College Moms: Students with Children

Emily Chudzik, Staff Writer

There are a lot of preconceived notions about teenage mothers, especially involving education. Only 50 percent of teenage mothers finish high school, and less than two percent of women who become mothers before the age of twenty will complete college, according to Although having a child can make college a completely different experience from most other people, it is not impossible to get an education.

For Jovonne Roberson, a junior elementary education major, the most difficult part about being a college mom is the time. She has a four-year-old son named Christian who takes up a lot of her time. “It’s really tiring. He demands a lot of my attention, and college also demands attention,” she said. Roberson said that last year she was barely making it to class and she was constantly late to her 8:00 am class. “Getting my schoolwork done is sometimes a challenge. I’m always tired,” said Roberson. When asked what the most rewarding part was, she said that just having him here with her is worth it. “It’s hard, the fact that I don’t get to see him every day. I feel empty without talking to him. He’s in daycare while I’m in class, and he’s really well-behaved. He doesn’t really misbehave. It’s rare if he ever does that.”

Just like how college moms have a different experience from a typical college student, two college moms can have differing experiences from one other. Davianne Kirk is a junior art therapy major and psychology minor here at Millikin University. She hopes to do either drug rehabilitation or prison recidivism, which is reducing the rate of turn back, in the future. She has a son named Dayne who just recently turned one.

“Wow, that’s a really hard question,” said Kirk when asked what the most difficult part of being a college mom was, “because I feel like being a mother actually makes it easier to be in college. When I was at U of I, I had a fun social life. I didn’t put as much attention on academics. But now that I’m here, I can focus on that.” Kirk said that this has given her a routine to follow, which is actually quite helpful for school. “There are a lot of people out there that say, ‘Oh yeah, C’s make degrees,’ but that’s just not true. I’m getting A’s now and doing a lot of extra-curricular activities. Resume building is so important,” she commented. There is one challenging part, however; his grandparents live two and a half hours away, and the distance makes it hard for him to have a close relationship with them.

When asked if having a child makes completing schoolwork hard, she immediately replied with a no. “It’s not bad. He’s in daycare from 7:30 to 3:00, and I’m in Alpha Chi Omega. The girls there love playing with him. I don’t even have to ask! So I can study with other people who are in my classes. He’s just so happy-go-lucky. Most people talk about how kids are such a burden, but he’s not. He’s just fun, and so well-behaved,” said Kirk. She said that the most rewarding part is knowing that she is making someone else happy. “Also, that I’m contributing to society by raising an educated and helpful child. I always get good reports on him back from daycare.”

Every college student’s experience is different, and being a young mother in college is no exception.