Here’s to the Kids!

Here’s to the Kids!

Finding balance as a student and parent is a tough gig. For those who must balance work on top, it can be overwhelming to say the least. We often talk about the struggle of working-student-parents, but there’s a group that is often overlooked in this journey; the kids. Our kids are on the same journey we are, and while we all hope to build them a better future, in the meantime, they feel the effects of our hard work and dream chasing. So, here’s to the kids…

Photo submitted by Casey Caines.

To the babies who grow up being rocked to sleep with lullabies of Plato and Organic Chemistry.

To the kids who learned to fall asleep on the floors of the library during exam week.

To the children who never complained about cereal for dinner too many nights in a row.

To the little ones who are the first at daycare in the morning so their parents can go to school, and the last ones to leave at night so their parents can go to work.

To the toddlers who learned to walk down the corridors of an empty school.

To the kids who had to share their family time with textbooks and laptops.

And to all the children who missed a good morning and, also a goodnight, because when you are a working student, sometimes 24-hours just isn’t enough.

I know it can’t be easy being the child of a working, student, parent. One day, there will be more time, and less studying. There will be less cereal, and more suppers at the kitchen table. You will walk this path together, even when its difficult, because you need to finish, and they need to see you do it. So, here’s to the kids who will grow strong, resilient, and educated because their first example was their parents.

Submitted by GPRC Education Ambassador, Casey Caines. 

Surviving College : The Working Mom Edition

Surviving College : The Working Mom Edition

Motherhood is one of the most challenging paths one can take in life. Tiny humans depend entirely on you to sustain their lives. College also happens to be one of the most challenging and stressful undertakings. Put those together and add a job as so many of us do and you’re talking Britney Spears circa 2007 level pressure. As a mother and a student as well as a business owner, though I claim to be an expert at none, I know how difficult the constant balance is so I’ve devised my own tips to surviving college when tiny people and businesses depend on you while also maintaining ones mental health.

GPRC Student and Student Ambassador, Casey with her daughter.

Help is Necessary:

You are a superhero, there’s no doubt about it, but even Batman had a butler. It is okay to ask for help. It’s more than okay – please ask for help. Find your support system and lean on them. Don’t feel guilty. Asking for help doesn’t mean you’re anything less than amazing, it simply means that you understand the airplane analogy and know you must put your air mask on before you can help others.

Sometimes you won’t be Great: 

When you’re juggling work and school and parenting there’s going to be times when you feel like you’re letting one of them down. Be gentle with yourself. Some days you’ll bake the cookies and make the crafts and that English essay will be done two days early…but you have to cancel two shifts at work. Sometimes you’ll work all the hours and ace the math test but Paw Patrol will play on repeat and supper will be snacks far more than you’re willing to admit. It’s okay. Be great on as many days you can and forgive yourself on the days you can’t.

Life doesn’t have a Syllabus: 

This speaks for itself. Make those plans and reach for those dreams but know that there is no wrong way to do your education. You have a lot of responsibilities on your plate and there’s no shame in stretching out that four year plan so you can maintain your own health. Know when you feel yourself burning out that regrouping isn’t a failure – it’s recognizing your success on your terms.

And finally…

This isn’t Forever: 

One day you’ll be a graduate with an awesome career and no more final exams to study for or 3000 word papers to write. Those sleepless nights rocking a sick child on one knee and highlighting a textbook in the other will be a distant memory. It doesn’t make it any easier right now but you’re working towards your own dreams while raising future dream chasers and that’s something to be proud of.

Submitted by GPRC Bachelor of Arts student, Student Ambassador, mother and entrepreneur, Casey Caines.

Balancing a Family, Full-Time Job and School

Balancing a Family, Full-Time Job and School

Where do we even begin?

Just the sound of each words makes me want to crumble. Having a full time job, being a parent and juggling school is a big challenge. How do we balance all of these yet still be successful in each important aspect of our lives. The only way we can achieve all of this and still achieve our goals, is if we learn a very important skill, time management.

There are only twenty-four hours in a day; we spend approximately eight hours maximum at work or approximately eight hours at school and are only left with about eight hours for family time, sleep, study time, etc. How can any one person do all these tasks on a daily basis given the time he or she has? Mastering time management is a useful and the most important tool one could ever have in balancing their daily life.

Here are some helpful tips to mastering time management.

  1. Prioritize– Make a daily or weekly list of your plans. Put things in order of most important to least important. Remember your family is always first. The bills have to be paid, so work is essential or other ways and plans of getting money. School is a must, after all the reason we go to school is to get a better job and to put us in a better position so we are able to help and better ourselves and families. A useful tip is to have good friends and keep up with your instructors in case you have to miss a class or have any emergencies to deal with, use online resources available to you from home to keep up with classes, example: Moodle. Have reliable co-workers that you can possibly switch schedules with sometimes in case you need to, and make absolute sure that you are in good position with your manager and he or she is nice enough to work out a schedule that works better for you. If you can get help at home, don’t ever refuse it, make use of it and take full advantage while it lasts. Remember, you have a plan and a goal set out to achieve.
  2. Plan– Planning is crucial. Always have a plan of what you are doing, why you are doing it and how you are going to do it. The plan is your goals and things you need to achieve. As best as possible, stick to your plan, and if you have to alter or change anything, make sure it’s for the better. Do not procrastinate.
  3. Patience– A word that touches deep into my heart and one that I personally struggle with, especially when I’m goal hungry, but I too have learnt that it’s not always best to rush into things. Take your time and work with your plan and what works for you. “The race is not for the swift, but who can endure.” “Great works are perform not by strength but by perseverance.”
  4. Persistence– No one says the road is going to be easy. It sure has its struggles but we have to persevere no matter what. Sometimes there is just not another option, not with children, minimum wage and all the other problems we can think about. There will be times however when we feel like we just can’t make it, or this is just a waste of time. Good things don’t just land on our laps, we have to work hard for them. Hard work brings success, and it is through some of our hardest times in life that we tend to throw in the towels and it is also that time in life that we are closest to our dreams, so do not give in or give up. Be steadfast and endure to the end.

After all is said and done, the key ingredients is balancing. You can have the greatest plans, dreams and aspirations, but living in a situation without good balancing, you can almost forget it. Try procrastinating and end up going to a party your friends invite you to. We have already learned that in one day, we don’t have enough time for our busy schedules, so wasting or doing other things that is not in our plan or that we don’t have time for can really hurt us. It is always better to look at the long term goal and the bigger picture. Partying and friends will always be there, time comes and goes, what you do with it and how you manage it is up to you, make the best choices for you. With more money coming in the future, partying and other things would not be an issue, sacrifice now, and party later.

Submitted by GPRC Student Ambassador, Shorna Cobourne.