Group offers aid to students with children
Students in college are often weighed down under the pressure of midterms, finals and class projects, but an issue that seems seldom discussed, at least among students in day-to-day conversation, presents an even tougher challenge for some: managing a family while pursuing a degree.
Being a parent while attending college can be cumbersome, but there are steps student parents can take in order to overcome many obstacles, if not all.
Shweta Saraswat in a recent article in the UCLA student newspaper, The Daily Bruin, said ‘(parent students) are weighed down by a feeling of isolation from the rest of the undergraduate student body.’
Valessa Michel, co-president of Parenting Students at UCLA, added, ‘We all noticed that parenting students do not have any support at the university level.’
Amid our great college of about 36,000 students, do those with children feel the same way?
This sense of separation can be removed if the couple communicates more efficiently to each other. Single parents can look to support groups here at UH such as Counseling and Psychological Services.
Furthermore, a conflict between couples in parenting can be addressed and likely resolved if they obtain training whenever they can. Even if their schedules hardly permit it, an improvement in how feelings are made known can benefit immensely.
However, this is not to be taken lightly and should be approached with caution. What may seem akin to a clear and logical solution to one parent may seem completely outlandish to the other. What this scenario calls for is a reasonable exchange and establishment of what is expected of the children in order to reach a rational conclusion that works for the well-being of the child.
As far as socializing with other parents, UCLA’s child care resource coordinator of more than 30 years, Judy Bencivengo, said in the same article that getting to know others in the same situation proves beneficial.
‘For example, if you want to exchange babysitters, (this sort of group) will give you the opportunity to make contacts you would’ve been able to make socially. But now, (without the group), you don’t have any social time to get to know people,’ Bencivengo said.
Such steps will not lead to a trouble-free college life, but it will serve to assuage much of the stress that accompanies being a student parent.
We must also remember to be considerate of the circumstances surrounding the lives of those around us, and always show true Cougar pride in lending a helping hand to our classmates whenever they most need it.
Patrick Levy is a communication freshman and may be reached at [email protected]