10 Easy Tips to Help Those You Love Go Back To School

10 Easy Tips to Help Those You Love Go Back To School
Beth Dumbauld

[Updated 2/2016]

Do you have a loved one currently attending college? Is your spouse considering a return back to school to earn or finish their degree?

Studies have repeatedly shown that the more support a college student has, the likelier they are to succeed – and earn their college degree.

Here are ten easy tips you can follow to give the college students in your life the support they need this semester:

1. Believe in them. Enrolling in college courses for the first time, or returning to college after a long absence, takes a leap of faith. Believing and vocalizing support in your loved one’s ability to succeed as a student can help boost their confidence when they have doubts.

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2. Be a cheerleader. Deliver encouraging messages in person, text, email or even social media! Sharing words of support such as “You can do it!” or “I’m so proud of you,” or “Thanks for working so hard!” may seem small, but if you cheer your loved one on frequently and with feeling – they will have no doubts about your desire to see them succeed.

"Going back to school is not easy, but it is temporary. A degree is forever."

3. Celebrate milestones in a big way. Another semester complete – toast to your loved one’s success! Acknowledge an aced exam with a hug, a high-five, or a cupcake. Share the excitement. Your loved one gets one step closer to earning a college degree with each passing milestone – and that should be cause for celebration.

4. Be inspired. It’s inspiring to see someone you love overcome obstacles, challenges, or doubts towards reaching an end goal. Going back to school is not easy, but it is temporary. A degree is forever.

5. “Like” the small achievements. Have a Facebook friend who is going back to school? Pay attention to their news feed. If they mention studying for an exam, send an encouraging note. “Like” their education achievements big and small – from handing in a paper on time, to transferring credits to the school of their dreams. Let them know you are paying attention and care about their success.

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6. Watch the kids. College experts agree that one of the single biggest challenges facing parents going back to school is consistent childcare. Whether your loved one is your spouse, your friend, your sibling, or your child – offer up regular help with the kids, and honor your commitment. You will be amazed how much studying an adult learner can do in 4 hours of kid-free time on a Saturday morning.

7. Make a school schedule – together. Going back to college as an adult requires serious time management skills. Create a family calendar. Block off times for work and school. Block off time for homework and study. Block off times for family and fun. Get the kids on a regular bedtime routine. You are in this together.

8. Ask how you can help. If your loved one is stressed, ask your loved one how you can help.

9. Listen. Some days your loved one may feel like earning a college degree is an impossible goal. On those days, your ability to listen may be all that matters.

10. Share. Show your support by sharing this blog post to the current and prospective college students in your life to let them know:

• You believe in them.
• You are proud of them.
• You are inspired by them.
• You love them.

We wish you all success!

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