Full-time Student, Part-time Mom

By: Anna Merezhko February 10, 2017

My family always had a deep-rooted reverence for mothers who would set out to get a college degree. We had relatives and friends who tackled the whole “mom by day, student by night” thing. I remember my parents’ amazement whenever they heard someone attempted such a feat.

“Do you have any idea how hard that is?” they would ask, as they tried to comprehend how many hours in a day someone would need.

They portrayed it to be the most impossible job in the world. They probably put so much emphasis on its impossibility so that I wouldn’t attempt to do so. Fortunately, I did.

I am a firm believer in things happening exactly when they need to. I believe that I grew up believing certain limitations just so I could watch them fall at my feet. Being a mother and a student once seemed scary and impossible but then I found myself finishing a semester with a newborn in my arms.

The only thing I remember from that semester is that I would sleep sitting up. Whenever I’d get up to feed the baby in the middle of the night, I would dream while I was still somewhat awake. I think at one point, I hallucinated that my husband was asking me something and I would start answering him back, only to realize that I was talking to myself. Now, it’s considerably easier because my daughter sleeps through the night just fine.

I wish that I could say that being a college student with a toddler is easy. I wish that I could say that there was never a time that I felt overwhelmed and like I was about to lose my mind. Writing about it brings me to those moments.

I find it unfathomable how badly human beings need each other- how much we desire each other’s praise, support, and acceptance. There is great power in the words you say to people. They can build or destroy a person. I have found solace in the comfort of friends and family who encouragingly told me that this is NOT impossible. The limitations that I see are self-made. Once you convince yourself something is hard, it becomes hard. When someone else confirms it, it becomes unachievable. Soon you see what was once a tiny branch on the road, become a giant concrete wall.

You have to break apart this wall. Break apart the limitations others have forced onto you. There is an amazing sense of accomplishment when you prove them wrong. You prove to yourself how strong you are and instantly, everything that ever seemed too difficult, lies just within arm’s reach.

I write this to the students who are struggling to get by this semester. Push through and when you’re at the end of your rope, look to the people that build you up. The healthiest thing you can do is surround yourself with people who don’t constantly remind you how hard it is. Focus on your end goal and know that everything you’re going through now will be worth it.

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