Single parent students reveal hardships

Three seniors discuss juggling life with children

By Rosanna Aguilera
On November 10, 2016

Contributed by Matt Clark
Matt Clark, senior, and his daughter Kyleigh enjoy the Circle S Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch.

College is difficult enough, but some students have the addition of children to their daily lives.

"I am going from sun-up to sun-down between school, homework and kids," senior Micah Anderson said.

Anderson has three children: 8-year-old Corbin, six-year-old Riley and 3-year-old Noah.

Anderson said her oldest child has a chromosomal disorder and her middle child has sensory processing disorder.

"This means I also have to schedule time for weekly appointments with speech and occupational therapists," Anderson said. "Not to mention doctor and specialist appointments."

Senior Matt Clark has a 3-year-old daughter named Kyleigh.

Clark said his daughter was born when he got out of high school, so his expenses have included her for the the past four years.

Clark said he also had to develop an open mind and patience.

"I have always said that it’s not the situation that is the problem," Clark said. "It’s your attitude about the situation that can dramatically change the outcome."

Senior Brooke Garrett has a 4-year-old son named Korbin.

Garrett said she has to juggle school, work and activities for her son.

Her classes are from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and her son’s childcare ends at 6 p.m. She has no childcare on the weekends, so trying to find time for work is difficult.

Garrett said her expenses have changed overtime as clothes, food, childcare, and rent now part of her life.

All three students said time management is their main struggle, but they all had to make adjustments once their children were born.

"You have to realize you’re not by yourself," Clark said. "You have another person that’s depending on you."

Anderson said her and her children rely on child support and student loans.

"Expenses are a constant source of stress because I can’t work and do everything else," Anderson said.

However, Anderson said it’s worth it because her children see how hard she is working at being a student and a mother.

"Overall, I’d rather be a single parent in college and suffer short term than work in a low wage job and suffer long term," Anderson said.

Garrett said her child is her motivation.

"I consider graduating college a great accomplishment, but I do think it takes more motivation and determination to graduate as a single parent," Garrett said.

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