In July 2014 I crossed the stage as a graduate of the Bachelor of Business. Three years of late nights, early mornings and non-existent weekends were finally behind me. I’d done the hard yards and now I had my testamur to show for it.
While my time as a student may have (finally) come to an end, my girlfriend Andrea was still studying and had another 12 months before it would be her turn to cross the stage. She works full-time, so studies part-time online after work and on weekends. The finish line was in sight, but we both know was still a lot of hard work ahead of her.
It’s not always easy to support a friend or partner through study, especially when you’re living under the same roof. Things get busy, people get tired and sometimes it’s hard to know whether you’re helping or just getting in the way. Here are a few things I’ve learnt so far:
The main thing I’ve learnt from living with an online student, especially now that I’ve finished my studies, is that communication is the key to making things work. Everyone gets busy and wrapped up in their own things and sometimes it’s easy to forget the amount of work that your partner is putting into their study. Having their assignment and exam calendar somewhere in the house that everyone can see it is a good way to keep everyone in the loop with what they have coming up and helps you to plan around being there to support them when crunch time hits.
It’s not always easy and you might not always get it right, but it’s pretty cool to see your partner getting through their studies and knowing that you’ve been able to support them to keep going. Andrea and I have been together over five years now, so I was there to see her through her first semester and I’m looking forward to supporting her through her last. It’s a team effort and I know it’ll all be worth it when she crosses the stage.
If you haven’t studied at uni yourself, or are looking for more ways to help your student on their path to graduation, check out the great advice in Katie’s blog, the family’s guide to uni.