Planning to have kids while in college will  not  allow you proper time for a baby or a career.

Babies are cute, and starting a family is a dream for many, but having a child could be a distraction from the stress of college. It is better to wait.

Starting a family while in college can cause  a decrease in academic performance and enthusiasm to obtain internships and jobs.

Having a baby can also cause guilt for the parent going to college, because it puts the parent in a predicament of devoting more time to schoolwork and less time to the child.

College is already a difficult stage of life, with grades, internships and finding your identity. College is not a place to attend classes and be done with schoolwork when you leave the classroom. Most of life’s advances and career opportunities happen outside of the classroom with volunteer work, internships and social events.

“Try not to have kids while in college,” said senior communication major Melissa Arrington. “If you live your life first, it’s going to make you more capable of raising your child.  It’s going to give you more experience, if you wait to have a kid, that your child can draw off of. If you have kids while you are still a kid before you have lived your life, you aren’t going to be as prepared.”

The most important developmental stages in life are from birth to 6 months. Infants need a lot of attention.  If college students want to have kids, they should be prepared to cut out most of their social life as well as cut down on time devoted to school.

Those first few months are the most important, and babies need the undivided attention of their parents.

“When you are not actively there with your child all the time because you are working towards your degree, it affects the child’s development,” said junior English major Deidra Sloss.

Babies can cause some really big spending changes; they are almost as expensive as college. According to the Parenting website, within the first year of raising a child, parents spend $12,500 on the baby. By having a kid while in college, parents are more prone to being financially stressed.

“Having a child while in college can be extremely stressful for the parent and the child, but when you have good resources, it is better,” said sophomore communications major Maya Brown. “There is a daycare on campus. APSU also offers online classes to make it easier for parents.”

Fortunately, child care centers are becoming more and more available at universities around the country, including right here at APSU, that allow parents to go to school and know their kids are in a day care facility nearby.

Growing a family is a part of life, but so are  other career and life goals. Finish your dreams before you start the dreams of your little ones. It will help you inspire your kids to grow up and become as successful as you are, because you focused on you first.

“I don’t see any benefits to having kids while in college,” said senior social work major Dennis Dulmage. “Being a father of three, I am glad I didn’t try to go to college while they were still in the house. I got to focus on them while they were there, and now I can focus on my degree.” Focus on yourself right now and take this time for you so you can watch your kids grow and be there for them in their years of schooling.

It will be a much happier experience for both you and your kid if you wait to have kids until after you are done with the stress of college.