by Ashley Lopez, super student and playdate wrangler!
The life of a college student consists of many challenges and responsibilities: meeting deadlines for papers, getting in 6 hours of study time a week, not to mention working a job. Now mix those challenges with finding the time for soccer practice on Monday nights, making sure dinner, bath time, and homework are all completed before bed time, and you have a whole other challenge within itself. Some might call them “super-students” and others might call them “super-parents”. Whichever term is used, “super” is exactly the correct way in explaining it.
The typical college experience a few decades ago was finished before settling down and starting a family. Nowadays, people of all ages are going back to school, including many parents. With more responsibilities comes more obstacles including lack of resources, finding motivation, and balancing both worlds.
The concept of having to care for someone else other than yourself and wanting the best for them can be one of the many reasons parents go back to college. Veronica Bishop, a student at SPC and a mother of two boys (ages 17 and 19), chose to return to college to instill in sons the importance of secondary education. Veronica says, “going back has shown my boys the importance in getting a college degree. They’ve seen the struggles life brings without one.”
For some students, finding the right resources to help with childcare or even funding while being a student can be one of the first obstacles encountered. The question of whether SPC should have a childcare facility for students on-campus has been something that’s come up in the past. Lynda Womer , Associate Provost for Seminole, states that due to space arrangements, legal licensing laws, and financial funding , a childcare facility is something that cannot be offered at this time. The primary mission of the college is to provide higher education and degrees, which comes before providing childcare service. SPC does provide a resource list for students.
Balancing both student and parent challenges is why some decide to take a break or drop out of classes. Nicole Cornelius, student and mother of 2 girls (ages 9 and 13), says “balancing is the biggest challenge I encountered. Getting their homework done, getting my homework done. Staying involved in their school functions, and keeping up with their grades and having to keep up with mine was extremely hard.” Currently Nicole has withdrawn this semester due to the balancing of both worlds, but will try it again in the Spring 2013 because she is only 2 semesters away from completing her BA in Health Services and Administration.
The challenges that both of these worlds contain are conquered every year by more and more people. With the economy at its lowest and jobs more specialized, a college degree seems to be more of a need then an option. Remembering the end result is key through the whole process for those who have the extra burden of being a parent. Bishop says, “What gets me going is, yes, I am eating ramen noodles for the next 2 years while in the RN program, but after the schooling is done I’ll be enjoying filet mignon for a lifetime.”