Thanks Mom

Sam Neff

A CSUN student mom shares her story

Superheroes are considered role models that positively influence and protect people of all kinds. We know the popular ones; Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Captain America. There is one superhero, however, that is a consistent part of modern society, and even though she’s probably far more capable than Superman, she doesn’t always get the recognition she deserves. Her name is mom. 

As college students, we focus on our schoolwork and how to get our careers started, and sometimes we can even forget to take care of ourselves. Some of us struggle to manage our own lives, and being responsible for someone else’s can be a scary concept – but it’s done by moms. 

More than one-fifth of all college students in the United States are also parents, according to The National Center for Education Statistics. 

CSUN communications major and human resources consultant Priscilla Cordova, 35, is one of those students, having gone through her college journey as a full-time mother of two children. 

While she loves being a mother, it has not been easy. She was in her first year of college when she had her daughter and had no idea how to go about school as a mother. 

“Back in the day, I was 19. She was born four days before my final and I had to go take my final or I wasn’t gonna pass the class. Like they didn’t care,” Cordova said. “I literally just carried her in the little thing.”

While colleges may not be the ideal place for an infant or child, many people are left with no choice but to bring their children to school. Not everyone has a support system of family members to help raise a child.

Cordova shared that she feels very fortunate to have support from her loved ones. Still, she has noticed that there are barely any university resources to allow her to continue her education. 

“Some schools have like the child care resource center, but it’s usually overcrowded,” Cordova said. “You’re missing so much class when you’re having to take care of your child.”

Cordova took some time off of school after having her second child to invest in her family. When she returned to school, she was focused on being in a teaching academy, but when the pandemic hit, she realized teaching would never be the same and turned her interests towards communication. 

As a communication major, Cordova has tied what she learns in school to her experience as a parent. She emphasized how her children’s struggles have given her a different perspective on the world.

“My youngest is on the spectrum, he has ADHD. Navigating life in general is a challenge in itself, especially helping everybody around him understand. And then my oldest is neurodivergent, because she is too smart for her own good. So she has a lot of, like, antisocial personality traits,” Cordova said. “Understanding them, I guess, would be my biggest challenge, having to learn their ways rather than them having to accompany my ways.”

Cordova plans to graduate in May, and as her two children get older, she is starting to realize all she has accomplished and been through. 

Therapy has become Cordova’s safe space. A recent challenge has been watching her oldest start to plan her own future of where she wants to live, go to college and what she is interested in doing as a career. 

Cordova shared that her therapist helps with the process by breaking it down for her by acknowledging that her own childhood changed to adulthood the minute her daughter was born, and she has never been an adult without being a mom.

“My therapist was like, ‘She’s going away, and your body is starting the mourning process now because that pain will be so strong when it does happen that your body needs to acclimate to it now so that it doesn’t fully take you over.’”

Although accepting that life changes are coming has not been easy, Cordova sees the beauty of being a mother every day as she watches herself and her children succeed. 

“Right now, we’re looking forward to her Sweet 16, and at the same time, I’m graduating this year, a week afterward,” she said. “So I think the most rewarding part is just being able to do stuff like that together.”