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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
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Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
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Texas A&M pitcher Chris Cortez (10) reacts during Texas A&M’s game against Oregon at the NCAA Bryan-College Station Super Regional at Olsen Field on Saturday, June 8, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
One step away
June 8, 2024

Part-time students, full-time parents

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Photo by Photo by Yuridia Suchil

Bryce and Eric Golden, Sophomore Psychology major, enjoyed a day out with their son at the Aggie Ring Replica located at the Haynes Ring Plaza behind the Alumni Center. 

During her time in college, Melanie Meyers, Class of 2016, was many things: a student, substitute teacher, bus driver, cosmetologist and most importantly — a parent. She returned to college in 2007 not knowing she would spend the next nine years working toward her sociology degree and working around the schedule of her family, but when she finally received her diploma the feeling was sweet to say the least.
This is one of many narratives of student-parents attending college. While most students are familiar with facing obligation and responsibility, these students are particularly skilled in time management.
“I was actually raised as a foster kid in the foster care system, so I tried very hard to just accomplish the goals of raising my children … I had my son when I was 16 and I started working when I was 15,” Meyers said. “I had two jobs in high school, and I’ve worked my whole life. I never wanted to be what they told me I was going to be which was a failure, but I proved a lot of people wrong — let’s just say that.”
When psychology sophomore Eric Golden was confronted with parenthood, he had to learn to sacrifice, but it wasn’t without reward.
“As a parent, I personally work full-time and Bryce [Golden’s wife] stays at home and has a part-time job,” Golden said. “It stinks being really busy all the time, but it’s always great to come home to a wife and child. It may not be for everyone, but it’s definitely for me.”
The pursuit of college degrees leaves some student-parents having to be away from their parental duties to maintain a study schedule. Education junior Jamie Thomas had been a parent for 16 years when she finally decided to re-commit to her college education in August of 2013. Rather than wait for her kids’ bedtime to begin on schoolwork, Thomas said she took a different approach.
“It was super difficult but rather than try to do my homework when they went to sleep, I began doing it with them,” Thomas said.
While some student-parents enjoy their experiences, almost all are willing to admit the difficulty of the situation. Third-year English graduate student Nicole Hagstrom-Schmidt said the commitment to both school and parenthood can offer valuable lessons in life and acceptance of personal imperfections.
“I think there’s always going to be a sense of guilt for a working mom, no matter what she does, whether she has a full-time job or goes to school or both, so that I try to compartmentalize and spend as much time with them as I can,” Hagstrom-Schmidt said. “Accepting that there’s certain things you just can’t do when you have children, and work and school.”
Electrical engineering junior Freddy Sanchez moved from Venezuela to America at the age of 19 and later got married and had two children. While his family lives in Houston, Sanchez lives in College Station during the week and visits his family on weekends.
“Time goes by too quick. Time flies, and you have to be able to balance everything, and you have to be able to take it a day at a time, also,” Sanchez said. “Because if you look at it as all the years I have left then I get really discouraged, but if I take it a day at a time and only a little bit at a time, then it’s easier to move forward.”

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