College: the final frontier for father of two

Craig Tidmore

College: the final frontier. Well not really, but it can have an ominous feeling regardless of your classification. Freshman students feel the pressures of moving out on their own and having to juggle responsibilities. Seniors feel the pressures of “senioritis” and struggling to get to the light at the end of the tunnel. Juniors and sophomores, well they are just stuck in that spot were it’s not quite over yet, but hey at least we are starting fresh and new like freshmen.

I sat down and was trying to accurately describe college that everyone could relate to regardless of classification. I found the perfect representation of that and it reads, “You remember when you were little and you would fall on the trampoline and everyone would keep jumping so you couldn’t get back up? That’s college.”

Well, let’s take that experience and amplify that just a tad. Along with being a full-time student with 13 hours, I also work full time. With classes on every day of the week, I also pour in 40 hours a week at the AT&T call center.

With that kind of workload, which doesn’t include the time to do homework and projects, I have heard everything from “I don’t know how you do it” to “Why would you do that to yourself?” That is when I drop another bombshell. I also juggle a life as a father of two beautiful daughters, Kenna and Natalie, and a husband to Tara, my best friend of 11 years.

It isn’t an ideal scenario, but it is one that I have been doing for four semesters, with three more to go.

My day starts when Natalie is ready. Being only four weeks old, I am up every three to four hours helping Tara change diapers, make bottles, feeding Natalie, burping Natalie, and then getting Natalie back to sleep as quickly as possible to try and get a few more hours of sleep. All while trying to battle the vomit she spit up on my shirt.

As 6 a.m. rolls around, I pry myself out of bed to get Kenna ready for school while getting myself ready for the day. If everything runs smoothly, we are out the door at 7 a.m. and off I go to dropping Kenna off at school and making it to work by 8 a.m.

From there I answer collection calls at work until it is time for me to time stamp out to head to class. Depending on the day, I may have one to three classes before I return to work where I stay until closing time at 9 p.m.

After a 30-minute drive home, it is time to put Kenna to bed, feed Natalie, find me something to eat, and work on any projects or homework that I may have due for the classes the next day. This isn’t an ideal situation, however it is something that I don’t mind doing. I have realized that I need to do something that can not only provide something better for myself, but for my family as well.

This is a confession, or a testimony, of a person who works a full-time job, is a full-time student, a father of two and a husband. The struggle is real, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. One day we will walk across the stage and the hard work that we have put in does eventually all pay off. And knowing that all the work that I put in and going into “Zombie Mode” during these semesters will benefit my family.

Craig Tidmore is a mass communication senior.

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