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How to Help Your Valentine Go Back to School

Valentine’s Day is upon us, and you have an opportunity to present your partner an exceptionally meaningful gift: a college education. Okay, you cannot physically award your significant other with that employer-desired college degree, but you can certainly provide enough support to help reach the goal. You should be aware of several variables that can ease the process of higher learning. Below are some useful tips to help your Valentine go back to school.

Support. Offer your partner positive reinforcement. Take the initiative to look for creative ways to reduce the stress of your partner’s new learning environment. You can pack your partner a surprise lunch with a note showing your appreciation and dedication. Cook a romantic dinner to alleviate the stress of intense coursework. More important, don’t hesitate to extend a helping hand if your partner needs some assistance with homework assignments.

Attempt to plan rewards and celebrations for both big and small achievements. Your partner is working hard for these grades, so try to commend and praise accomplishments when you can—your partner will be thankful and reinvigorated with a sense of purpose.

Finances. More likely than not, your partner’s desire to return to school is based on long-term financial motivations. Be frank in your conversations about money. Ultimately, the decision to attend school affects the entire family. Talk about your schedules, both personal and professional commitments. Scrutinize every possibility for financial aid, acceptable loans and potential scholarships. Figure out the total costs of schooling and how you can make it work together.

Sacrifice. You must be willing to sacrifice. Reassess the necessities and the luxuries in both of your lives to determine what you need and what you can relinquish. You can offer to watch the kids more; give up the Thursday night poker game; or tamp down the frequency of wardrobe shopping. Remember, money is just one of several factors that you need to reevaluate. As schedules conflict, time spent with your partner and family may significantly reduce. Learn to decline engagements that are not essential to your agenda, but make sure to reserve opportunities to relax with each other.

Unconditional love. Although a potential career or position may hinge on your partner’s success as a student, your love for one another should not. Reassure your Valentine that any and all academic progress is momentous and that your love is not contingent upon the ends, but rather the journey. Even if your relationship is not stereotypically ideal, you and your partner must exert more effort especially in this stressful period of academic study.

The effects of higher education are readily apparent on income and employment levels. There are, however, less widely recognized implications on family life as well. For instance, children of parents with higher levels of educational attainment are better prepared for school and are more likely to engage in extracurricular learning opportunities. Although your “support” may come off as a relatively unconventional token of love, you and your partner have a chance to realize its full potential together.

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