Latwell Nyangu Youth Interactive Writer
There are many issues commonly experienced by students in colleges that can sometimes pose major challenges to study, play, social, and living.
Beginning life at college naturally generates both excitement and anxiety for many reasons including the move, academic responsibilities, and meeting new people.
For some, this apprehension is quickly overcome as they adapt to a new setting; for others the transition takes longer and sometimes emerge as homesickness where there is a preoccupation with home-focused thoughts.
Those who experience homesickness might notice an increase in depressed feelings, anxiety, obsessive thoughts and minor physical ailments.
Some students will start by being mildly depressed and anxious several weeks before leaving home, in anticipation of the impending change.
Reasons for the depression is beyond their capabilities as the background might be affecting them.
Others will be fine initially, and then to their surprise find themselves feeling homesick later in the academic year, perhaps after the thanksgiving or semester break, or even at the start of their second academic year.
But however, there is that, student who is playing the breadwinner role and balancing college and life back home.
Yours truly feels, we should not blame some fellow students who backslide before we know the reasons leading to such acts.
At times it’s the burden they are carrying that will force them out of the academic race. He or she is doing a double job, being at school and as well playing a motherly or fatherly role at home.
It is very hard and I have witnessed many sliding backwards due to circumstances beyond. This is a sign that, we come from different backgrounds.
Dancehall chanter Seh Calaz, has a song, “Kwatinobva kwakasiyana siyana. Takarerwa nevanhu vakatosiyana, vamwe nagogo, vamwe namhamha asi gara uchingotenda usangoridza tsamwa.” (We come from different backgrounds, we were brought up by different people. Some were groomed by grandparents, mothers etc but you ought to be thankful).
The song is an appreciation of caregivers who play a part in the upkeep of different children.
Campus Reflections pays attention to the real struggles of student who is a breadwinner.
In simple, you are a winner. Never settle becoming a loser. Keep working hard!
Imagine being a student and at the same time you want to fend for the family back home. Child-headed households are a reality that cannot be ignored.
The experiences of student parents may be very different depending on individual circumstances but also upon the level of study, mode of study, and other commitments, including the need for part-time employment.
The student shoulders all the bulk of the housework and are vulnerable to poverty and social isolation and this creates an environment which does not foster academic performance.
The absence or permanent incapacity of the adult caregiver which has necessitated the taking over of responsibilities by children, leaves the school going in a quandary.
The circumstances differ as some of the children are also left without adult caregivers on account of road accidents, mental disability of parent, chronic sick parent.
When children are also left behind by one or both parents due to economic hardships that is, when they migrate to other countries leads also to the emergence of these circumstances.
Absence or permanent incapacity of adult caregiver has led to the taking over of responsibilities by children below the age of eighteen.
The child-only-household has emerged as a context of child development as a result of mainly parental death.
Young children who themselves need adult care and support are taking care of their own siblings.
This deprives them of their childhood and proper academic pursuance. The entry into fatherhood or motherhood is a major life course transition involving the acquisition of new adult roles and responsibilities.
But waking up assuming such a role, is a dilemma.
This transition is rarely planned for young fathers, and may involve a range of challenges, not least their capacity to provide materially and financially for their families.
Becoming a young breadwinner is difficult in the contemporary times as it gives insecure for students and reduced welfare entitlements
The impact on such fellow students is devastating.
Sometimes none of these children’s parents work. In every instance, the children and their siblings work to provide the total income for their household.
Listening to them, you can tell how heavily they feel the weight of responsibility to bring money home yet they also want to manage academic work.
They talk about the pressure of being the family’s breadwinner, they have to pay for rent, food and transport among other responsibilities.
These vulnerable students are susceptible to long-term psychological problems including depression, anger, anxiety, and feelings of sadness, and are inclined to withdraw and self-isolate.
These psychological problems are brought about by their failure to deal with their sense of loss.
Vulnerable children are those “whose safety, well-being, and development are, for various reasons, threatened.
Lack of care and affection, adequate shelter, nutrition, education and psychological support are some of the most important factors that accentuate these students.
The types of vulnerability children are exposed to, are highly contextual and will vary between different settings.
Many students have altered their plans due to lack of financial necessity. It is reported that most of the students who dropped along the way due financial burden.
Before we blame and throw tantrums to our fellow students who would have dropped from college, lets see, what are the challenges.
We have many challenges that most students face and seeing them succeeding doesn’t mean, everything is okay.
It’s the fight they take them thus far.
A bend in the road is not the end of the road unless you fail to make a turn!