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Have you gone back to college after being a SAHM?? I need advice...

I'm preparing to return to college after being a stay at home mom for 6 years. I have discovered many things have changed in the 7 years since I left college, and I was wondering... if you have returned to school after being a homemaker for several years, what are some things you wish people had told you? What are some things to avoid, and what are some perks to look for?
Your help is greatly appreciated!!

Answer Question
 
brandyj

Asked by brandyj at 11:16 PM on Jan. 3, 2011 in

Level 21 (10,228 Credits)
Answers (13)
  • some schools have "reentry" programs/support groups or lounges for those returning. I found it was much harder with kids at home than before children. Good luck.
    tortkey

    Answer by tortkey at 11:20 PM on Jan. 3, 2011

  • I've been a SAHM for eight years and am currently enrolled in my second semester at college. In my case, since I still have kids home part of the time, I'm doing a certificate part time through distance education. Having to show up in a classroom is simply not going to work with my circumstances. This will take longer, but I hope to be finished by the time my youngest starts grade one because at that point it will be much easier for me to commit time to a job. My advice: make sure you schedule time for schoolwork (for me, I do my work on the two days of the week when all my kids are in school.) Try to get things done ahead of time if at all possible... I once left an assignment until the end and finally had to submit it online while I had sick kids home from school with the stomach flu- a little hectic to say the least! And have confidence... I've been out of school for longer than you and it's not as hard as I feared!
    Freela

    Answer by Freela at 11:23 PM on Jan. 3, 2011

  • Well, I was a SAHM then a working mom while DH was a SAHD, THEN I went back to college (I was out for 2.5 years). Things will be WAY different! They were for me even with that short absence. My advice is to NOT be afraid to ask questions and ask for help if you need it. As far as things to avoid goes...Just don't overload yourself. Take the least number of classes you can (or one more, if you think you can handle it) and don't take any classes that you aren't ready to take (like if you can only work with a lower level math, don't sign up for an advanced one, etc.). Advantages... There are a few, I guess, but the biggest is that you have real life experience and will have more motivation and possibly more drive and organization skills. Oh and don't let the little fresh out of high school "know it all" kids annoy you lol. If they're talking right behind you and you can't hear the instructor, SAY something! Good luck!
    Mrs.BAT

    Answer by Mrs.BAT at 11:26 PM on Jan. 3, 2011

  • Mrs.BAT...         you rock

    brandyj

    Comment by brandyj (original poster) at 11:29 PM on Jan. 3, 2011

  • Your professors won't really care much if your kids are home sick, if you are late b/c they have missed the bus, etc. They are used to dealing with kids with a 1000 excuses for missing class and for turning in late work. So don't expect them to treat you any different in that respect. Most professors have policies on how may times you can miss class or be late and they will stick to them!! So just be prepared for that.When I went back at 29 they made me go to a once a week class for "non-traditional" students and it was the lamest thing ever. It was a bunch of older students sitting around bitching about the traditional collage age kids - useless to me. You are all in it together, no matter what your age. Be open to making connections to the younger students - they might suprise you!! And, like Mrs Bat says - ask lots of questions!! Relax and enjoy... my older college years where some of the best times of my life!

    Crafty26

    Answer by Crafty26 at 7:59 AM on Jan. 4, 2011

  • I was a SAHM for almost 10 yrs before going back to college. Dont go to online colleges, they rip you off and most of their programs wont get your hired anywhere. Dont expect a professor to care that you have been a SAHM or have kids. Study APA format because most colleges want that. Be sure your computer supports all the programs they will want installed, and try to get as many of them before you enroll. Dont over borrow money for student loans, you have kids and probably qualify for Pell Grant so try and use as much of that before getting loans to pay. You dont have to repay a Pell Grant. I would also look into any scholarships for women with children, or just in general. There are plenty out there. Be prepared for the right amount of studying and have child care options there so you can fulfill those obligations. Dont overdo it. You will get burnt out if you take on too much too soon.
    gemgem

    Answer by gemgem at 8:08 AM on Jan. 4, 2011

  • I went back when our oldest was 4 months old, and it was very stressful. I still had to be up with him at night, get all the homework done, and get to class on time. I went nights, days, and Saturdays to finish. I think just readjusting to the pressure of school plus all the other responsibilities of parenthood was the biggest hurdle.
    NannyB.

    Answer by NannyB. at 8:11 AM on Jan. 4, 2011

  • You HAVE to understand computers. I graduated in 2003, and it's now 2011. If you would have frozen me then and I woke up now, I'd be practically lost. Definitely research computers. You probably already know how to use the internet, but I mean like software programs, too. And what do you want to major in? Definitely research that, too.
    SlightlyPerfect

    Answer by SlightlyPerfect at 8:13 AM on Jan. 4, 2011

  • I went back and the thing I remember is that I thought I would be able to keep up or compete with those who had just come out of college. I thought my study skills would be rusty. What I found was that those 18 year olds were more interested in partying rather than in studying. The ones I had to compete with were soldiers returning to school after being in service. They were disciplined and ready to work. Everyone, including my instructors were much more helpful than I expected. I found that being at home taught me a lot of thing that I hadn't realized, like organizing my time, and getting things done as soon as I got the assignment, rather than waiting till deadline. Talk to other people in class, get contact information, so if you have to miss a class, you can get info from them. Take as few classes as possible at first. Speak up in class, you will have a different perspective. Many have done this, you can too!
    SweetLuci

    Answer by SweetLuci at 8:22 AM on Jan. 4, 2011

  • I started college 7 years after I graduated. I learned to USE the college resources. Talk to an adviser if needed, study in the library if u have time rather then wait till ur home. Dont say I will get to it later because stuff comes up at home and homework will have to wait. Know the difference between MLA and APA writing styles. Different teachers use these and they are very different and very specific. Good Luck
    Collegemommy910

    Answer by Collegemommy910 at 8:25 AM on Jan. 4, 2011

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