I know a lot of parents are in the same situation I’m in right now: I am a single parent who recently returned to school to earn her associate’s degree. I’m returning to school to not only better my life, but to make life better for my son, too.
It is wonderful to know that I will have a degree in a short amount of time and be able to start working, and stop stressing financially. But I had to prepare myself for the challenge of returning to school, because it is so hard to leave my son with the babysitter. I try to remember that it’s only for a short while. The challenge and how I’m overcoming it is teaching me how important my education is to me, and reminding me that my sacrifice will help both my son and I in the long run.
Here are a few tips on how to make going back to school easier for you and your family:
- Gain support from family and friends.
- Work hard and stay positive.
- Keep your eye on your goal, such as having a steady job and being able pay bills.
- Remind yourself how important your education is to you, and of the future benefits it will bring to your entire family.
- Remember the benefits having a degree can bring, such as making your job search more successful.
I have doubted myself and my decision to go back to school so many times, but being successful in class has made me very confident about my future. I’ll go through good times, but I’ll also go through bad times where I struggle just to finish school. My struggles and doubt will all pay off in the end, however, because I will better my life. I always try to remember that I am doing this for my son and myself!
If you want to return to school, the most important thing to remember is to stay strong and focused. Make sure you stay motivated by managing your time and staying disciplined. Remember to reflect on what benefits school can bring you—for me, it is security for my family. And remember to focus and to commit yourself to achieving that goal!
Merlissa Yazzie is a freshman at the Flagstaff campus of CollegeAmerica. She is now in the process of earning her Associate’s in Medical Specialties. She is also a single parent to her two-year-old. Her goal is to be independent and not let anything hold her back from getting a higher education for herself and her son. She is only 19 months away from graduation!