A family affair:

Students attend college with their families

Jen Rainey | Collegio Reporter

Some students look forward to going to college so they can get away from their families. Other students, like Mike Holland, attend college with their family. He and his mother, Karen Holland, both go to school at Pittsburg State.

Karen Holland, senior in art education, and her son Mike Holland, sophomore in diesel and heavy equipment repair, look at the Spring 2012 class schedule in Hughes Hall on Wednesday, Nov. 30.

Karen Holland, senior in art education, and her son Mike Holland, sophomore in diesel and heavy equipment repair, look at the Spring 2012 class schedule in Hughes Hall on Wednesday, Nov. 30. Photo by Yuyang Xiao/Collegio

“It’s nice being able to ask her what classes to take and which teachers to take them from,” said Holland, sophomore in automotive technology. “She’s had some classes I’ll take and I can ask her questions.”

He was a freshman in high school when his mother started taking college classes. At the time, her middle son was also attending Pittsburg State. Since they live in Pittsburg, closeness to home factored into the decision to attend Pittsburg State. Mrs. Holland says she thinks attending college at the same time has been a motivation for both of them.

“It’s important for Mike to see his mom go back to school and going to college was something I should’ve done when I was 18,” said Mrs. Holland, senior in art education. “It’s kind of a joke, because I tell him if his mom can pull a 4.0 then he should be able to also.”

Mrs. Holland says she believes various family members attending college together is becoming more common. However, there are still other opinions on that subject.

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“When I started college my middle son told his friend he hoped his mom wasn’t in any of his classes,” Mrs. Holland said. “His friend told him he hoped he was, because he was going to sit by me and have me help him.”

She says although her middle son made this comment, he and his brothers and their dad are supportive of her.

“It’s normal for parents to be their kids’ best supporters and encouragers,” said Mrs. Holland. “My three sons and husband have been that for me as well.”

PSU also sees many sibling combinations attending school. Manuel Lalicker attends Pittsburg State with his oldest brother, Chris Hix and middle brother, Daniel Hix.

“It’s not really that different because I’ve been around them my whole life,” said Lalicker, freshman in communication. “It’s kind of securing to know I have them here in case I need them.”

Daniel Hix, undeclared junior, went to Pittsburg State directly after high school while Lalicker originally planned to attend Emporia State University or a college in New York. However, he decided on Pittsburg State because his family’s from Girard and the university is close.

“I wasn’t ready for a big change and I knew a lot of people here,” Lalicker said. “My oldest brother is 26 and decided to attend Pittsburg State because I did and because he thought it’d be better to get an education instead of jumping from one random job to another.”

Lalicker says he’s been exposed to an older crowd at college because of his brother. However, he also says he has introduced a lot of people to his brother. C. Hix says he enjoys having his brother around for education and social purposes.

“I like it because I have someone to help with homework,” said Hix, freshman in criminal justice. “I also like that Manuel has a lot of friends he’s introduced me to.”

Holland says he advises other students whose family members attend Pittsburg State to be positive about the situation.

“Take advantage of it, because they’ll definitely be able to help you out,” Holland said.

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