As the saying goes, knowledge is power. We are fortunate enough to live in a part of the world where we have relatively easy access to education. This couldn’t come at a better time, as education is now a hugely prized asset and can open many doors. However, it still cannot be taken for granted. In today’s extraordinarily competitive job market, a degree alone unfortunately won’t get you a job. Having bags of experience is what will really secure you the role. But with a lot of jobs these days asking for a degree as a minimum entry requirement, it can still be worth going to uni – or going back to university! Many people went to university the first time round but didn’t get what they wanted out of it. If this sounds like you, you could be joining the hundreds of mothers who are returning to education after having kids. If you didn’t go to university at all, don’t think that just because you’re a mum you can’t go! There are plenty of ways you can enjoy being a mum and a student all in one (although will considerably less partying!).
Be picky about your hours
Most university courses don’t require many hours of ‘contact time’ anyway. There is a much greater emphasis on independent learning than at other forms of education such as colleges or schools. So, chances are you won’t be in university too much anyway. But, on the rare occasion you have too many hours, speak to one of your lecturers about it. They may be able to send you lecture slides direct to your email, making it easier for you to catch up at home. If they know you are a mum, and a working one at that, they should be able to pull some strings. When it comes to signing up for seminars, make sure you get in there early so you get first dibs on the group that best fits your schedule.
Know how to write
If your course is mainly academic, chances are you’ll be writing a lot of essays. However, as a mum there’s no lazy afternoons spent in the university library ‘working’ on your dissertation. Nor will there be the option of doing it the night before it’s due, fuelled by Dominos Pizza and copious amounts of coffee. Certainly not when the kids need taking to school in the morning! Ensure you are fully equipped when writing an essay so you don’t need to do draft after draft. If your work is good enough, it can even be published by the university. These 250 articles for professors, researchers, scholars and advanced students on publishing their research can help you perfect your writing. Plus, getting published is great for your CV.
Strike a balance
If you find yourself getting a bit carried away with your student colleagues, don’t be alarmed! Student life is a culture in its own right these days. If everyone on your course is typical ‘student age’, you may feel slightly smug sat there fresh as a daisy in seminars whilst they all cradle their hangovers. But also, if you need a night off – go for it! Leaving the kids with your husband or parents for the night will be a welcome treat for them, and you’ll get to burn off some steam.