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Opinion and Editorial

College and a Child

Imagine being enrolled in a nursing program, pretty stressful right? Now add having a 9-month-old baby boy to that and your life would be extremely stressful.

That’s the reality for 19-year-old Peter Hagendorf, a freshman at Neumann college in Aston, Pa.

Hagendorf was a senior in high school when his girlfriend, Samantha Massaro told him that she might be pregnant.

“I didn’t know what to do,” said Hagendorf. “I couldn’t concentrate on anything, all I could think about was how much my life was going to change.”

He went on to recall how hard it was to work up the courage to tell his parents.  However, once he told them, he said they were overwhelmingly supportive and helpful.

On July 31, 2012 Robert Romolo Hagendorf was born.

“It was the happiest day of my life,” Hagendorf exclaimed. “I couldn’t believe when Robert was born that I had created that. I was in tears.”

A month later the real challenge for Hagendorf would begin. Hagendorf would have to figure out how to juggle school, work, and being a father. To make things even more difficult, Hagendorf would have to take a bus, a subway, and a train to a from school.

“I would wake up at 6 a.m. be on the bus by 7 a.m. and by 8:30 a.m. I would be at school.”

That’s when things really got stressful for Hagendorf. “I would get little to no sleep each night, and then have to go to school till noon, and be back at my house at 1:30 p.m. to take care of Robert. It  was just really stressful. I started failing some of my non-nursing classes because I just couldn’t focus on them. The only thing that seemed important was taking care of Robert and Sam and making sure all my work for my major was done.”

The weekends didn’t make it any easier for Hagendorf either.

“If I was lucky I’d be able to work Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in order to help out around the house,” he said. “Lucky for me though, my parents were always there to help me out when I couldn’t help myself. They made it a lot easier than it should have been.”

But through all the tribulations, Hagendorf says he regrets very little.

“Yeah, it has been real tough for me, I see a lot of my friends going out on weekends and having a good time, and I have to stay in because of the baby,” Hagendorf said. “Looking back on it now though, I wouldn’t change a thing. Robert has been the best thing to happen to me and Sam and we  couldn’t be happier together.”