The Caretaker’s Guide to Going Back to School

Trying to take care of home and work at the same time can be absolutely stressful. You want to earn money for your family, but you want to also make sure that you are doing everything as you need to handle it. What about going back to school?

Before you say that you can’t go back to school and there’s no way that you can make that dream come true…hear me out. I am a former caretaker. In many ways, I can still be considered a caretaker. I can still be considered someone that reaches out to make sure that others are safe and sound. It’s not all of what I do, but it does form the bulk of what I do. I really want to make sure that people feel empowered to go back to school. The truth is that there’s never going to be this magical “right time” where the stars align and every light on the road is green. You’re going to have some obstacles that others don’t have. Instead of getting upset, you have to learn how to work within your limitations at all times.

going back to school

So, where do you really begin? Well, you want to make sure that you decide what type of classes you want to take. I think it’s incredibly important for caretaker-students to figure out immediately what they want to do and how they want to do it, because you have people to take care of. Trying to major in a degree that won’t help you make more money would be silly. The key to going back to school is to find out what goals you ultimately want to bring to the forefront. If you’re someone that wants to make extra money — great. If you just want to go back to school to learn new things, you might want to consider auditing a course, as it might be cheaper than what you imagined.

Don’t ever hesitate to get things done in a certain pattern. As long as you can move in the right direction, there’s really nothing that you can’t achieve.

Remember that you need to get a good support network if you’re going to go back to school. The average caretaker student doesn’t ask for help, and I think that’s a shame. The average caretaker student acts like they can do it all on their own, then wonders why they’re always stressed and burned out. Do you see exactly why it’s a problem? You can’t assume that you will always be able to solve everything yourself. Get other people involved in the process.

Set clear limits for your time! Don’t hesitate to let others know that you’re going to be busy. You need to make time for not only watching over your family, but for your studies as well. If you need to go to class, you have to make that a priority. Likewise, studying has to be pretty high on the list.

There’s money out there for non-traditional students. Colleges and universities realize that people come from a lot of different backgrounds, and they have something that’s valuable. They have experience. They know what it’s like to work hard. They’re taking care of their families, holding down jobs, and trying to learn balance. That’s all pretty powerful, and it shouldn’t be ignored in the slightest.

As long as you can focus, there’s nothing that you can’t do. As long as you are thinking about what you want out of the educational experience, there’s no place that you can’t go. Look at your family as motivation. Don’t you owe it to them to take your educational dreams seriously?