Arts & Life, Grad School, Special Projects

Tips & tricks for surviving grad school while parenting

Learning to balance being in school and responsibilities out of the classroom can be challenging, especially for those who are in school with children at home. Returning student Victoria Ferreyra, a French & Francophone Studies major on the teaching track, shared her tips on how she balances her studies and takes care of her son.

1. Time management is more important than ever. Learning to create time blocks for things that absolutely need to get done can help in organizing and completing assignments while blocking time for self-care gives much-needed breaks in a hectic schedule.

2. Stop procrastinating and enjoy the feeling of being ahead. It is easy to procrastinate on assignments, but always running behind is stressful and can cause grades to slip. Being ahead helps you keep track of assignments and gives more room for spontaneous time with family at home. Not only will you accomplish more, but you will do it with far less stress.

3. Learn what is truly a priority. It’s often difficult to figure out what can be left for another time and what can’t. Recognizing when your plate is full and understanding what doesn’t really need to be on it is a key lesson for balancing life at home and school.

4. Lean into your support system. There are people around you who love and support both your and your little one’s needs and who want you to succeed. Leaning on them for help with babysitting, housework, or even just listening to what’s going on lets you know you aren’t alone as you go through this.

5. Reach out to your professors and advisors. Don’t feel bad about needing help sometimes. Your professors and advisors want to help you succeed and it is always better to address things before they actually become a problem.

6. Remember to be present in everything you do. While juggling everything, it can be hard to take a moment and enjoy life, but being present at family dinners, in class, or at bedtime with your little one remind you of the important things in life and what you are doing it all for.

7. Take time for yourself. Regularly do something just for you that brings joy and makes you feel yourself again. Whether that be going to a coffee shop by yourself or reviving habits that you’ve neglected since becoming busy, giving yourself space to do things you love will bring a much-needed pick me up in times of stress.

Parenting and school are both full-time jobs, but with a few tips and tricks, being dedicated to both isn’t impossible.

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