How to change a diaper:

Step 1: Prepare clean diaper and wipes before removing dirty diaper on baby.

Step 2: Ensure baby is on a surface where he/she can be controlled and will not fall to its death.

Step 3: Remove the dirty diaper from the baby.

Step 4: Use the prepared clean diaper to stop the baby from peeing on the wall.

Step 5: Get another clean diaper and apply to baby.  

If the above story sounds familiar, then you are not alone. This was how diaper changes went in my house for a while. Then I turned into a NASCAR pit crew member changing diapers as fast as I could. Trying to turn a minute into tens of seconds and that into seconds.  

My son and I have it down now. He gets fresh diapers and the wall does not get covered in pee. The changing table that people said I would never use stays clean and all is happy in the house.  

This is not a story unique to me.  

According to ETSU Student Affairs Adult Commuter and Transfer Services website, 20 percent of the undergraduate student body is considered “adult students,” many of which are probably parents. ETSU was voted an “adult friendly” institution by the Coalition of Adult Learning Focused Institutions in July 2017. Non-traditional students are known for academic success according to ETSU’s website and the university offers many services for Adult Students. 

This column will stand to serve as a lessons learned guide to child rearing. It is true what they say that babies do not come with an operator’s manual. There are, however, many books available on the market. Some are better than others and experience will trump a lot of what is read.  

My father was the first person to observe me changing a diaper and immediately said I was too slow. That part I had figured out. He gave me a few pointers in changing diapers that have helped, such as getting everything ready and putting the clean diaper under the baby before removing the dirty one. It is easier to catch the pee in case of an accident.  

We all have unique situations and challenges that must be faced throughout our college careers. That is why college is more than grades and reading. It is about discovering the self and becoming who you are going to be for the rest of your life. For some that may mean having a baby. If you’re the latter, this column will be for you.

This column will be geared towards families and the students who know how it feels to be a student AND a parent. Updates for this column has yet been decided, but be sure to stay tuned for the many adventures to come soon.