The joys and struggles of a student father

Vic Savino, Contributor

Vic and his family on the first day of classes. SUPPLIED

Vic and his family on the first day of classes. SUPPLIED

Last September, during my very first month of post-secondary education, something very unexpected happened. At 25-years-old, my partner and I are now proud parents of a beautiful, happy, four month old girl. Tahliah came along and took over our lives.

When my classmates heard the news, they were practically making bets on when I would drop out. I didn’t let it get to me. I kept on trying, I got stressed out and I stumbled. I even missed an exam during her delivery week, which thankfully I was able to rewrite. After everything, I still completed my first year with honours.

On little financial assistance besides a savings account and a small annuity I receive every month, going back into my second year has been tough. The expenses build up: diapers, school supplies, tuition, text books, food, rent, cell phone, internet, family vehicle, and baby products. Some days, I have no idea how I am going to make it through the year. Yet, I still make nearly every class (occasionally late) and keep on trying my best to succeed.

I was hoping to go to university and get a degree, or even take another course at Red River. Now, I will most likely have to start working immediately.

Being a parent has really changed my perspective and I am a better person because of it. Nothing has ever made me more confident in my abilities as a human being than creating and raising one, which essentially transfers over into everything else I do.

If I had to describe parenting in one word, I would liken it to juggling. Carrying the baby and the stroller up and down three flights of stairs every day, while you pray for a few quiet hours to do homework and study. That doesn’t even include time spent cooking, eating and completing daily chores.

A year ago, I would have scoffed at the idea of having children. Now, I wouldn’t give it up for the world. It has bettered me in ways that life before parenthood never could. I am a better human and a better student for it. Somebody looks up to you, and only you. If I’m having a bad day, seeing a miniature version of me smile is the best thing to come home or wake up to.

I could do without the soiled diapers, though.

Vic Savino is a business administration student studying marketing. He loves writing, photography, film and anything computer-related. He currently spends most of his time with his newborn daughter and any time off on his bike or at the gym.