This weekend is a memorable one in our household. My husband got his diploma! He is officially a college graduate! Yay! You have no idea how excited we are about this accomplishment….but even more excited that the student life is now over!
This was a long road for us, but in the end I think it brought us closer as a family. I know it was my husband that did all of the schoolwork part, but as a family we all had to make sacrifices so that he could deal with school, time, deadlines, and so on.
When I got my degree, I was single and a full time student….and I thought I was stressed out with schoolwork. I have to laugh now because I really didn’t know what “stress” was until I watched my husband juggle school, family, and a full time job, not to mention his position as the multimedia director at our church. He really accomplished so much more than just a degree.
I know there are so many families that go through the same thing we did. So I would like to share some tips on ways that we got through this difficult time of juggling the Student Life with the Family Life:
1. Time Management
I know my husband won’t mind me telling you that he is not the greatest when it comes to time management. He is a total procrastinator….and it drives me bananas. If the assignment is due at midnight, he is pushing the send button at 11:59 PM. Oh, how it stressed us both out so much. What helped him was getting a calendar together and scheduling out times to study and do schoolwork. William really learned how to manage his time so that he was not only getting school work completed, but also tending to our family needs.
2. Peace and Quiet
William’s desk area is right in our living room. So getting away to do school work was not exactly in the cards for him. He had to wait until the kiddo was in bed and the room was quiet before he could really focus. For me, this was a particularly difficult thing because I had to stop watching television because he could not focus with “Modern Family” on in the background. I would go upstairs and watch TV or work around the house on laundry, dishes, etc. so that he could get some work done with some peace and quiet.
3. Love Language
Poor William had a tough road not only because of the pressures of projects and homework, but because his wife (that’s me) has a ridiculous need for quality time. Quality Time is my love language. If you have never read the book, “The 5 Love Languages” by Gary Chapman- definitely take time to read it! William had to really set aside time not only for studying, but also for spending quality time with me and Maggie. This is not an easy task, especially on finals week, but he always managed to make us feel like we were first in his life.
4. Understanding through the A’s and the D’s
William was a great student! However, he was not a strait A student. Every once in awhile he would struggle with a class and get a lower grade than what I would have wanted. I had to be understanding that his learning style is different from mine, and he was doing his best! And in the end he finished with a really great GPA, so the earlier classes taught him how to pull his grades up:)
5. Support System
I definitely don’t take credit for William getting his degree- he did that on his own. However, as his family, we certainly helped him get to the finish line. There were nights where I needed his help with bath time, dishes, laundry, etc. but he had a quiz or homework and could not help me. Instead of complaining, I reminded myself that this was a team effort and I have to do my part in order for him to finish. It’s not always easy, but if you work as a team, your whole family can work together to finish that degree!
Remember that there are many ups and downs when you are seeking your degree. Sometimes you are going to have a rough day. There is a lot on your plate if you are a student with a family.
You won’t always meet the deadlines.
You won’t always get that perfect grade.
Don’t beat yourself up! You are doing the best you can and that’s all that matters! You are accomplishing something that not everyone can. Congratulations and keep up the good work!