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Herzing University

Ashley Oloshove

3 Lessons from a Single Mom on Balancing Family, School and Work

The thought of going back to college can be overwhelming by itself. Then throw in your job, or multiple jobs, your family, your kids, your pets.

The thought of going back to college can be overwhelming by itself. Then throw in your job, or multiple jobs, your family, your kids, your pets – it’s a lot to keep track of.

Here are three lessons I’ve learned while balancing school, two jobs and three kids:

1. Get into a routine and stick to it

My life can sometimes feel like a crazy mess with too many things to take care of in a short amount of time. I’ve learned that you have to have a routine to keep things in order, and I dedicate certain days for certain tasks and activities. For example, Saturdays are my family day, when I do something special with my kids.

I’ve also mastered the art of multitasking, which makes it possible for me to stick to my routine. I work five or six days a week, but I am home with my kids every night. As the kids are eating, I am in the kitchen engaging with the children, but I might also be doing dishes or packing lunches. We might have a family movie night, but I’m working on my homework while I watch.

2. Do not procrastinate

Another lesson I’ve learned is not to procrastinate. I have been guilty of this a few times and turned in assignments late. I would have gotten full credit if I had just turned them in on time. This is not a life skill that just happens – I really had to train myself to work ahead and prioritize.

3. Save some time for yourself

The third lesson I have learned is you just have to take a “cheat” day to relax and enjoy the day. On my cheat days, I go to the zoo or to the beach with my children. Your mind needs a break to be able to focus better – at least my mind does.

It took me almost eight years to get my associates degree from a local college in my area because I did not learn these lessons. When I enrolled at Herzing University, I kept telling myself that I had to be better than I was when I was earning my associates degree. So far, I’ve been successful in sticking to my routine and not procrastinating, while still finding time for myself here and there. Hopefully these tips can help you as well!

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* Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics 2023 / Occupational Outlook Handbook 2022. BLS estimates do not represent entry-level wages and/or salaries. Multiple factors, including prior experience, age, geography market in which you want to work and degree field, will affect career outcomes and earnings. Herzing neither represents that its graduates will earn the average salaries calculated by BLS for a particular job nor guarantees that graduation from its program will result in a job, promotion, salary increase or other career growth.

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