Currently in the UK there are approximately 2.9million lone parents; 86% of which are female lone parents. There are however no easily available figures about the numbers of lone parents who are studying either full or part-time.
Being a single parent can be one of the hardest but most rewarding roles to have; so deciding to return to studying is a brave decision to make. You may already be working full or part-time whilst juggling childcare and running a home.
The role of a single parent can be exhausting at times and so it is important to allow time for studying to fit into your already busy schedule.
Here are some guidelines which may help you get the most out of your time:
• Establish who your support network are, that may be family, friends, your child’s school or nursery.
• Don’t be afraid to ask for help. You may feel overwhelmed at times with the new commitments you are juggling.
• Find a place to study that suits you both practically and logistically. The University Main Library has lots of quiet places to allow you to focus or you may prefer the Learning Grid in University House. Both giving you access to books, use of computers and multimedia resources. You can find out more about learning spaces and resources on the website at http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/services/library/using/libspaces/
• The university also offer workshops to enhance your learning and offer you the skills to get the most out of your studies. You can find out about the workshops on available on the website at http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/services/skills/events/
• Planning ahead – setting up a plan or schedule to give yourself time to both study and relax which is equally important to cope with your increased commitments.
• Budgeting - you may need to review your current outgoings allowing you to plan for any future costs.
• Time for you – you may not think you will have time for this but even ten minutes here and there with your favourite book or chatting to a friend can help.
Other things to consider:
• As a single parent you may be able to get help towards the cost of your tuition fees. More information is held on the website at http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/services/academicoffice/finance
• Take full advantage of any other funding which may be available to you. The Coventry Benefits Advice Line may a good place to start
• Childcare – consider your options for childcare as it may be that you need extra help when attending university or when your workload has increased. The university do offer a nursery facility for children aged 3months to five years. More information about their service and other local services can be found on the website at: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/services/accommodation/staff/relocationservice/childcareandeducation
Getting support within the university:
Your personal tutor
The University Counselling Service (UCS) http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/services/counselling/
The Wellbeing Support Services (WSS) http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/services/supportservices
Other useful links: