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Kids give new outlook on college

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Published: Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Updated: Wednesday, February 27, 2013 20:02

 

I think I speak for many college students, male or female, when I say that being a college student
is hard, but balancing school with being a parent is even harder.
 
This past Saturday marks five weeks since I’ve officially become a father to my beautiful
daughter, and as many parents can attest, it’s definitely a blessing to have a child. Yes, it takes
hard work and a lot of responsibility, but I’m here to say that children are blessings in disguise
for college students and should be used as motivational tools.
 
I know that it may sound weird to use the words “child” and “tool” in the same sentence, but if
there’s one thing that my daughter has done for me in her young life, she has motivated me to
better myself.
 
Sure, before her, I was going to school, working and trying to better my life, but now, having a
child that will look to me for support and help has only motivated me to finish what I started and
it should for all my fellow colleagues that are parents.
 
I realize that not every college parent has the fortunate situations that I have been blessed with,
but if a child doesn’t motivate you to better yourself then what will?
 
I, along with many college parents, am not where we want to be in life, and no, we didn’t expect
to have children at this age. But, at the same time, children are made to better your life – not ruin
it.
 
When I first found out that I was going to be a father just 10 months ago, plenty of things ran
through my mind, but one thing that stuck was that I knew I had to finish school. Dropping out
wasn’t an option.
 
I know that for a lot of single moms it’s hard to be a full-time mother and go to school, but if it’s
possible, I advise that you go to school, and that goes for males as well. Yes, it is harder and time
at school means less time with your child, but you have to keep in mind that what you are doing
now will only benefit your child in the future.
 
Time management is key as a college parent. You have to be able to manage your time
effectively so that there is a balance between your work at school and parenting.
 
I am currently finishing up my last semester here at Buff State. I work part-time at night, and
I intern at WGR, so time management has never been so crucial for me in my life. But I know
what I’m doing now will only benefit my daughter and I down the road.
 
As a father, I speak for many college dads when I say it is our responsibility as men to grow
up and be fathers to our children. No matter how old you are when you become a father, your
mentality must change upon the arrival of that child not just for you, but for your child.
 
I have always been someone who stayed out of trouble and never looked to pick fights, but that
still doesn’t mean I didn’t have to change.
 
Fathers and mothers, hear me out when I say that as a parent you must rid yourself of “me” and
change that to “her/he/us.”
 
That doesn’t mean that you can’t look out for yourself or do things for yourself, but at the same
time, when you make decisions you have to put your child in front of anything else. Think ahead
and think of any repercussions and how they cannot only affect you, but your child as well.
 
I know it can be hard at first, but it’s very crucial that young college parents realize that their
child must come first.
 
I don’t want to come across as Dr. Phil 2.0 or Oprah, but I’m speaking from experiences that I
have witnessed thus far as a parent and I know there will be many more in this life-long journey
I’m currently exploring.
 
I love every bit of being a father and as much as I hate not being around my daughter as much
as I would like, I realize that in order to get where I want in the future, I have to take care of
business today.
 
Fellow college parents: keep striving and you will prosper as a parent. Men, grow up and be
fathers, Women, keep pushing, especially those who are single mothers because I know it’s hard,
but if you’re not going to do it, who is?
 
I could not be any happier being a father to my daughter and I have loved every moment of
being a father. I hope those men out there going to college feel the same way, because like I said
before, children are blessings put on earth to better our lives.
 
Aubrey Gibert can be reached by email at gibert.record@live.com.

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