Pandemic problems, college stresses create difficulties for college parents

by Cody Sparlin

An average full-time student will study 24 hours a week with 12 hours of in class time and added on to that, some students are also a parent dealing with the current pandemic conditions.

Midterms are enough to send any student over the edge and buried in a book. The additional stress of the pandemic combined with taking care of a child would be a nightmare for some. For others, it’s a reality. Danielle Malone, 22-year-old senior at A-State, experienced challenges with daycares and babysitting. 

“Daycares and babysitting are very difficult to figure out right now,” Malone said. “One day they’re open and someone’s available and the next everything will be closed for 2 weeks or more. So, it’s a very hard time to figure out what to do about childcare.” 

During the fall semester some courses exercised an option to hold classes via Zoom. For some parents, Zoom was the only way they could attend class due to COVID-19 and a lack of babysitting or daycare.

“It’s hard to make it to lecture style classes when you never know if the daycares will be able to open that day or you can’t find a sitter that day because they got sick or your kids are a little sick that day,” Malone said. 

Ansley Patchell, 22-year-old practical nursing major, looks back on nursing school with much sympathy for those who are currently battling with Covid.

“If Covid had affected my time in nursing school, it would have made things very difficult,” Patchell said. “I am a very hands on learner, and I could not have imagined having all the lectures and a majority of clinicals virtually without any hands on or actual patient interaction. Learning new nursing skills would have been much more difficult without hands on training.” 

Another college parent, 18-year-old Moriah Hollywood attending college down the road in Poplar Bluff at Three Rivers College, faces challenges when it comes to child care as well.

“If the day cares are open or a babysitter is available then it’s hard to afford them with the layoffs and the lack of work due to COVID,” Hollywood said.  

All three young parents said finding me time is a vital part of being a parent in college. 

When asked what advice these young parents would give there was one universal answer shared amongst them, “Find me time.”

Categories: News

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