Could use some advice


I’m not really sure what to do with this situation. I’m new here, but everyone seems so helpful and nice about things, so I figured I’d ask for some opinions.

I am 23 years old and I have a 4 year old daughter. She will be starting kindergarten next year. I am a college junior in a journalism program. I go to school full time, taking 5 courses. I also work part time at a hair salon. This keeps me away from my daughter 2 nights a week and every other day on weekends. I make very little money, since it is part time work. We live at home with my mother, who is more than helpful and understanding. I couldn’t ask for a better mother.

Lately, however, I’m starting to think that maybe my situation isn’t the best and I need to make some changes. I think I need to make some major changes in my life in general. But I think maybe I should stop going to full time school and go to Saturday classes. This way, I could get a full time, 40 hour per week job. I’d be able to spend time with my daughter at night. I’d be making more money, and possibly we’d be able to live on our own. This way, I would feel more like her mother and less like a co-parent with my own mother (who has the best intentions, but sometimes can’t butt out).

The only problem with this is that I would have to change my major. Saturday programs don’t offer journalism as a major. So basically, I’d be taking business or professional skills as a major. To be honest, I do love writing and I would be a little disappointed if I gave it up, but I’m not even sure that it is what I want to do. And who is to say that I can’t go to school for business, get a job and write later? My main goal with writing isn’t to be a reporter, but to write a travel book. I love Disney World (almost to the point of obsession!) and would love to write a book about it one day. So maybe a better idea is to do this Saturday program, get a regular job and focus on getting a degree, then writing a book later in life when i’m more settled.

I think another part of the problem is also that I hate the college I am at now. Plus I’ve been kind of depressed this semester, so my grades have been slipping alot and I feel like I’m stuck in a hole there. I like my writing classes, but really don’t like anything else about this college. I just feel like I’m stuck.

Any advice?


Welcome to Catholic Answers! :wave:

As a junior, with a full load of classes, you only have 3 semesters left, right? It has been my experience, through various friends and acquaintances, that it’s harder to stay in the groove of school when you prolong graduation by cutting the number of classes you take each semester.

You’re so close to finishing!! If you stop journalism and pick up a new major, will it take you even longer to finish? The sooner you finish your major, the sooner you can have the opportunity to find a job in your field. You’ve made it this far already; I think I’d stick with it until Graduation Day! :thumbsup:

But I’m only 3 years older than you, so some of the older and wiser members may give you different advice. I’m really interested to see what others have to say!


Ok, here is my 2cents worth.

I finished 2 years of full time schooling and then switched to part-time. It is a lot harder to do part time and work full-time. I did summer and evening courses when I switched to part-time. Maybe 2 courses/semester.

I didn’t have any children but I did want to get married and ‘start’ my life. I was 22 at the time.

Anyway, I am now 37, 2 children, stay at home, homeschooling mother…and I still have not finished my degree! Life got in the way.

My advice…as long as you and mom get along pretty well - and it seems like you are doing ok with that…then I’d stick it out because you’re almost there.

If you finish your degree, then get a full-time job and decide to take some courses to get another major or upgrade your skills then your daughter could spend a Saturday with Grandma while you go to class.

Hope I’ve helped a bit.


**I can’t speak to the schooling side of it but I wonder what would be best for your daughter. Staying with your mom is giving her 2 loving people around her at all times instead of only one. That can’t be a bad thing.



I’m new here too, welcome!

Here’s my two cents. Think first about what you want and need for you and your child. You want her to be taken care of, healthy, happy, etc. It sounds like you want to be a writer, more than you want to have a journalism degree. But what is most compatible with what you and your child need?

I run the online marketing for a large publishing company. I’m no expert, but from what I’ve seen, skill in writing, and having been published are more important than the degree, especially if your goal is to write your own things, rather than work for a publisher or magazine. I have never heard of any publisher selecting a book based purely on the journalism degree. In today’s market, the quality, innovation, and market-need for the content are what publishers use as a guide for what to publish.

I assume you didn’t go into detail about what things you are trying to change in your life. But, if it requires you to leave your mom’s and go on your own with your child, do it. While sometimes it is hard, to do the thing that’s right for our kids, we have to make decisions and sacrifices. If you can provide a healthy environment working full-time on your own, don’t let the desire for the degree get in the way. Because the degree isn’t going to get you published - you will!


Something else to consider, even if your degree won’t help you in getting published, it WILL help you get a better job than working at a salon. It’s a great back-up plan if you never get published.

I have never held a paying position that specifically required my specialized field of study, but all of the jobs I had after graduation I got because I had the degree and other applicants did not. That piece of paper gives you the extra edge, and over the long-term, you may need as many advantages as possible.

Because you ARE the breadwinner for your family, this is something that is really important to consider. Take care & God bless!


Forgive me ahead of time for being a bit tough on you.

You are right. Your situation isn’t the best. But the fact is that by going to school and working part time you ARE making changes. By living with your mother you are making sure that your daughter has the best home that she can TODAY.

I have a feeling that the problem is that you feel rather dependent on your mother and you don’t like it. That’s understandable. But in an ideal world, mothers of preschoolers are fairly dependent on someone to take care of them. You don’t have a husband doing that for you but you have a mother who was willing to pinch hit. I don’t think you should throw that away. I seriously doubt you would spend more time with your daughter if you worked full time and tried to go to school part time.

If you didn’t have a daughter I would tell you to go ahead and explore other majors or other colleges. But since you are past the halfway mark in college I can’t recommend starting over on something completely new. I would ask yourself if it’s the major or the school you don’t like or if the problem is that you don’t feel like you fit in with the other students. The hard cold fact is that you probably don’t fit in with many of the other students because you have someone who depends on you. None of this means you can’t investigate other majors, schools, or foci.

In another couple of years your daughter will be in school for longer hours and you can have finished up your own studies. I think that unless there is something terribly evil or destructive about your school, you would be better off sticking with your current program. Think of every experience at college as something to write about in the future. Even a class or teacher you dislike is full of potential. Tell yourself you are going to school and working part time for your daughter. Make sure what you are telling yourself is true.


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