Teen Pregnancy: A Look at Two Different Futures

You probably already know about how hard it is to be a teen parent.  Perhaps you had a friend who was a struggling teen mom or you tuned into Secret Life of the American Teenager.  What is it like though for teen parents after high school graduation?  The future for most teenage parents couldn’t be more different from their counterparts.

Many high school graduates, now more than ever, go on to college.  Certainly, the value of a college degree cannot be denied.  College graduates almost always make more money than those with less education.  Additionally, a college bachelor’s degree opens many doors that you may not even know about.  You could pursue a graduate degree, join Teach for America, or teach English in a foreign country.  Your world is literally your oyster!

On the other hand, a vast majority of teen parents have a tough road ahead of them.  It is really hard to raise a baby and study for a test.  Around 2-4% of college-aged mothers had received any post-secondary schooling.[1]  Additionally, a majority of women on welfare had their first child as a teen. These statistics are not surprising.  Not everything is about you and your future anymore once you bring a child into the world.  As a parent, you are responsible for another human being, who happens to demand a great deal of your time, care, and financial income.  In fact, a parent can expect to spend approximately a quarter of a million dollars on a child for the first 17 years of that child’s life.  Talk about financially draining!

 

Which future do you want for yourself?  It’s all up to you.

 

 


[1] Kids Having Kids, second edition, ed. Saul D. Hoffman & Rebecca A. Maynard (Washington D.C.: The Urband InstitutePress, 2008), 100-101.

 

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