Meet Alexandra Reinhold, the Carolina senior with a four-year-old daughter
She stays busy with classes and extracurriculars – and being a mom
Going through college is a stressful time for anyone, but being a student and a mother can make juggling everything the challenge of a lifetime. Alexandra Reinhold is a senior Tar Heel majoring in Global Studies – and she’s raising her 4-year-old daughter, Averi, along the way.
Alexandra was in high school in Jackson, NC, when she met Eyen, who is now her husband. They immediately bonded over their upbringing in military families. She was born in Guantanamo, Cuba, and he grew up in California. They traveled all over the country with their families before they met in Jackson.
Senior year of high school, Alexandra found out she was pregnant. She waited three months before sharing the news with her friends and family.
“At first, I was very reluctant to come out with the information.”
When she finally shared the news, Alexandra recalls being very open and living her life as she had planned.
“I was very open about it. I didn’t stay cooped up in the house or act reserved about it. I was very vocal and very public about it.”
Alexandra always dreamed of attending UNC, so she made sure those dreams were never put on hold. She enrolled as a freshman right out of high school as a new mother and a new student.
But Alexandra doesn’t just attend class and head home to UNC’s family housing. She keeps busy as the secretary for the Arabic Club, a member of the scholarship committee in Phi Sigma Pi (a national honor fraternity on campus), a Lingo Kids mentor, a member of the Black Student Movement, and a part of Cru’s women’s ministry and Project Uplift.
All of these commitments make juggling schoolwork, extracurriculars and her family a daily struggle. But Alexandra says she must think longterm for herself and her family.
“I think it’s having a longterm perspective, first and foremost, because in order to juggle all of those things and be able to prioritize – it’s not always about being in the moment. It’s about realizing I have to make this sacrifice to get where I want to be.”
“The here and now is temporary and you need to remember you’re working towards a larger goal.”
And Alexandra is certainly aiming for that larger goal. After graduation, she hopes to join the Air Force, attend the Defense Language Institute and then earn her master’s degree. Eyen is on reserve in the Air Force and studying at Durham Tech.
Their daughter Averi attends preschool while Alexandra is in class. Both her and and Eyen stress education for their daughter.
“I think that we really push education for her, even in preschool.”
Even though there are no grades in preschool, Alexandra said they help her with activities to make sure everything is correct.
“Education is a very important part of our home life because education transformed my life and is transforming it. If I didn’t go to Carolina, I don’t know what I would be doing.”
Eyen said Averi has big goals for the future, much like her mom. “She’s going to be a doctor when she grows up. I want her to be able to find something she enjoys and pursue it.”
Reflecting on her time at UNC, Alexandra says the university has been accommodating for her and her family. She says the only thing missing is a better day care service or a smaller community of student parents for other moms and dads.
Alexandra will continue her final semester at Carolina with her family by her side, ultimately hoping for success for her Tar Heel family.