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Balancing Student and Parent Life

Parenthood is a feat like no other, but balancing academic life and parenthood may seem impossible to some. However, Paige Peterson (writing and linguistics ’19) decided to create a resource for herself and other student-parents at Georgia Southern University.  Peterson, a first time mother, started an organization reaching out to other parents on campus. She formed a Student-Parent organization designed to provide support to other fathers and mothers balancing parenting and school.

“When I was pregnant with my daughter, I was shocked by the lack of resources and support for student-parents on campus. Being a parent and a student is isolating, and I thought that there should be an easier way to find other students in similar positions. I wanted to start a group to make more friends as well as create a safe support system for other student-parents in a place free of judgment,” she said.

The group meets bimonthly in the Russell Union. The Student-Parent group currently has five registered members. They bring their children, ranging from 11 to 18 months of age. This group benefits not only parents, but the children as well. At a young age, children need socialization. “With a student income, most of us cannot afford daycare. This group allows our kids to socialize with others around the same age. The kids are all very close! It is always fun watching them interact with each other,” Peterson said.

Paige has been constantly confronted with opinions that tell her she cannot and will not succeed in both roles as student and mother. She wants to be an example that proves that you can.

“My advice to mothers on campus who want to be full-time students is pretty simple: Don’t listen to the negative people. Many people believe you must choose between an education and a family. They couldn’t be more wrong. Like I said, it is a lot of work. With enough effort and prioritizing, anything is possible. Find a good support group and work hard. Don’t forget to enjoy the little things with your child, because those matter just as much as grades. You can succeed in both school/career and family,” she said.

Peterson’s goal is to be an advocate for other mothers on campus. She uses her love of writing as a means to reach a large number of people.

“As a writer and a young mother, I have made it a goal to help spread my experience in order to help others. I share stories and experiences on my personal blog. I like to show people the raw side of motherhood as well as being a student. I don’t sugar coat things, and share with honesty. In the end, I want to prove that you can be successful in multiple areas of life,” she said.


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