North Texas Daily

UNT’s married students juggle priorities

UNT’s married students juggle priorities

April 05
21:11 2017

UNT students of all walks of life have to find ways to pay for school, whether that’s applying for student loans, grants or other government-sponsored programs, or getting by on their own.

But whereas traditional students often have a choice, there are currently no available scholarships or grants for being a married student, the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships said. The married students of UNT have relied on themselves and their spouses for support, they have learned to juggle work and family with their academic responsibilities.

The UNT’s Women’s Chorus, an elective worth one credit, provided several married students with the opportunity to participate in music while pursuing their degree. The chorus allows female UNT students to have 50 minutes dedicated to music Monday through Thursday.

Junior Lisa Bloom, a music history and literature major, also has her Associate’s in Music from Kansas City Kansas Community College and transferred from University of Missouri-Kansas City to UNT when her husband’s job moved to Texas.

“I was definitely never the person who was going to get married,” Bloom said. “I met my husband around Christmas of 2008 and then around Easter we decided we wanted to get married. Since I was so young, I waited until I was 21, since I didn’t want to have a terrible bachelorette party.”

On top of being a full-time student, Bloom is employed full time. She says that working, being married and being a full-time student is “crushing,” but she’s able to handle it.

“I go into work at six in the morning and leave when it’s time to go to class, to then go back to work afterwards,” Bloom said.

The financial aspects of being married are something Bloom has considered, both the good and the bad.

“Something that I didn’t consider is that you as a student understand your own amount of student debt,” Bloom said. “But when you get married that person also has debt.”

Bloom continued to say that having two incomes makes the debt much more manageable, but it’s nothing that should be considered when dating someone.

Jennifer Sheppard, a public affairs and community service junior, is another married student who has learned to balance her education along with raising her son.

“I was 24 when I got married and the situation was, we just found each other, and we already had our son together and we had been living together for a while,” Sheppard said.

Sheppard and her husband live in north Dallas. Every day she drives a half hour to get to UNT after dropping her son off at school. She is thankful to have her husband, who appreciates her and works around her schedule even when he’s busy with his own job as well.

“It can be a very difficult juggle,” Sheppard said. “Having to go to school and manage your time and studies, and giving time for my husband and time for my son isn’t easy.”

Valeria Sofia Osuna Yrízar, a music senior with a concentration in viola, transferred to UNT from Richland College in 2013 to further pursue her passion for music. Both Osuna Yrízar and her husband are string musicians, they met and bonded through orchestra.

“I was just starting to figure music out professionally. I had the opportunities to explore different types of music,” Osuna Yrízar said. “There was so much exposure to different types of cultures.”

Osuna Yrízar says that her husband is supportive of her. She believes that women should be fully entitled to themselves before anyone else, and that marriage should not label a woman as an extension of their husband.

“I think the way society projects its idea of marriage on women in the 21st century is antiquated,” Osuna Yrízar said.

Featured Image: From left to right, Lisa Bloom, Valeria Sofia Ozuna Yrízar, and Jennifer Sheppard pose for a photo by the UNT music building. Jake King

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Anna Orr

Anna Orr

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