Young Adults of St Francis

Archive for the ‘Unmarried’ Category

When you hear or see the word “courtship” what’s the first thing that comes to mind? And when you hear or see the words “date” or “dating”?

Did you know that they are actually both one and the same thing? That’s right courtship is dating and dating is a form of courtship. If you were thinking that they were completely two different aspects to “seeing someone” or “getting to know someone” then no worries, because you aren’t alone in that belief. It’s just unfortunate that society has shed a dull light on the term “courtship.” But hopefully this gives you a new perspective and something to think about.

According to courtship means, “the act, period, or art of seeking the love of someone with the intent to marry, the wooing of one person by another.” Whereas, dating is simply defined as, “to go out socially.” If you ask me, no wonder dating can be perceived to some or used by some as a hobby; courtship sounds more romantic. Seems that one could be dating their whole lives and never find the contentment that couples have when they undergo a type of courtship. So where or when did we change-up the game? Well society thought that courtship was too chaste and outdated; finding fulfillment and gratification apparently wasn’t part of the agenda of courtship. Could they be more wrong! Dating was a more open sense of “trying to find someone who can fit and fill my needs.” Courtship has the implication of trying to fulfill ones needs but it’s not the main goal. Now I’m not saying you can’t use the term date or that you can’t say you’re going out on a date, I’m only trying to suggest to not fully live the life of what the term dating implies. Instead remember that every time you go out on a date you should look at it as a form of courtship. The main reason the human population goes on dates is to discover the potential in another individual, see where it leads, and if in the long run it will bear fruit. When I say “seeing where it leads” I mean having a healthy and respectable relationship during the courtship phase that could potentially lead to marriage and having a family. According to an article on, it was mentioned that courtship is where the couple in an exclusive relationship keeps marriage in mind as their end result. If when we go on a date and we don’t have the idea of trying to find our wife/husband, then it only leads one to wonder…why are you going on the date? Obviously you might not marry the first guy you go out on a date with but neither should you waste your time on dates that you see to have no future or a potential of a future.

Maybe the above is a little confusing, so allow me to put it in a different light. Gentlemen, when you ask a woman out on a date what is your reason? It should be to see where a potential friendship could lead to, perhaps that first date could in the future graduate to a meaningful relationship. Ladies, when you accept an offer of being asked out on a date what are your reasons of accepting? If the female population wants to be treated like a lady and respected while dating/on a date then treat the date like a courtship. He must woo you and as funny as it may sound, ladies are also responsible of wooing the men. That’s right, women are also responsible for wooing the men during the dating scene. How else will the potential friendship graduate to a relationship if the couple doesn’t invest in a little in-depth searching and wooing. It’s always saddening for me to hear when a female states “he didn’t respect me” or “he didn’t value me.” If the female keeps the ideal goal of what courtship suggests then ladies would be in more healthy relationships and will have less broken or abused hearts. There may be many of you who disagree and that’s perfectly ok! Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. However, I will remind our Catholic community, that the purpose of why we want to find our “other half” is to be in that sacramental union with God (marriage) and if God willing that union will create a loving family.

So good luck in the dating scene and remember, if you don’t want to use the term courtship then at least keep the courtship meaning and goal in mind while you’re dating! The results will be truly amazing…and also remember to be patient with one another because everything takes a little hard work to achieve the best results. As the saying goes “the best things in life aren’t free.”

Have a great day/night and if you’d like to read more than please check out this great article on, explaining more about the whole courtship and dating scene.

Yours truly,

A College Student


Dating Tips from a Waitress

I was a waitress on and off for a few years, and it gave me a surprising amount of insight about dating and relationships. It’s one of the benefits of observing people as well as being able to converse with them. I also overheard quite a few conversations, some of which certainly caught me off guard. Being a waitress is typically not an easy job, but you meet a lot of people, and after awhile, you’re able to point things out about them from across the room that may seem less obvious to those around them. Whether I was a counter waitress or waiting on tables, I learned quickly that you can learn quite a bit about dating and relationships just by listening and observing.

Don’t monopolize the conversation

I can’t tell you how many times I watched two people on a date where one person was monopolizing the conversation and the other could barely say a single word. I would see the silent person’s face go from interested to bored to irritated and the other person didn’t seem to have a clue. When you’re conversing with your date, ask questions and listen well. You’re also there to enjoy the food, so don’t rush to fill every bit of silence with chatter — especially when you’re chewing at the same time. Speaking of which, talking with your mouth full is not attractive.

Little surprises will get you major points

One night, a woman walked off to the restroom and her date frantically waved me over and asked if he could quickly have two slices of cake. As I placed them on the table, he apologized for rushing me and told me he wanted to surprise his date because it was her favorite cake and he wanted to show her he remembered that she told him about it weeks before. She had a look of confusion and surprise as she sat down, and he presumably told her what he told me, because her face lit up and she had a big smile on her face. When you take the initiative to surprise someone you care about, it can completely make their day and earn you some major points. Also, listening well is going to be a major part of having a good relationship.

Beware of the cell phone

There is a good chance that your partner, at one point or another, searched through your phone when you weren’t looking and checked your texts or missed calls. I’ve seen more than enough people grab their date’s phone when the person got up from the table to use the restroom. I’ve also seen plenty of arguments over what was found. Several times, the person even had permission to use the phone for one reason or another. There’s a few things to learn from this situation; lock your phone and don’t do anything that can be considered scandalous with anyone other than the person you’re dating and, if you do, don’t leave the information on your phone, especially if you give your partner permission to use it. Also, whether or not you have permission to use someone’s phone, it doesn’t mean you’re allowed to snoop.

There’s no age limit for a new relationship

There was an older couple I was waiting on once and they looked so in love with each other it was amazing. When I put down their drinks, the older gentleman looked at me with a smile and said about his date “Isn’t she beautiful? It’s our two year anniversary.” Another waitress told me the couple is in their early 70’s. Despite what some may think, they’re a true testament that there’s no age limit for finding a new love.

Being nice to waitstaff can make or break your date

As any waitress could tell you, not every customer is going to be nice. When you’re on a date and you’re rude to your waitress, there’s a good chance your date is not going to be happy. A guy was once so rude to me I thought his date was going to throw her plate at him. He didn’t ask nicely for anything, he only demanded. He also threw his gum into a cloth napkin, handed it to me with the gum stuck on top of it, and told me to hurry and bring him a new one; the rude behavior continued for the rest of the time he was there. On the way out, his date apologized for his behavior and told me she’s never seeing him again. The nicer you are to those around you and not just to your date, the more it’s going to put you in a good light.

The best dates were always when each person had general respect for each other. They listened to their date, asked questions, and genuinely just wanted to put a smile on the person’s face. It’s easy to be nervous when you’re out with someone you like, but the next time you’re on a date, keep in mind that the best thing you can do is be yourself, be respectful, show interest and everything else will fall into place.

Man + Woman = Friendship?

If men are from Mars and women are from Venus, it may explain at least one of their shared beliefs: Men and women can’t be real friends. Blame the sexual tension that almost inevitably exists between any red-blooded, heterosexual man and woman. Point to the jealousy that plagues many rational people when a significant other befriends someone of the opposite sex. Boil it down to the inherent differences between the sexes. It just can’t be done. Right?

Wrong, relationship experts have said. “The belief that men and women can’t be friends comes from another era in which women were at home and men were in the workplace, and the only way they could get together was for romance,” explained Linda Sapadin, a psychologist in Valley Stream, New York. “Now they work together and share sports interests and socialize together.” This cultural shift has encouraged psychologists, sociologists and communications experts to put forth a new message: Though it may be tricky, men and women can successfully become close friends. What’s more, there are good reasons for them to do so.

Society has long singled out romance as the prototypical male-female relationship because it spawns babies and keeps the life cycle going; cross-sex friendship, as researchers call it, has been either ignored or trivialized. We have rules for how to act in romantic relationships (flirt, date, get married, have kids) and even same-sex friendships (boys relate by doing activities together, girls by talking and sharing). But there are so few platonic male-female friendships on display that we’re at a loss to even define these relationships.

Part of this confusion stems from the media. A certain classic film starring Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal convinced a nation of moviegoers that sex always comes between men and women, making true friendship impossible. “When Harry Met Sally set the potential for male-female friendship back about 25 years,” said Michael Monsour, assistant professor of communications at the University of Colorado at Denver and author of Women and Men as Friends. Television hasn’t helped either. “Almost every time you see a male-female friendship, it winds up turning into romance,” Monsour noted. Think Sam and Diane or Chandler and Monica. These cultural images are hard to overcome, he said. It’s no wonder we expect that men and women are always on the road to romance.

But that’s only one of the major barriers. Don O’Meara, Ph.D., at the University of Cincinnati-Raymond Walters College, published a landmark study in the journal Sex Roles on the top impediments to cross-sex friendship. “I started my research because one of my best friends is a woman,” said O’Meara. “She said, ‘Do you think anyone else has the incredible friendship we do?'” He decided to find out, and after reviewing the scant existing research, O’Meara identified the following challenges to male-female friendship: defining it, dealing with sexual attraction, seeing each other as equals, facing people’s responses to the relationship and meeting in the first place.


Defining the Relationship: Friends or Lovers?

Platonic love does exist, O’Meara asserted, and a study of 20 pairs of friends published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships lends credence to the notion. In it, Heidi Reeder, at Boise State University, confirmed that “friendship attraction” or a connection devoid of lust, is a bona fide type of bond that people experience. Distinguishing between romantic, sexual and friendly feelings, however, can be exceedingly difficult.

“People don’t know what feelings are appropriate toward the opposite sex, unless they’re what our culture defines as appropriate,” said O’Meara. “You know you love someone and enjoy them as a person, but not enough to date or marry them. What does this mean?”


Overcoming Attraction: Let’s Talk About Sex

The reality that sexual attraction could suddenly enter the equation of a cross-sex friendship uninvited is always lurking in the background. A simple, platonic hug could instantaneously take on a more amorous meaning. “You’re trying to do a friend-friend thing,” said O’Meara, “but the male-female parts of you get in the way.” Unwelcome or not, the attraction is difficult to ignore.

In a study published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, Sapadin asked more than 150 professional men and women what they liked and disliked about their cross-sex friendships. Topping women’s list of dislikes: sexual tension. Men, on the other hand, more frequently replied that sexual attraction was a prime reason for initiating a friendship, and that it could even deepen a friendship. Either way, 62 percent of all subjects reported that sexual tension was present in their cross-sex friendships.


Establishing Equality: The Power Play

Friendship should be a pairing of equals. But, O’Meara said, “in a culture where men have always been more equal than women, male dominance, prestige and power is baggage that both men and women are likely to bring to a relationship.” Women are at risk of subconsciously adopting a more submissive role in cross-sex friendships, he said, although that is slowly changing as society begins to treat both genders more equally.


The Public Eye: Dealing with Doubters

Society may not be entirely ready for friendships between men and women that have no sexual subtext. People with close friends of the opposite sex are often barraged with nudging, winking and skepticism: “Are you really just friends?” This is especially true, said O’Meara, of older adults, who grew up when men and women were off-limits to each other until marriage.


The Meeting Place: Finding Friends

As the workplace and other social arenas become increasingly open to women, the sexes are mingling more and more. Still, men and women continue to have surprisingly few opportunities to interact.

“Boys and girls form their own gender groups in elementary school,” explained Monsour. “They learn their own ways of relating to each other. So when they do get together, inspired by puberty, they see each other as dating partners because they’ve never really known each other as friends.” A surprisingly major factor in this phenomenon is the kids’ own innate interest in children who act like they do. Called “voluntary gender segregation,” it continues into adulthood. “You see it at cocktail parties,” said Monsour. “Men go off to one corner, and women go to another.”

These obstacles may seem numerous and formidable, but male-female friendship is becoming not only a possibility but also a necessity. If men and women are to work, play and coexist in modern society, researchers believe men and women must learn to understand and communicate with each other. To that end, social scientists like Sapadin, Monsour and O’Meara have studied how to do just that. The field of research is still in its infancy, but they are now beginning to understand some basic truths about male-female friendship:


Friendship Is Not Equal Opportunity

Not until high school does puberty really draw boys and girls together, which then continues into college. But as people develop serious romantic relationships or get married, making and maintaining cross-sex friendships becomes harder. “Even the most secure people in a strong marriage probably don’t want a spouse to be establishing a new friendship, especially with someone who’s very attractive,” said Monsour.

The number of cross-sex friendships continues to decline with age—not surprising, because most older adults grew up in an age where consorting with the opposite sex outside of wedlock was taboo. According to Rosemary Blieszner, at Virginia Tech and author of Adult Friendship, elderly people rarely form new friendships with members of the opposite sex. Her research shows that only about 2 percent of the friendships elderly women have are with men.


Men Benefit More from Cross-Sex Friendship

There are proven—and apparent—distinct differences between female friendship and male friendship. Women spend the majority of their time together discussing their thoughts and feelings, while men tend to be far more group-oriented. Males gather to play sports or travel or talk stock quotes; rarely do they share feelings or personal reflections. This may explain why they seem to get far more out of cross-sex friendship than their female counterparts.

In Sapadin’s study, men rated cross-sex friendships as being much higher in overall quality, enjoyment and nurturance than their same-sex friendships. What they reported liking most was talking and relating to women—something they can’t do with their buddies. Meanwhile, women rated their same-sex friendships higher on all these counts. They expect more emotional rewards from friendship than men do, explained Sapadin, so they’re easily disappointed when they don’t receive them. “Women confide in women,” noted Blieszner. “Men confide in women.”


…But Women Benefit, Too

All that sharing and discussing in female-female friendship can become exhausting, as any woman who’s stayed up all night comforting a brokenhearted girlfriend can attest. With men, women can joke and banter without any emotional baggage. “Friendships with men are lighter, more fun,” said Sapadin. “Men aren’t so sensitive about things.” Some women in her study also liked the protective, familial and casual warmth they got from men, viewing them as surrogate big brothers. What they liked most of all, however, was getting some insight into what guys really think.


Cross-Sex Friendships Are Emotionally Rewarding

Although women dig men’s lighthearted attitude, most male-female friendships resemble women’s emotionally involving friendships more than they do men’s activity-oriented relationships, according to Kathy Werking, at Eastern Kentucky University and author of We’re Just Good Friends. Her work has shown that the number one thing male and female friends do together is talk one-on-one. Other activities they prefer—like dining out and going for drives—simply facilitate that communication. In fact, Werking found, close male-female friends are extremely emotionally supportive if they continuously examine their feelings, opinions and ideas. “Males appreciate this because it tends not to be a part of their same-sex friendships,” she said. “Females appreciate garnering the male perspective.”


It’s Not All About Sex

“In reality, sex isn’t always on the agenda,” said Werking. “That could be due to sexual orientation, lack of physical attraction or involvement in another romantic relationship.” After all, even friends who are attracted to each other may also recognize that qualities they tolerate in a friendship wouldn’t necessarily work in a serious romantic relationship. And after years of considering someone as a friend, it often becomes difficult to see a cross-sex pal as a romantic possibility.

Of pairs that do face the question of lust, those that decide early on to bypass an uncertain romantic relationship are more likely to have an enduring friendship, says Werking. One study by Walid Afifi, of Penn State University, showed that of more than 300 college students surveyed, 67 percent reported having had sex with a friend. Interestingly, 56 percent of those subjects did not transition the friendship into a romantic relationship, suggesting that they preferred friendship over sex.


Male-Female Friendships Are Political

Men and women have increasingly similar rights, opportunities and interests, which can make cross-sex friendship very political, noted Werking. “It upsets the agreed-upon social order,” she explains. “Women and men engage in an equal relationship, or they aren’t friends.” For one thing, new generations of kids grow up believing that boys can play with dolls and girls can take kickboxing, and they’re crossing paths more frequently as a result.

Men and women are also becoming more androgynous as their societal roles become more similar. “Men are more willing to have feminine characteristics, and women are a lot more willing to admit to traditionally masculine characteristics, like assertiveness,” said Monsour. His dissertation showed that women and men categorized as androgynous had twice the number of cross-sex friends.

Whatever the challenges of male-female friendship, researchers agree that to succeed as friends, both genders have to openly and honestly negotiate exactly what their relationship will mean—whether sexual attraction is a factor and how they’ll deal with it—and establish boundaries. In Afifi’s and Reeder’s studies, the friendships that survived—and even thrived—after sex or attraction came into play were those in which the friends extensively discussed the meaning of the sexual activity and felt confident and positive about each other’s feelings. Once they got past that, they were home free.

“If sex is part of the dynamic, addressing it explicitly is the best strategy” for making sure the friendship survives, said Werking. “The issue will fester if friends try to ignore it.” So in the end, male-female friendship does have something in common with romantic relationships: To work, communication is key.

Researchers tell us that men and women can be friends. But do we really believe them? A survey of more than 1,450 members of the dating site revealed that we’re an optimistic bunch:

  1. Do you believe men and women can be platonic friends?Yes: 83%

    No: 11%

    Unsure: 6%

  2. Have you had a platonic friendship that crossed the line and became romantic or sexual?Yes: 62%

    No: 36%

    Unsure: 2%

  3. Who is more likely to misinterpret the intimacy of friendship for sexual desire?Men: 64%

    Women: 25%

    Unsure: 11%

  4. Is it possible to fall in love with someone who first enters your life as a friend?Yes: 94%

    No: 4%

    Unsure: 2%

  5. Do you hope that when you do fall in love, your partner will have started out as your friend?Yes: 71%

    No: 9%

    Unsure: 20%

  6. Who is better at keeping sex out of a platonic relationship?Men: 13%

    Women: 67%

    Unsure: 20%

It’s no secret that the language of love isn’t always the most, well, direct. That’s why so many single people spend hours analyzing emails from dates trying to figure out if “I’m busy at work” is a brush-off, or wondering whether that invitation of “I’ll make dinner for you” indicates a desire to share a whole lot more than a favorite garlic chicken recipe. How can you suss out what someone’s really trying to say? To help you out, we got a bevy of dating experts to decode eight common lines so you’ll spend less time scratching your head and more time communicating.

Line #1: “I’d love to stay out, but I have to get up really early tomorrow.”
What it means: “Sorry, you just aren’t floating my boat.”

Of course, if it’s 2 a.m. or your date follows up with, “But let’s get together soon — maybe this weekend?” the fact that he or she want to end the date is no big deal. But if the night is young or your date mentions an aversion to staying out late in the middle of, say, appetizers, that’s not a good sign. Your date may sense there’s no connection and want to exit sooner rather than later, says Steve Nakamoto, author of Men Are Like Fish: What Every Woman Needs to Know About Catching A Man. At least look at the upside: this person’s also freeing you from a situation that’s not going anywhere, so just enjoy your dinner, then skedaddle.

Line #2: “I had such a good time with you.”
What it means: “Wow, you’re actually fun and different from all the other guys/girls!”

This sentence might sound generic, but try saying it out loud. It sounds far more intense than a mere “I had a nice night,” doesn’t it? “This is a way of revealing how you feel without getting too heavy,” says Laurie Puhn, J.D., author of Instant Persuasion: How to Change Your Words to Change Your Life. “The person is letting you know that he or she really might like you, and trying to find out if you possibly feel the same.” So if the interest is mutual, let your date know by responding in kind.

Line #3: “I’m just not ready for a relationship.”
What it means: “I’m just not in love with you.”

It’s hard when someone you like tells you he or she’s not in a place to seriously date anyone. But it also makes you hope that the problem is timing, not your personalities. If you can just be patient, you think, things could percolate, right? Wrong. “This means ‘I don’t love you, so if that’s what you want, we should break up,’” says Puhn. Don’t be fooled — when this person does meet someone who has that spark, he or she will indeed be ready for a relationship.

Line #4: “I’d love to meet up, but I’m just really busy with work right now.”
What it means: “I’m trying to think of a really nice way to blow you off.”

Of course, this person could very well have a full schedule that week. But if he or she doesn’t offer any alternative dates to hang out, what you’re really being told is that this person would rather work than hang out with you. (Sorry.) “Your date very well could be busy. The question is whether your date’s focusing on the problem or finding a solution,” says Puhn. “You can always get away long enough for dinner or a coffee with someone or say, ‘I’m going to call you in two weeks after this project is done.’ It’s a matter of priorities.” So if your date isn’t trying to pencil you in, it could be time to write that person off.

Line #5: “So, gotten any funny emails on lately?”
What it means: “Are you interested in seeing each other exclusively?”

Let’s face it, it’s intimidating to ask: “So, are you seeing anyone else?” And with online dating, there’s a sneakier way to put out feelers: by asking a question that reveals whether someone’s been checking his or her account for new suitors. “In online dating, you can receive flirtatious emails 24/7, so leaving your profile up sends a message that you’re still open to other prospects,” says Nakamoto. So if your date’s asking anything about your online activities, it’s probably a sign he or she might pop the “So… do you want to see each other exclusively?” question soon.

Line #6: “So, want to meet for coffee?”
What it means: “Want to meet for a coffee and then have dinner if we like each other?”

It’s always smart to schedule a short, easy-to-end date when you’re first meeting a new person. “Committing to dinner with someone new can seem like too much for a person who doesn’t want to get stuck at a table for hours if things aren’t clicking,” explains Puhn. Still, many online daters will leave the ensuing hours free in case you two hit it off. That doesn’t mean you should head to your rendezvous with overly high expectations and an empty stomach. If you’re hungry, eat already. If you end up wanting to prolong the fun on your date, you can always suggest going for dessert or a drink.

Line #7: “I’m meeting my friends — want to come?”
What it means: “I really like you and want to know if you get along with my pals.”

It may sound like a casual invite, but what your date is saying is that he or she is totally comfortable being seen with you as a couple — and is interested in how you’ll relate to his or her closest comrades. “Meeting the friends is an approval thing,” says Nakamoto. “Women want to see how he treats their friends, and men want to know if his friends like the girl.” It may seem intimidating, but it should actually boost your ego: You’ve passed the first tests and are now on your way to becoming a full-time boyfriend or girlfriend — provided the buddies sign off. If you’re feeling just as positive about the relationship, say “Yes,” and charm away.

Line #8: “Why don’t you come over and I’ll cook for you?”
What it means: “Ready to see whether you want to take things to the next level?”

Cooking for a person is a show of intimacy in a couple of ways. “The person is really inviting you into his or her life,” says Puhn. “Someone’s apartment is his or her whole world, so it shows this person is obviously very comfortable with you.” Then, of course, there’s the fact that you’ll conveniently be just a few steps from the couch — and cuddling — later that night. If it’s a first or early date, this might actually be a bit too personal, especially if you’re not sure how you feel about your future together. But if you’re pretty sure you’re ready to explore things further, congratulations, tonight could be the night!

Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth (Apostolic congregation with contemplative lifestyle ministering to families in parishes, schools, hospitals, serving the religious and moral renewal of family life.)

Invitation to all young women interested in considering religious life to Come and See a RETREAT day at the convent in Grand Prairie, TX!

If you wish to join please call (972) 642-5191
email Sr. Mary Paul:
email Sr. Boguslawa:

If you’re anything like me, you’re struggling to balance family responsibilities, a job (or two!), friends, social life, and time for yourself. The danger in trying to do it all is that you risk things falling through the cracks. This can be especially true for women in school or trying to go back to school.

The good news is that there are ways to make it work. I recently spoke with life and career coach Meredith Haberfeld, founder of Meredith Haberfeld Coaching. She had a lot to share about how to balance school with work, family, and life.

Tip #1 – Set attainable goals.

Pick realistic goals and focus on accomplishing them. Every success will give you more confidence to tackle the next goal.

If you can only manage to fit one business class into your busy schedule, for example, then just take one class and give it your full attention.

“When a goal seems big and daunting, one of the smartest places to start is to break it into the different pieces that will build toward the goal,” says Haberfeld. “When you break it into smaller bits, each bit is more manageable.”

Tip #2 – Make a schedule.

Ever feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done? Try sitting down with your schedule to get a handle on how much time you actually have. Look for the pockets of time between your professional and family obligations and see where you can plan in the time you need for homework.

“That small amount of planning makes the experience of dealing with a full life profoundly more manageable and fulfilling,” says Haberfeld.

If your day still feels too hectic, consider going to sleep and getting up earlier. You might be surprised at what you can accomplish in the hour or two before the rest of the house wakes up.

Tip #3 – Stay organized.

“A place for everything and everything in its place” may sound simplistic, but the benefits of keeping your physical space organized go far beyond simply knowing where your car keys are hiding.

“Having our physical space organized makes thinking easier… When our physical space is hectic, our thoughts are more hectic,” says Haberfeld.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, Haberfeld suggests spending fifteen minutes to organize one small area in your home or office. It might be just the thing you need to bring order to your thoughts as well.

Another tip: Don’t forget to keep your calendar updated. If you can see deadlines coming, you’re more likely to prepare ahead of time and save yourself from pulling an all-nighter to finish a project or cram for a test.

Tip #4 – Take breaks when you need them.

Going to school/back to school is a big commitment – whether you’re in a one-year medical assisting certificate program or a four-year bachelor’s degree in business.

Feel yourself getting overwhelmed? Give yourself permission to take a break. That might mean closing the books to go for a quick walk – or taking a night off from studying altogether.

If you find yourself burning the midnight oil for weeks on end, Haberfeld suggests working downtime into your schedule. “It’s important to plan time to relax,” she says, “or you become less effective.”

Tip #5 – Stay focused.

When you’re at school, really try to keep your thoughts on school. Don’t think about the bills you have to pay at home, or who’s going to take the kids to soccer practice.

Likewise, when you’re with family, enjoy being with family. You can help keep these areas of your life separate by planning study time into your schedule – and making sure you use that time to study.

For moms going back to school, it might feel wrong to focus so much energy on class – but remember that if more training helps you land a better paying or more flexible job, it’s helping the whole family.

Tip #6 – Keep your eyes on the prize.

Trying to balance school with everything else in your life might be tough, so always try to remember why you’re doing what you’re doing. A little sacrifice and effort in school now can pay big dividends when you’re taking that shiny new diploma on the job hunt with you.

It might help to write out your academic goals. How many courses do you need to take? What is your time line? Tracking your progress can be great motivation to keep moving forward.

Still feeling discouraged? Don’t worry – it’s natural to feel doubt when you’re struggling to juggle so many things. Just try to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Tip #7 – Don’t expect perfection.

Last but not least: Remember that as much as you may want things to go exactly according to plan, life often has a way of changing those plans for us. So maybe you don’t cross off every single item on your daily to-do list. Do what you can do, and don’t be too hard on yourself. Tomorrow is a new day.

The St Francis Young Adult Unmarried Ministry invites all March 25th @ 7:00pm to the Stations of the Cross at St Francis Church. Concluding the Stations of the Cross, join us afterwards for Bowling! at Main Event Entertainment (Frisco location).  Kids are welcome to attend.  Visit for a $10 off coupon.  Contact Ana Rodriguez at for questions and to RSVP.

Happy Lent!

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