Being a parent in college is a hardship

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Jerah King | Ranger Reporter

One of the most admirable things when it comes to continuing education is when parents and working students do it. It’s never too late to better your education and have career goals. Although it also adds quite a bit of stress. Keeping up with classes while working full-time or being a parent is very hard work. However, getting a degree will pay off at the end. Bridie Lindsay, a Clarendon resident, is enrolled in school to become a dental assistant. She has a daughter named Avorie. Her situation is particularly stressful because she is taking an eight-month program. “We test every day and have four hours of homework every day,” Lindsay said. “The best stress reliever is definitely sleeping. Every chance I get.” Parents who attend college sacrifice many things, including time with their kids. “Help from family members and close friends definitely is welcomed,” Lindsay said. “Luckily, I have my parents to help out. It’s stressful some days when I don’t get to spend time with Avorie because of the mountain of homework. I just remind myself of my graduation date and know that after that, I can not only provide for her but also spend more time with her.” Brooklyn Farmer, a student at Clarendon College, has two girls to take care of. “I take it one day at a time,” Farmer said. “Most days are good, but on my bad days, I color with them for a little bit until they are good on their own or turn a movie on to keep them occupied so I can do homework,” she said. Farmer’s daughters are 2 years and 18 months old. “It feels good to be going to school for them,” she said. “My education will be part of their future.” Farmer is majoring in nursing and aiming to receive her RN certification. Jodie Lockeby, enrolled in courses at Clarendon College, also is working full-time as an assistant manager at Family Dollar. Her story is one of self-improvement, because she is trying to move on after personal problems. Lockeby is majoring in psychology and minoring in addiction and recovery. Her daughter JaeAnna is 9 years old. “It was a long-awaited sense of purpose,” Lockeby said. “Kind of ‘be the change you want to see’ mentality. I struggled for years. I want my daughter to see what I’m doing and know that she can achieve anything, no matter what life throws at her.” Students who are working and/or parenting are not alone, and their struggle will be worth it in the end. “It’s hard living paycheck to paycheck,” Lindsay said. “Employers are looking at education and certifications. It’s hard, but it can be done, and it’s worth it.”

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