To: Teenage Parents
CC: Anna Goins, English 100 Instructor
Date: October 30, 2013
Subject: Teenage Mothers Going to College
As I scroll through my newsfeed on Facebook these days all I see is “Oh my gosh, I’m pregnant”, “It’s a boy”, and “I wish my baby daddy would just support our baby.” I can’t help but feel sorry for all of these mothers and even the fathers. I went to high school with several people that ended up pregnant. Most of them did graduate, but there were a few that dropped out as soon as they found out the news. However, a few of the girls didn’t stop at just one. Before their first baby was two, they were already pregnant with their second kid. The Office of Adolescent Health said that in 2012, close to 1 in 5 girls who had a baby from age 15-19 already had a baby.
When women get pregnant at a young age they are less likely to finish their education than if they wait until they are older. In 2012, there were 205,402 babies born to females from the ages of 15-19. Although this number is rather large, there was a 6% decline from the 2011 birth rate. Also, the teenage birth rate has been consistently dropping for the past two decades (“Trends in Teen Pregnancy and Childbearing”). Becoming pregnant can pose a big problem in your education. Out of the 40% of teenage mothers finish high school, less than 2% of teen moms continue their education and have a college degree by the age of 30 (“Teen Pregnancy Facts”). Being a mother has many challenges that include going to school, support, jobs, and childcare assistance at schools.
Being a teenage mother is hard enough, trying to finish school as a mother is even harder. It may be a challenge, but it is one of the most important things you can do in your life. When a teenage mother finishes school in general the respect and self-confidence they have in themselves grows tremendously. Not only does it make them feel good about themselves, it also widens their opportunities that they will have in the future. Sometimes, however, the challenges take a toll on the mothers and 7 out of 10 of them will drop out of high school and never come back to finish their education (“Finishing School as a Mom”).
School is hard enough for anyone, but add a teen pregnancy on top of that and all of your challenges just sky rocketed. Some of the many challenges include feeling embarrassed and unsafe as they walk through the hall with their pregnant belly. A teenager who is pregnant would most likely feel unsafe if the other children in the hallway are fighting or being obnoxious. Another major problem mothers face while they are pregnant and in school is their health. Not only do they have to take care of themselves, but they also have a baby that they are providing nutrients for. Lastly, girls who are pregnant in high school worry about day care, if their family will support them, and how they will hold a job. (“Finishing School as a Mom”). When a mom can’t find or afford a daycare for they are more likely to not to go to school because they need to take care of their baby. We all know that some mothers are fortunate enough to have a parent, nanny, or grandmother to take care of the child while the mother finishes her education, but not all of them have that opportunity. No matter the age, a mother needs support from her family and also friends. If a teen mom doesn’t have the proper support she needs she is less likely to succeed while she is getting her education; if she even does. Also, parents have to get jobs to support the child they just conceived (“Finishing School as a Mom”). You need money in order to take care of your baby, buy diapers, food, take them to the doctor and so on. Most mothers will typically put work in front of school because they know they have to take care of the child. The consequence of this is that their work highly interferes with their education and they begin to fall behind.
I talked to several people with