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So you’ve decided to dust off that old book bag and go back to school, huh? Going back to school as a mom is no easy feat. Regardless of age or whether it’s been 10 months or 10 years, nothing truly prepares us for college life post-baby. As a first time mom, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. From the late nights and early mornings to the countless dirty diapers, my life had never been so hectic. But here I am wanting to further add to that craziness by going back to school. I thought I would share five tips that have helped me so far.
1) Take Online Courses
As a stay at home, I found it hard to even think about school let alone actually go. Luckily, there are a plethora of online schools available. Sites like Guides to Online Schools offer tons of resources to help you find one that works for you. Also, check out local community colleges, like I did. Many offer online courses; so if you’re looking to test the waters, this might work best.
2) Fun-ctional Supplies
So you’ve registered for a class or two, now what? Get your supplies. Aside from textbooks, (and a laptop/desktop computer), you’re going to need some school supplies. Even if you’re taking courses online, you should still invest in some notebooks or 3 ring binders with filler paper and plenty of writing utensils. But keep in mind, school supplies don’t have to be boring! If you buy things that you like, you’ll actually end up using them. Buy that binder with the cute design, go crazy with colorful pens. If you’re a minimalist, you might opt for things in black and white. Just get things you like. It’ll be worth it in the long run. I like using Five Star’s Flex Hybrid Notebinders because they are thin and flexible like regular notebooks but they also have rings so I can hole punch and add any other papers I need for my classes as well. They also come with dividers, college ruled filler paper, and graph filler paper already included. I also use various colored pens to take my notes because they help keep me organized and all the colors are super fun. Some of My favorite pens are the Pilot G2 pens. The ink is smooth and long lasting. But I also like the Pilot Frixion Pens because they are erasable
3) Use A Planner
As moms, our lives are busy. It’s already hard trying to manage a family and stick to our daily routines and now we’ve thrown school into the mix. One thing that has been my saving grace, is using a planner. I personally use Ryder Carrol’s Bullet Journal System coupled with my iPhone calendar. The beauty of the Bullet Journal system is that it can be anything you want it to be. You have complete control of how you want to plan your life using just a pen and a blank notebook. I usually use monthly and weekly layouts, and I make daily to-do lists. If you’re looking for some bullet journal inspiration check out Pinterest or the #bulletjournal on Instagram. The possibilities are endless!
I also recently started using MAMBI’s Happy Planner. They have tons of colors, designs, and sizes. Whether you want a traditional yearly planner or one for fitness and recipes, MAMBI has got you covered. Regardless, there are tons of planners and organizational systems out there. Even if you’d rather jot things down in a small notepad. Just find a system that works for you and stick with it. Because at the end of the day, it won’t matter what sort of planner you decide upon if you don’t actually USE it.
4) Create A Schedule
Now that you’ve got your planner system in full effect, create a study schedule. Are you going to study every morning or every night? Try to devote a set time frame for studying. We all know this is probably the toughest part. I choose to study at night after I’ve put my son to bed. It’s the best time for me because I know he’s going to sleep for a solid 8 hours at least (if I’m lucky). I can make myself a cup of tea, grab some snacks, and just get to work without any interruptions. Of course, however, energetic toddlers don’t always go to bed right away. If that happens, I usually include him in my study time. For example, sometimes I read to him. It makes the seemingly boring material a lot easier to power through when I’m reading it in funny voices. Before I know it, he’s fast asleep and I’ve read my chapters for the night. It’s a win-win.
5) Don’t Overdo It
If you can handle being a mom and going back to school, I say go for it. But if you’re starting to feel overwhelmed, always remember it’s OK to take a step back, take a break, and don’t ever be afraid to ask for help. This last part is especially crucial. Whether you need help with the kids or help understanding material, ask for help as soon as you need it.
What are some other back to school tips that have helped you?