You can succeed as a student parent

By BrenShavia Jordan | Broadcast Reporter

I know this lady who had a child after graduating high school. She always wanted to go to the military and was sworn into the U.S Navy before she graduated. However, due to her pregnancy, she was unable to go. She never looked into college because her dream was to serve her country.

I remember the day she went to her recruiting office to share the news. She walked away feeling like her life was over. Her classmates went off to college and went to do great things. She didn’t have a backup plan, so she just began to work different jobs. She worked jobs for many years but never felt fulfilled. Eventually she went to cosmetology school and thought she had found her passion. After graduation, she worked at many salons, but she still didn’t feel passionate about it.

Time went on and this young lady ended up getting married and with the support of her husband decided to go to college. When she started, she was so discouraged because she felt like she waited too late. At this point she had two children and it would be a test of faith to finish. No matter what, she was determined to be a full-time student. Some told her going to school is great, but with her life status, becoming a full-time student wasn’t the best choice. She didn’t allow those words to dictate her and she began her college journey. One that was very challenging but she didn’t give up.

There were times her night classes were too much to bear. She missed moments with her children due to homework and late nights. There were times she cried, times she screamed, times she thought it was too much, but she kept on. She learned balancing parenthood and full-time student presented many challenges, but none she couldn’t overcome.

A few years later, she walked across the stage to receive her Associate degree with her husband and two children cheering from the stands. That moment proved her goal weren’t too far out of reach. Every challenging time that led to that moment was worth it. She didn’t stop there. Again, with the help of her husband she wanted to keep going, so she applied to Baylor University.

This lady never imagine going to college based on the history of her life, and she never thought in a million years she would go to a private Christian institution. Sure enough, a few months later, she received her acceptance letter and is now in the process of finishing her first semester of her Bachelor’s degree. She is a wife, mother and student, all while being active on her college campus.

Now is probably the right time to mention this lady is me. Defying the odds and accomplishing things many would say is impossible, especially with children. I am speaking directly to the student parent who feels like maybe they made the wrong choice. It’s easy for people to say, “You can do it” when they haven’t been where you are. I am where you are, and I can tell you that it will be OK. Having children and going to school is very challenging, but you are so strong. You can do this; it’s possible. Whether you have one child or many children, whether you are a single mother or a married mother, it’s not impossible. To be honest, I have been on both sides of the equation and God’s grace and his strength carried me through. I know he will do the same for you.

Things happen in life and sometimes you get off course. It’s okay, and it’s never too late to get back in line with God purpose for your life. My plan was to go to the military but God had different plans for my life. Now I can say I found that purpose and fulfillment I was looking for all those years. I get to pursuing a degree in Journalism and I have never felt more in line with my purpose. A delay doesn’t mean it will never happen. You are right where you are supposed to be. I have learned life is a process. Some things don’t make sense at the moment, but in the end, it will all be worth it.

So when you have assignments pilling up, and meals that need to be cooked and a spouse that needs to be supported as well, feeling depleted and don’t even want to look at the to-do list, remember you are not alone. Here’s a scripture I want you to rehearse: 2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV, “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. When you are feeling weak you have a God who is your strength.”

To the lady or gentleman that’s currently a student, keep going. If you’re reading this and you’ve been contemplating going back to college, I hope this is your confirmation that you can do it. It’s never too late, and you are never alone.