Teenage pregnancy

By Princess Kollie, Class of 2012

It takes a girl to get pregnant, but a woman to raise a child just like it takes a boy to form a child but a man to raise that child, and it takes both parents to give that child happiness.

The teenage pregnancy rate increases every year in the United States, and many teens think it’s cool to have a child during their teen years. Some of them believe having a child for their boyfriend at a young age means living the Cinderella Story of Happily Ever After.  What they fail to realized about being a teenage mom is that their life will never be the same again.  A child is a big responsibility.

This responsibility means giving up your normal teenage life for adulthood, which can lead to stress because many teenagers are not at the stage of maturity yet.  This can also lead to depression, usually resulting from the father abandoning the mother and the child.  From the research I did on teen pregnancy and witnessing my close friend become a teen mom, I learned that teenage fathers are more likely to give up on their responsibility because males have a slower rate of maturity then females.  Boys would rather go out with friends, play video games, party, drink, smoke, play basketball and get with another girl than to be home baby-sitting.  Females, on the other hand, have the power to give up on that child with open options like abortion or adoption, but they also can learn to live up to the responsibility of motherhood.

Seventy percent of teenage moms neglect their child because they can’t handle the responsibility of another human life, while the remaining thirty percent of teenage moms live up to the expectation of their child.  Among that percentage is my friend.  I’m proud of the adjustment she has made so far as a teen mom.  She has changed and sacrifices her happiness for the happiness of the daughter she brought into this world.

When I speak about her I never forget to mention that she’s a story, a story that one day I will get published into a book.  She’s truly an inspiration for many teens out there that were considering pregnancy for their future instead of completing their education.  Many teens are in the fast lane of life, including me.  She kept me in the right lane when I considered becoming a teen mom.  She advised me with inspiring words when I was on the wrong path of life.

She discovered that she was pregnant the summer before her senior year, a member of the class of 2010.  She waited four years to walk down the graduation aisle with her friends and live the life of a college student but her dream was shattered when she discovered her pregnancy.  The decision was in her hands either to keep going or quit to live the college lifestyle she waited for.  Many teenage girls’ decision to keep their pregnancy is not based on keeping their boyfriend in their lives but is because they are against abortion, or its due to their religious view.  My friend’s decision to keep her pregnancy was based on taking responsibility of her actions.  Although most teens will most likely drop out of school or fall behind in school, Florence did not: She has kept her head up, worked hard, and kept her dreams alive regardless of the criticism that people have thrown at her for being pregnant in high school.

Being pregnant is not easy.  It’s a challenge she had to fight everyday to overcome.  Sometimes, she was at the point of breaking down and giving up because the stress of school, work, and the pregnancy was weighing her down, not to mention the father of her child started to drift away as the love they both shared started to fade. He was supposed to be her partner through it all, to understand her, but he wasn’t ready to trade his teen life in for fatherhood.  Nonetheless, being the strong girl she is, she made it through without his presence.  February 19, 2010, Florence gave birth to a beautiful baby girl and her life of motherhood began.  Florence said the moment she held her daughter was the greatest love she ever felt; it was as if she were holding the world in her hands.  In June of 2010, Florence graduated from Harry S Truman High School, and I was there to witness her walk down the aisle along with her four-month old daughter in the crowd.

Teenage pregnancy is something that may continue to increase, but it’s up to the individuals to start making wise decisions and live up to them. Once you have the key to your door of success, you can either open the door or throw the key away.  As a teenage mom, Florence has matured a lot.  She could have quit and considered adoption, but in everything she does, she always puts her daughter first and herself second.  She couldn’t live the college lifestyle on campus, but she’s enrolled as a full time student at Bucks County Community College majoring in Nursing.  She also works to provide for her daughter and just bought her second car.  Most importantly, she loves coming home to the welcoming smile of her beautiful daughter, who is the reason for her strength and the reason for all she has accomplished as a mother.  She’s no different from other teenage mothers and mothers-to-be, but what makes a difference is how you handle the situation of teenage pregnancy because everybody make mistakes, but you can’t forever live by those mistakes.  Teenage Pregnancy can be avoided by making wise decisions.  I’m Princess Kollie, a junior at George Washington High School, and I learned that every decision I make will either affect my life positively or negatively, so it’s up to me to start making wise decisions for my life, just like it’s up to everybody else to make wise decisions for their lives.

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