Monday, February 11, 2013

Going to College with Mom

To some going to college with mom would seem like a nightmare come true, but the McReynolds family couldn’t imagine it any other way.

Vol State student Jacki McReynolds is attending Vol State with her three daughters: Christina, Kayla, and Courtney.

“I’ve never been to college without my mother,” said Kayla, who started the same semester as her mom.

The girls said mom had a small complex when she first started coming to school because she didn’t know what to expect, plus she did not want to be a burden on her daughters. 

“I told Kayla that if she didn’t want me to start school at the same time as her I would wait,” said Jacki.

“We don’t have a problem with you being here,” Courtney reassured her mom during the interview.

As a mother, Jacki is concerned that her daughters are performing well in class without being pushy. There have even been a few classes that she has taken with her daughters.

“Mom is always pushing us to read, telling us that we have work to do,” said Kayla. "She’s always on top of things and she always has the best notes. If she has questions in Spanish, I help her and she helps me in history.”

“I would have failed history if she was not in there with me,” said Christina.

“Christina fell asleep in history class and the instructor asked me to wake her up,” said Jacki.

“I would have failed ethics and philosophy without her (mom),” said Kayla.

“I had to throw a pen at her (Kayla) in philosophy class one time to wake her up,” Jacki said.

In Kayla's defense she said she was putting in long hours at work and was exhausted. Each of the women have jobs off campus. Jacki is even working two.

Along with full-time jobs the family is active in several clubs and groups on campus. Jacki is co-president of the Returning Women Organization (RWO) Kayla is president of the Gay Straight Alliance (GSA). Christina, who is hard of hearing, has an American Sign Language signing group. Mom and the daughters help each other out with the clubs.

You can catch them on campus and they always seem to be having a wonderful time. They have even been nicknamed the McReynolds Clan by an instructor. The name seems to have stuck, because you can hear people calling it out when they are together.

The McReynolds have always been very close. They believe that the family dinners and going to school together is what brought them closer.  When they all lived together, they would drive to school in the same car.

“We would do a lot of discussion in the car on our way home,” said Jacki.

Now that Kayla has moved out and Courtney is driving herself to school, they have their discussion during Sunday dinners, which have become a huge deal.  During the discussions, the women feel like the boys (Jacki’s husband and son) are being left out of the conversation sometimes.  Jacki’s son, who is 16, will be going to college soon. She is also trying to influence her husband to go back to college, so who knows, maybe in two years when the McReynolds women have all graduated, the McReynolds men will be on campus.

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