Whether you’re raising young children, looking after teenagers, or caring for an elderly family member, finding the time, space, energy and focus needed to study can be difficult.
But don’t be disheartened — plenty of GSM London graduates have faced exactly the same challenges and still gone on to achieve their academic, professional and personal goals. So there’s no reason why you shouldn’t too.
Here are a few useful tips to help you balance your family life with your studies:
- Organise your time
Block out regular study periods and be sure to enter key dates and deadlines in your diary. Share them with your family too — if they know your timetable, they’ll find it easier to fit in around it.
- Create a quiet zone
Space permitting, set aside a room or area of the house for study. Let your family know that when you’re using it, they need to be quiet – and when you’re not, it’s business as usual.
- Set realistic goals
Setting yourself study targets is essential — but make sure they’re realistic. Try breaking your work down into achievable bite-size chunks. When time is limited, it’s better to read one chapter and understand it than be overwhelmed trying to read the whole book.
- Be adaptable
You might have planned a study session but sometimes life just gets in the way. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Study can be rescheduled. Comforting a crying toddler can’t.
- Ask for help
Friends and family can be an invaluable source of support throughout your learning journey. So if you need a babysitter for an hour or two, don’t be afraid to ask.
- Take a break
Taking regular breaks can help you understand and retain information more effectively. Even if you just step away from your desk for a few minutes, it all helps.
- Stay positive
Every now and then, remind yourself and your family why you’re doing this. By improving your career prospects, studying for a degree will not only change your life for the better, it’s going to be good for all of you.
How we can help
Remember, if you’re having problems managing your studies, we’ll do everything we can to help. Talk to your personal tutor, talk to your degree programme supervisor, or talk to the Wellbeing team. Our culture of support means there’s someone on hand who will listen to your issues and help you find a suitable solution.
What our students say about balancing family life and studying for a degree...
Choannah Gordon Anderson
BSc (Hons) Events and Entertainment Management (with Foundation Year)
“Because I’ve got young children, I’ve got to think about accessibility; campus locations and three intakes a year was a main advantage. I didn’t want to have to wait for the normal university start, I wanted to get stuck in straight away.”
BSc (Hons) Business Management with Creative Industries
“I am a mum of two amazing little boys and I am at GSM London for them! The chance to further myself and the freedom to be able to study and still be a mum to my children is amazing.”