Balancing school/ work/ social life and caring
You may have noticed a few discussion threads popping up talking about Young Carers and that’s because The Mix has teamed up with Carers UK to raise awareness of Young Carers and Young Adult Carers.
From the ages of 14-20, I was a Young Carer for my dad who had Alzheimer’s. Over this period of time, I also sat my GCSEs, then took A-Levels and later started studying for a degree at university. Like many Young Carers, I found that it was difficult trying to balance school and a social life, with caring.
When I was a Young Carer, some things that helped me to balance my life was to create a timetable for my revision, and caring duties, so I knew what time I could dedicate to my social life. Teachers in school, and later on, lecturers in university, also knew about my dad so they were understanding when I needed an extension on assignments. My friends also knew about my dad so there was no pressure to socialise if I was struggling with other demands but they also looked out for me to make sure I wasn’t isolating myself either. I also re-evaluated my friendships so that I would only talk to those who were understanding about my dad, and kept things casual with those who may not have known what to say.
The demands of caring, school and work can often feel overwhelming to Young Carers and it can be easy to neglect your social life when you feel the demands piling up or just feel that you don’t have the time or the energy. Sometimes, when caring takes it’s toll, it may also affect your performance at school/work and may complicate friendships/relationships if those close to you don’t understand what it’s like to be a Young Carer. If you, or someone you know, is a Young Carer, you might want to check out our article on support for Young Carers here: https://www.themix.org.uk/sex-and-relationships/family-life/support-for-young-carers-6247.html
For those that are Young Carers, Young Adult Carers, or know someone who is/was, how did you manage to balance school/work/social life and caring?
Feel free to share your thoughts, if you feel comfortable