Graduate school is often a great sacrifice not only on your part as the student, but on the part of your family. When you miss family functions to work on papers, lock yourself in a room away from everyone to study, or are just down-right irritable because your professors or coursework is driving you nuts, your family will usually be understanding, give you space, and might even listen to the 25th rant about professor So-and-So without eye-rolling. However, there is only so far your family will go–and sadly, not all families are sympathetic about what you are trying to accomplish in obtaining your post-bac degree. GETting them involved might help you GET it done.
Get some BALANCE.
a. You’ve got family, friends, and a job. Obligations come at you from all sides. Make time for the things that matter outside your studies, and remember: you can’t study without food and fresh air to keep the oxygen flowing to your brain. A routine can help you maintain your health and well-being, especially when the unexpected happens. And don’t let the break up of your family over academic stress ever even be a possibility.
Build some accountability into your family time. Very few of us are masters of self-regulation. Create a network of nags with your friends and family that will help you be more focused during work time, and even more fun during fun time. Whenever possible, make this essential support network a part of your study plan: get your brother to quiz you before going out to a movie; explain a key concept to your child as you push her in the stroller. And remember: years from now when you look back, rarely will it be going to class that you regret; it will be the hours or minutes you could have spent with your loved ones that you didn’t.