COMMENTARY/College students are human

Mar 28, 2022

Are college students important? Yes, we are human! College students need guidance and a helping hand in college, no matter what.

Although people can judge college students who are parents, we are some of the people needing the most support. Student parents have increased stress, compared to other students, due to being far from their children.

Most student parents do not want to speak up because they are afraid someone may judge them. University administrators should care about student parents’ mental health because without support, student parents can go into depression. About 7 to 9% of college student parents have been found to go into depression due to being judged.

The first year in college could come with homesickness for anyone. Research shows 70% of university students have experienced homesickness. Being far from home and the people you love can be challenging. For student parents, this is heightened.

Once I got to college, I wanted to come home every day because I did not enjoy being away from my child. Having homesickness in college is not a good thing. It can lead to depression and a lack of motivation. This might be part of the reason only 6% of college student parents earn a bachelor's degree. In fact, 52.9% of college student parents drop out.

Trying to pursue higher education while taking care of their children is challenging. You must provide for your child and still work hard to have all your work turned in a timely matter. Most professors understand, some do not. Professors who are not aware can make it difficult for parents.

From my personal experience, being a mother in college is difficult when you live an hour and 30 minutes away. It does get challenging when my baby gets sick. I have to come home to attend to her. Sometimes this means I turn my work in late. Being late on my work is something I hate; I stress to turn it in on time.

It would be easier if Claflin had child care. For student parents, child care would be a considerable help. Parents would have their children closer, be able to see them and this would relieve a lot of stress and help support people in their education. Being a parent in college comes with stress largely because of the lack of support.

Onsite child care could also benefit the university community as a whole. Students who major in childhood development could gain hours of experience working in the university run child care. Student parents that had their kids at child care on campus would know that they are being helped and are not alone. This would also improve student parents’ mental health.

Student parents should advocate for on-campus child care from administrators. It would benefit the school and those of us trying to improve our lives and the lives of our children.

Kyla Crawford is a Claflin freshman criminal justice major.

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