Students As Caregivers

Students as Caregivers

Think that keeping your grades up and paying your bills is hard enough? Try doing all that while raising a child or taking care of an ailing family member — or both! There are no easy solutions, but there are resources on campus that can help.  According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR), in 2015 4.8 million students enrolled in postsecondary education programs in the United States are raising a dependent child.

Raising children is a joyful and rewarding experience. It can also be a demanding and challenging job, especially when you’re juggling multiple roles. There are no easy solutions, but there are resources on campus that can help. You'll find information about many of them on the Students with Children website, which covers much more than just childcare.  

Survival Tips for Students with Children (Students as Caregivers)

  • Schedule, Simplify and Strategize
  • Schedule, Schedule, Schedule!!!
    • Plan for at least a semester at a time
    • Weekly update for changes and additions
  • Secure Reliable childcare prior to the beginning of each semester
    • Have a plan B in place if possible
    • Attendance is important
  • Use nap or alone time wisely
    • The quiet time can be a great time to catch up on some reading or emails that you have been waiting to return
  • Establish your support network
    • Get everyone on board with your schedule in advance and as changes occur
  • Evaluate your time management skills and work on issues that you know may arise
    • Use tech tools to help- online calendars allow you to merge more than one calendar together to avoid conflicts
  • Establish good study habits
    • Avoid cramming- Do a little each day
      • Quiet place and time
      • Flashcards
      • Review taped lectures

The University of Michigan's mission is to serve the needs of all University of Michigan students. The Students with Children website offers a comprehensive overview of resources, including:

Psychological & Counseling Health Clinics:

Childcare Resources:

On Campus Lactation Resources:

Center for the Education of Women (CEW)

CEW Helping Students with Children Graduate Report/Resources

Other Resources: 

  • MCaSP (Michigan Caregivers & Student Parents) is a student organization designed for both student parents and students who are caretaking for others (e.g., parents, siblings, grandparents, etc.).  

If you are having difficulty adjusting to college or are overwhelmed by caregiving responsibilities, or are experiencing anxiety or depression, tell someone about your symptoms. Talk with someone you trust: a friend, a family member, a doctor, nurse, psychologist, social worker, or religious leader. As a University of Michigan student, you have free counseling services available to you. Asking for help can be difficult and takes courage, but it can make all the difference.

When stress becomes harmful...

We all experience stress to different degrees in different situations, from the small to the large. Knowing how to handle stress before it becomes out of control is the first step.

Have an exam coming up? Deadlines you can't seem to make? Always getting distracted? Worried about your academics? These factors could all greatly increase the amount of stress you experience.

People that already have a lot on their plate, experience stress management issues more often. It is important to consider the additional struggles already faced by International Students, First Year Students, First Year Graduate Students, Students with Disabilities, along with students belonging to marginalized groups.

You are not alone, we are here to help!