I grew up on campus. My mother went back to school after she had my little brothers. I would come with her to class on days when my school was closed. When she became a teacher, we visited Carnegie often to borrow teaching materials. Growing up in Topeka, I visited Washburn for various reasons and activities, ranging from going for a stroll to attending a Relay for Life event for my brother. In highschool, I initially decided to apply for KU and other universities. However, I got engaged my junior year of high school and decided to stay in Topeka, because he worked here. It all worked well, because Washburn was impressed enough with me to give me over $5,000 in scholarships each year. I got married my freshman year of college, feeling like an outcast compared to the rest of the students. Our university puts so much emphasis on cultivating the “ideal” student: single, middle class, childless. Because I felt isolated and because of my work schedule, I didn’t do much on campus. At the end of my sophomore year, my husband and I decided that we wanted to start a family. We had talked about it before, but I had always told him that I wanted to wait until after grad school. We decided though, that we didn’t want to put our lives on hold for nearly a decade. The months went by and we still had no baby. I started looking up information on resources for parents and pregnant students at Washburn, in case we did get lucky. Nothing came in the way of search results, and nothing grew in my womb. My barrenness was taking a toll on my emotionally and mentally. I told several persons on campus that we were trying to conceive, and I was told by more than one faculty/staff member that I needed to wait, based solely on my age. I told some students, who either made fun of me or judged me based on my desire to be a mother and on my marital status. People accused me of being “backwards” because I was choosing to adhere to the gender roles of motherhood and marriage (despite my aspirations to go to grad school and become a career woman). For some reason, we act like women can’t be wives/mothers and have careers of their own. I decided to investigate our lack of resources for pregnant/parenting students for a class paper, partially in hopes that some people would realize that it’s a legitimate issues and partly in hopes that maybe then I could get pregnant. A helpful professor suggested that I start a group for parenting/pregnant students, so I did. I found out a few days after my 21st birthday that I am infertile and have a condition known as PCOS. It was over a year of trying, with an unconfirmed miscarriage thrown in. I threw myself even more into helping this club and creating resources for students who are blessed with children in order to distract myself from the pain of infertility. During the summer, I discovered that I also had symptoms of depression that stem from my infertility. I continued to be ridiculed for my desire of motherhood, and was vexed that people thought that my pain wasn’t legitimate. Here’s the thing: it is pain beyond words to love a child so whole-heatedly, when that child doesn’t even exist. To think about that person multiple times every day. To make plans for that person, and to make decisions for them. To take medications that make you so sick that you wake up in the middle of the night to throw up or get foggy brain. To alter your diet in order to up your chances, cutting our bread, pasta, wine, and sugar (still working on this). To see friends get pregnant after only one month of trying, being bombarded with constant pregnancy updates and complaints. Or worse yet, to see prank pregnancy announcements. To see reminders all around campus that students should do everything in their power NOT to get pregnant, reminding you that everyone else is filled with the one thing that you so desperately want. To hear people make jokes not to get pregnant. This pain is real, and it doesn’t care that I’m young. And neither should you.