Examples of Decisions
Following are examples of students who faced challenges of waiting to start a family unit after college and those who made decisions to begin a family while still in college. Either way, these are key decisions during young adulthood and influence your future.
This writer’s four college-age “kids" decided to attend college first before getting married and starting families. As young adults, they have chosen varied degrees, from associates to a master's degree, in different career paths. Two of them, though engaged, have planned weddings to take place after graduation. They, as well as their single siblings who have "significant others" in their lives, all determined that it worked best for them to complete their education before starting married lives and planning families. While the oldest daughter may go on to pursue her doctoral degree after getting married, she and her fiancé prefer to wait before starting their family.
The challenge each couple faces in this decision is that relationships, including planning weddings and discussing the future, prove to be distracting at times. In addition, some of the demands of higher education place a strain on their relationships.
College and Family
When this writer was in college the first time around, between the ages of 18 to 22, several classmates met their significant others while in college. They chose to marry and start families as they continued their classes, before graduation. Similar to the challenges faced by the students mentioned in the previous section, these students experienced moments of divided attention between the demands of school and of family. They also struggled to maintain financial and economic stability to cover the costs of college education and their growing families.
In this writer’s first college experience, other classmates entered college as married students with children. These busy students, like the ones in the previous example, struggled with dividing their time between their studies and their families. Often, one spouse would work and/or care for the children, while the other spouse completed his or her studies. Then they would reverse roles so the other spouse could also finish school. They likewise faced difficulties financially and economically.