Second Shift: How a single mom juggles college and work

Janice
Janice blogs to dispute the myth that young single moms can’t be successful.
Credit: Provided

We all know living in a city is expensive. How does the average person make it work? Our series features people working more than one job to make ends meet. This week, meet Janice: a 21-year-old single mom who is working and in college full-time. If you want to be featured, email emily.laurence@metro.us.

Name: Janice Marie Durrant
Age: 21
Residency: North Philadelphia
Lives with: Her 5-year-old daughter
Number of jobs: One, while attending school full-time

You’re a junior at Temple University. What’s your major and what’s your course load?

I’m majoring in communication studies and minoring in Spanish. I take six back-to-back courses on Tuesdays and Thursdays, which is 18 credits. Fifteen credits is full-time, so 18 is called “overload” and has to be approved by the school.

And you work in addition to being a full-time student? 

Last summer, I studied away in New York City and it was really successful for me. Now, my job is to recruit other students to study away. I got hired as the presentation chair, so I give presentations in different classes to bring awareness to studying away.

Do you rely on this job for money?

I do. This is my only job and it’s part-time. Right now I’m more concerned with finishing school, so this is what I can do to get money.

Not only are you a full-time student and working part-time, but you’re also a single mom.

Yes. My daughter is 5. She goes to school while I’m at class, and fortunately her school offers extra daycare. I pick her up from school every day except Tuesdays, which is when she goes to a nonprofit organization where she gets to take singing and dance classes.

How were you able to juggle everything when she wasn’t old enough for school?

It was hard. When I first had her, people thought — because of the statistics — that I wasn’t going to continue my education. I was in high school and luckily I had so many credits that my senior year I only had to take two classes. I would pay my roommate to watch her while I was at class and then I would come straight home. There was no time to do anything extra.

Were you ever tempted not to go to college and just start working?

Yes! Probably just yesterday I was tempted. It’s a lot of work. A lot. I don’t want to be the mom that says, ‘Oh I can’t go to class today because my daughter is sick.’ I still perform as a regular student. I don’t want people to say I’m doing a good job for being a mom. I want people to say I ultimately get the job done because I’m a hard worker, and I’m a mom.

What do you think is the hardest part about having a child while you’re still in school?

Just the scheduling. Last week, my professor announced that the class had to take a mandatory trip on a Saturday. I have my schedule planned out down to the last second, so when things like that happen, or an internship tells me they need me on a day I’m not normally there, it only gives me 24 hours to find someone to watch my daughter.

Do you think people have any misconceptions about what it means to be a young single mother?

Yes, and that’s why I blog about it. It’s [possible] to be a single mom and still [be successful], but it’s something our society doesn’t often see. … I started my blog as part of a class project when I was studying away in New York City about the gentrification of Spanish Harlem, but it just kind of blew up. I just hit 7,000 views and have 2,000 subscribers. It just really took off.

What’s next for you? 

This summer I’m studying abroad in Johannesburg, South Africa, as part of a journalism program. My daughter will be away at a summer camp, which my mom actually runs. We’ll Skype too, but I’ll miss her!



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.