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PhD student Gypsy O'Dea

8 May 2020

Doctoral student Gypsy’s top 5 tips for juggling online study with family responsibilities

By Gypsy O’Dea

I am a postgraduate student in the third year of the Doctor of Psychology (Clinical) course, and mother of three kids. I completed my Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) degree at Deakin in 2017, so have been juggling study and kids for more than seven years now, but nothing has challenged me like the current COVID-19 pandemic. 

The pandemic has created challenges that none of us could have anticipated when we enrolled in our units for 2020. Deakin students have now transitioned to online learning, some for the first time, and those of us who are also parents are trying to juggle our own studies with also having our kids home from school.

This is a challenging time, so here are my five top tips for making it work:

1. Lower your expectations (of yourself, and your kids)

2. Create a daily routine (and hold it lightly)

Pro-tip: When the kids are at home sometimes it feels like they want to eat every 10 minutes! Try making lunchboxes in the morning as you would on a regular school day to minimise the amount of time you need to be in the kitchen or supervising snacks during the day.

3. Schedule time to study

4. Stay connected and stay active

5. Be kind to yourself

Need some guidance as you study online?

The Faculty of Health has designed workshops to help you thrive as you study online. Check out the Student Engagement and Transition Support Program for the upcoming events over the next few weeks.

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