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Helping Loved Ones to Help You

A supportive family can be one of the major factors in keeping students in college.  Financial support can be part of that, but time and place factors can be even more important.

Time to study, the expectation that you will study, and some quiet can all help.  During midterm and finals weeks, you may need even more time, more logistical help in order to maximize your study time.

Here are some specific suggestions based on the experiences of other students:

  • Some toddlers and pre-schoolers can sit next to Mommy with their own drawing materials, though some will insist on sitting on Mommy's lap and whacking the keyboard.  Other youngsters (and some spouses) will not understand at all why Mommy can't be tuned in to them all the waking hours, so Mommy will only get to study when the kids nap or sleep or other family members fill in as care-givers.
  • With some family and friends, you can barter study time for time to do things together, such as "Let me have an hour to study now because this is due (or overdue), and in an hour we'll work on your bike" or "I can go with you tonight to the movie, but I need to get back right afterwards to finish my studying" or even "I have to get this done before our vacation, so could you please start (do) the packing?"
  • Many students not only re-negotiate family responsibilities during the course, especially during midterm and final weeks, but they also may decrease work hours or even use vacation time or leave time to catch up. 
  • If half of students who enroll in college do not graduate, something stops them from getting a degree.  At community colleges, only about 2-4% of the enrolled students graduate in any one year because many students take only enough courses to get themselves employed or promoted.  (For some programs, the graduation figures are much higher.)
        If you're leaving college because you've met your academic goals, be proud.  If you're leaving college because you couldn't say "no" (or at least "not now") to friends who wanted to go out drinking or family who want you to visit, don't feel bad for meeting social responsibilities.  But resolve to get your education anyway next semester.
  • Online courses can be flexible, but you may have to trade off one chore for another.

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