Teen pregnancies alter students’ lives

Allyson Borjas, 19, a sophomore at Seward County Community College, was 17 when she became pregnant. Borjas said she loves her son, but life has been a struggle raising a child on her own. Borjas is not alone in her struggle. Although the overall teen pregnancy rate has decreased, Seward County still ranks No. 1 in teen pregnancies in Kansas and has been the No.1 county for the last five years, according to Kansas Department of Health and Environment. The KDHE reports that 53 out of every 1000 females 10-19 years of age became pregnant in Seward County from 2005 to 2009. “It has been quite a struggle,” Borjas said. “Being a teenager is pretty hard itself, but being a mom and coming to school and working at the same time is pretty tough.” Borjas and her boyfriend at the time talked about have a child, but afterwards they had problems. “It was actually kind of planned,” Borjas said. “The baby’s father and I had agreed to have a baby at such a young age because we were so in love, but as soon as I got pregnant,we started having problems. At the time, we didn’t know I was pregnant.” She said the father of her son agreed to be there for her and help her out, but at the last minute seemed to change his mind and said he did not care to be there anymore. He left for California. He has only been back three times for short periods of time and has not been back to see his son in a year, Borjas said. Borjas said her own father was really upset when he found out about her pregnancy. Her parents were mad, the SCCC sophomore said. She said she found out she was pregnant on her 17th birthday. When she told her father that day, he would not speak to her again until her son was born. But now, Borjas said, her parents love her son very much. Borjas said she thinks her friends might have thought her getting pregnant was a bad decision. “At first I was surprised,” Araceli Coronado, Borjas’ friend, said. “I couldn’t believe it. But then I told her I would be there, and we would help her out.” The SCCC sophomore plans to going into nursing and is thinking about attending Fort Hays State University. However, going off to school comes with a difficult decision, she said. The decision is to take her son with her to college or leave him with her parents. Her parents think it’s best he stays with them. “They say I have to sacrifice sometimes to be better in life,” Borjas said. The reasoning, Borjas said, is that when she goes away to college, it would be difficult to raise her son on her own. Her parents and she discussed that he would be in daycare a lot and it might be best for her son if he stays here. “I am not happy about it,” Borjas said. “I can’t go a day without seeing him now, but I think it is probably what is best, because it is for his future … I will have the rest of my life to be with him and give him what he needs.” The good part of being a young mother, Borjas said, is being a parent. “I love being a mom, no doubt about it,” Borjas said. “It changed my life dramatically. It took me from being a teenage girl in high school to being a single mom. I have been struggling a lot with money and giving him everything he needs. But so far coming to college and not being able to go out ever; it just changed my life completely.” Another issue Borjas has had to face as a single, teenage mother is that she has different life experiences than her peers. “I stopped being a teenager,” Borjas said. “I feel like I am a 30-year-old woman. You know, working and going to school and being a mom.” Even so, Borjas said she knows what she wants out of life. “I am just hoping to finish school and hopefully became a registered nurse and give my son a better life,” Borjas said. Eliana Yanez, 20, a freshman at SCCC, also planned her pregnancy in high school. However, her experiences being a young mother have been different than Borjas’, and she says having her daughter has been the best decision she ever made and that her significant other is still the one for her. “I am really happy with every single choice I’ve made,” Yanez said. Yanez said her pregnancy was different than typical teen pregnancy. Even though she was still in high school, she considered herself an adult. The SCCC freshman said one of her biggest worries, and one she regrets, was thinking about what people would say. Yanez said her friends were positive, but others turned their backs on her. “After my whole pregnancy and everybody talking, it made realize that I shouldn’t care about what other people say … They don’t support me in any other way that should affect me,” Yanez said. “I really don’t care about what people say anymore.” Her parents’ reactions were mixed, Yanez said. But her relationship is better now with her parents. “They were really disappointed,” Yanez said. “I was really scared to confront them, but they reacted in a way that I didn’t expect them to react. They took everything positive. I know they were really disappointed because they wanted me to continue school.” Her daughter is her parents whole world, Yanez said. “I know they are happy I did what I did because I brought joy to the family,” Yanez said. Yanez said being a young mother has changed her life in every way. “Good, I think, in every single way,” Yanez said. “I just love being with my little girl and being with Armando. I love the fact I became so independent and the fact my parents and I have such a good relationship now. If we don’t see each every single day, we will at least talk, so it is something that makes me feel so good that I did.” Yanez said her experience has been different from other teen pregnancy experiences and warns other young women and girls against making the same choice. “Girls need to realize a kid isn’t just a game, especially girls who think just because they have babies from guys, it will keep them at their sides… it doesn’t work that way,” Yanez said. “I think that girls need to really think about the person they are with and the person they actually decide to have a kid with, or, if you don’t want kids, just use protection no matter what, and I am not just talking about condoms. They should have real birth control and keep it updated because a little mistake can bring you big ones.” Borjas said she recommends waiting on having children. “If you have not gotten pregnant, don’t do it,” the SCCC sophomore said. “It is not easy. Honestly, it is one of the hardest things I have been through. It is really hard being a teen parent. Enjoy your teen years; they go by fast.” Borjas said not only is it difficult to be a teen parent but yhe children can suffer, too. “I do at times [wish I had waited] because it is really hard,” Borjas said. “I don’t regret him at all. I just wish he had come at a better time, when I could be able to support him and have that dad he deserves. Because I really do think no little kid deserves not to have a dad in their life.”