a plan and schedule of important family events, as well as exams and other school projects you have no choice but to complete. Plan everything with an agenda where you will prioritize what needs to be done that day, week and month.

You can also use your agenda to plan your meals in advance by writing a weekly menu. I suggest making your favorite dishes in advance and freezing them. Since you've already prepped the menu and some meals, you'll have more time on your hands to dedicate to either family, education, or both!

As for education, don't be shy to ask a student advisor or guidance counsellor for help. They can offer you tips on how to better schedule your classes. For instance, you can free up some time to include study breaks in between classes, giving you less studying to do at home. In addition, you could look into summer classes so that you'll have a lightened load for your fall and winter semesters. It may take a little longer to get your degree, but you'll know that you'll be working at a pace that is also allowing for you to be with your family.

Another point is to know your limits. It's very easy to develop a burnout when you're juggling so many priorities at once. Understand that you can't always be available for everyone at all times and that's perfectly fine. Discuss this with your family and work together in order to pitch in with different tasks so that you won't have to manage everything yourself. Don't forget to also make time for yourself in order to de-stress and find your balance again.

Good luck with your studies and your home life!


School on Mar 27, 2015 @ 06:51 pm

It's really hard to balance everything. I'm in the last year of my degree and it has been a struggle.

I think it's easier when you live in the same city as your family. For the first two years I did, so it was super easy to go to school during the week, work part time, hang out with friends occasionally, and see family on weekends.

But then I moved to another province for the last two years and it's been so hard. There will be some people that make an effort to stay in your life and that's awesome. There are some people that get busy with their own lives and you need to be bugging them for chat time, whether it's on the phone, videochat, or emails/messaging.

I think what also helps though is that you narrow down who is really your friend and who isn't. The first year of university I tried to keep in contact with the same circle of friends I had in high school, but it didn't work. I'm still friends with half of them, but the others I'm not. But that's okay. I still see what they're up to through social media, but I've learned that it's more important to spend time on the people who are willing to put an equal effort into the friendship as you are.

It can be hard with family, too, especially if you can't afford to travel or they can't afford to travel. When I first moved provinces it was also the first time I moved out of my parents' house. I've only seen my mother in person on 4 separate occasions (she came to visit for a week, I went there for a week, that sort of thing) over the past 2 years. That was so devastating to me at first because my mother is my best friend. We still talk every week on the phone, but I do miss getting a hug whenever I needed one.

I think you just have to know your priorities. Get your schoolwork done, but if you feel yourself burning out, maybe you need to lighten the course load. I've never done a full course load for a full year. Most of the time I take 4 classes instead of 5 per semester, though I did do 5 classes a couple of semesters. But I've taken spring courses and summer courses to make up for it. And you know what? There's no shame in taking an extra year to finish your program, if your program has that kind of flexibility. A lot of college programs don't because they're very defined (like hairdressing and graphic design), but university degrees have more wiggle room.

I think the important thing is to remember that school is only a small part of your life, but your family is something that is always going to be there, so don't neglect them. Love them, let them know that you might not be as present as usual because you're really busy, and they'll understand.

Thanks ladies on Mar 31, 2015 @ 05:39 pm

You all have some great points, thank you for taking the time to post your comments, they are well received, you have reinforced some of the points I had in mind and introduced me to new ones, I am grateful! Also thanks for the the well wishes.

time on Mar 31, 2015 @ 10:15 pm

I'm back at school, run a blog and a creative business project. It's hard but prioritizing really helps. Eliminate the stuff that has no real meaning in your life and try to get sleep and exercise.

Balance on Apr 01, 2015 @ 01:43 am

I think it's hard to do, it helps if you explain to your family that education is your main focus temporarily, my family understands because I am in nursing school and I rarely have time for family!

Part-time studies on Apr 07, 2015 @ 12:03 pm

If you can manage your course load (by taking summer classes or enrolling as a part-time student) that's half the battle. Being a student often means sacrificing other things (like family time). I doubt there is a perfect balance, but if you can allocate time specifically for school and time that's for the family, then you can satisfy those separate needs

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