A short glimpse at being a single parent in college

In today’s society you see more and more nontraditional college students who are also single parents.  A nontraditional student is being over a certain age or has a certain situation that can lead them to only be able to go to school part time, or even not be able to live the “traditional” college life.

For quite a bit of people that currently go to college, being a college student as well as a parent to a child can make things challenging. There are many different struggles that a single parent goes through not only on campus but also off campus.

Many parents’ days consist of early mornings and late nights to keep them going through parenthood as well as college. They work just as hard, if not harder, as any other student but having children can make it twice as difficult. According to a recent study done by the National Center for Education Statistics, there are one in five undergraduate students that are single parents.

Many single, college students here at Washburn explained what their day to day lifestyle is and each had different remarks.

“Being a single parent, the day to day life is just that. I am trying to make it every day,” said Adria Carter, senior in nursing.

“For me, there is no day to day life because each day consists of a new adventure, learning experience or challenge to embark along this journey,” said Lexy Cunningham, graduating senior in human service graduate program.

There is a saying that it takes a village to raise a child and that’s exactly what it takes to raise a child on your own. That is a true statement. It takes more than one person to raise a child in today’s society. It takes many people because the cost of daycare plus the cost of living is not as much as a single parent makes.

When asked what advice they would give to other parents while in school, they all had similar but different answers. Many of them said never give up, keep your eye on the prize, and always ask for help. “Take the time to complete assignments while your children are resting when you are able to have peace and quiet, no interruptions,” said Ikisha Reed, freshman in nursing.

“My advice is to find a solution that works for you, even if it is not traditional,” said Tyller Torrez, senior in psychology.

“Have a plan. Whether it’s a plan for the next week or a plan for the next year. Having a plan gives you a sense of control and when you feel in control,” said Charlynn Woodring, freshman in entrepreneurship and innovation.

There are many professors here on campus that can and will work with you when it comes to certain situations. Washburn has a scholarship to help single parents to help get them through college through the Washburn Women’s Alliance. This is not just for single mothers but also for single fathers as well.


Edited by Aja Carter and Rakesh Swarnakar