You’ve answered the questions in the QuickStart guide. Now you’re ready to get your hands dirty. Time to fine tune and execute!
Create a detailed budget.
The journey is not cheap. You must have a clear picture of the costs involved, especially if you’re a single parent. Once you have created a detailed budget it’s time to determine how you will come up with the money.
Make a timeline.
You know what you’re missing and how to obtain it, now set deadlines for yourself. Which semesters do you plan to complete remaining courses? How long do you need to prepare for the GRE? When will you submit your CASPA application?
It builds momentum when you see what you’re working towards. Don’t hang yourself if you miss a deadline, just move some things around.
I created a Courses Needed For Completion Word document during undergrad. It includes graduation/prereq requirements, courses that would satisfy them, back up courses in case my 1st choice wasn’t available and the semesters which I planned to complete them. Click the link above and customize it to fit your needs.
Spring clean your Village
Out with the negative and in with the positive. Anyone who shows doubt/resentment/envy about what you’re trying to accomplish, it’s time to break from that relationship and move into ones that are more…conducive and nurturing. Surround yourself with reliable individuals that you trust with your children, who care about you and will keep your private life PRIVATE.
Both the pre-PA and PA journey are hectic in and of itself, you don’t need any added stress.
Sort out the details. If you’re moving, then you need to calculate all the cost involved, research schools in the new area to make sure they accommodate your child’s needs and sort out any custody issues if any.
If you’re selling or renting your property, you’ll need to sift through that whole ordeal as well.
(Do you want to be a landlord, or can you afford a property manager? How will you handle non-payments/late payments? Do you have any equity, and do you really want to sell? … you catch my drift.)
If you’re commuting, the same scenario.
(How will the pick and drop off work for the kids, will you be employed during undergrad, does the car need to be fixed or replaced?)
Don’t be alarmed! Once you have a clear plan and actively executing, it’s not as intimidating as it sounds. Trust me when I say you will be thankful for your written plan. As those small fires keep popping up you can put them out without losing focus on your goals.