Saturday, January 20, 2018

Students Balance School, Parenting

April 16, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Some students struggle to succeed in college as it is. For students with kids, it becomes even more difficult to balance school, parenthood and a social life.

Chelsea Lemons, a junior landscape architecture major from Lubbock, and her fiancé Zach Kuykendall, an environment and humanities major also from Lubbock, had their daughter Riley a year ago. Although Lemons said she did not plan on having children at such a young age, she’s glad she did.

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“I’m so exhausted, and I’m 22. I can’t imagine doing this older,” Lemons said. “Like, you know, older couples when they have children really late, it’s like oh my gosh, I’m so exhausted now. I can’t imagine waiting longer.”

Lemons said Riley loves to play outside. She said the one-year-old is an easygoing baby.

“She is hilarious. We have a huskie, and they are best friends. And she loves her so much,” Lemons said. “She’s always climbing on her and, like, pulling out her fur, and poking her eyeballs, and she just sits there and takes it.”

Lemons said it is sometimes difficult to juggle all of her responsibilities. She said her and Kuykendall’s parents are always willing to help, and his parents even gave them a house. She said she is glad she has a strong support system.

“Sometimes it’s easy and sometimes it’s really crazy difficult,” Lemons said. “Like when all of your professors suddenly decide you’re all going to have something due on the same day, same week whatever.”

Lemons said her family has a routine down, which helps. She said Riley goes to daycare during the day, which gives the young parents time to attend classes and do homework. Lemons tries to get all of her work done during the day, so she can spend time with her family at night.

One of the most difficult times for Lemons was when she was pregnant. She said most of her teachers were very accommodating and helpful, but it was hard to do normal things.

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“You know those mornings you wake up and you don’t want to go to class anyways,” Lemons said, “and then put pregnant, super tired, exhausted on top of that, and you’re just like ‘I just want to quit.’ There were so many days where I was like, ‘Why am I here? What am I doing?’”

Once she finally had Riley, Lemons said she was able to take some time off to enjoy motherhood. But, she had to go right back to hitting the books for finals.

Lemons said one of the things that keeps her sane is her friends. She said her and Kuykendall try to schedule time to act like average college students when they can.

“You just have to like, pick a night, and be like, ‘Okay, let’s go do stuff this night,'” Lemons said. “Like when you’re just in college, and you don’t have kids, it’s like you can go and do whatever any night. But, you kind of have to plan. It takes a while.”

Although having a child while in college was not part of her plan, Lemons said she wouldn’t trade her daughter for the world.

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