Stereotypes do not define who you are

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Kaete Schmidt

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They will never be good parents…She is a slut…That baby will be neglected…The dad will not stick around…Their life is over.” There are all things that I heard or experienced my freshman year. After learning about my pregnancy, many began to judge or assume my life would take a turn for the worst.

Often, when voicing such opinions, outsiders are simply basing their beliefs off of teen parents portrayed in the media, such as MTV’s “Teen Mom.” Despite the way teen parents may be portrayed, I made it my mission to fulfill all of my dreams while becoming the best mom I could possibly be. Although it has been hard at times, I am beyond proud of everything I have accomplished while being a mom.

After being told that my life was over and to prepare for the worst, I can easily say that I would not be who I am today without my son. He did not ruin my life; he made me stronger, more driven and the best version of myself that I could be. I would not trade this life for anything.

While my story may seem inspiring to some, I believe that everything I have accomplished and pushed through would have been impossible without the help of my friends and family. Throughout my pregnancy and up until now, I have received unconditional support from my family and many friends. I am one of the lucky ones, as many other teen moms do not receive the support needed to raise a child.

I am proud to say I have beaten the teen mom stereotype after having my son at the age of 15. I will graduate with a 4.0 GPA along with academic honors. I do not feel as if I missed out on the “high school experience,” I got to experience and learned more than I ever imagined with an adorable little sidekick.

It is time to start looking at teen parents with an open mind and stop believing what is shown in the media. From my experience, I have learned that age does not define parenting skills or success.

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