“A diary of a college student” is a series where we profile a variety of students to get a glimpse of their day-to-day. Learn from their stories of balancing family, work, and school.
Tell us about yourself
I am 24 years old and I have one child, a daughter who just turned two in April. I get help raising Alexandria from her father, he’s really good with her but I’m mostly the one that takes care of her. He supports her financially, I raise her. I am a full-time student at Liberty University Online. Online classes fit so much better with my life and schedule than on-campus classes. I want to be the one taking care of my daughter, I don’t want strangers to be the one getting those precious moments. Taking classes online gives me that opportunity. I’m studying for my Bachelor’s in Elementary Education and Interdisciplinary Studies.
The hardest part about balancing college and family life is being able to make enough time to where you’re not neglecting either one.
What have you learned from raising a family while in school?
I take 2 classes every 8 weeks, which keeps me busy. Plus, I have a toddler who is at the ripe age to learn her colors, alphabet, and so on, and she needs someone to work with her and teach her those things. That’s one of the joys of being a parent. Your influence on your child makes all the difference in the world. What you teach them now will stick with them for the rest of their lives. It’s amazing! It can also be extremely stressful trying to balance all of this. But, I love being a mother and I love being a student.
You have to make a schedule, I have learned. You have to map out times for school and time for family and stick to those times.
Do you have any advice for other parents who want to go to college?
You have to make some time for yourself; if for no other reason than to keep your sanity. In August I will be starting my Sophomore year of college and it wasn’t until my second semester that I realized you have to take a break. Even if you don’t feel overwhelmed after you have been working for weeks, you have to refresh yourself. There is nothing wrong with getting a babysitter for a few hours and doing something for you. That is probably one of my biggest suggestions for young mothers who are also students. The kid needs you at your best, and when you are stressed, you are not at your best. Breaks and me-time are necessary to remain relatively stress-free and happy.
About the author: Ashley Beckner is a 24-year-old full-time undergraduate student at Liberty University Online. She is studying Elementary Education and Interdisciplinary Studies. Ashley has a two-year-old daughter named Alexandria. Ashley loves being able to stay at home with Alexandria, helping her learn and grow each day. “She is a blessing to me and I’m grateful to have her in my life.”