The Baby Project in COVID-19

By Alicia Chen

The infamous freshmen baby project. It is equally loved and dreaded. You can call this year’s freshmen lucky, or you could say they’re missing out because there will be no whining robot babies staying with them for a weekend. Due to Covid restrictions, the baby project has been altered to have students only work on the financing part of the project as students are not able to take the baby home with them. For the project, we figured out how much a baby’s first year would cost, looked for jobs that hired teenagers without high school diplomas, and played SPENT to see what it’s actually like to live on a budget.

Though I never dreaded the baby project, I wouldn’t say I was dying to spend half a weekend with a crying baby either. In fact, the reason I was most apprehensive about the baby project was because of the crying. But after hearing stories from two former freshmen, I have to say that I’m starting to realize exactly what we missed out on this year.

Sophomore Morgan Walsh shared her baby project experience, and it sounded like a fun one. The first part of their baby project sounds like it was the same as our ‘modified’ one. Morgan said, “First we had to make a financing plan for if we were a single parent living on our own and working as many hours as a teenager does for minimum wage. That included making a list of things we would buy for the baby, where it would go to daycare, and what apartment we would get. It was all based off of real life prices for items.”

But the second part of the baby project is arguably the more memorial part, and it’s the half that this year’s freshman missed out on because of Covid. “Then in the last week we actually got the babies and would keep it for a weekend with a partner. The first night my partner Bree Knight got it, so Friday to Saturday. That afternoon it switched over to my turn so we went to the mall to take it out in public. That was really interesting because we got some really weird looks because some people thought it was real. Most had heard of the baby project from other schools though so they found it funny. After that I had it for the night and I stayed up paranoid but it actually didn’t cry all night. Luckily it turned off Sunday afternoon so I was able to get a full night’s sleep before school Monday.”

Senior Lindsey Miga said that they also did the financing part of the project and that her baby “went on an 8 hour confirmation retreat, a dinner at Kon, and then a movie night”.

Despite not being able to take the babies home with us, semester one’s freshmen are still walking away with a lot of knowledge on how to budget a baby’s first year and many have found a new appreciation for their parents as they learn of what they had to go through.

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Alicia Chen

Alicia is currently a freshman, graduating in 2024. Her favorite book is One of Us Is Lying, and she enjoys writing informational pieces that provide differing opinions on various topics. She likes to interview other students and feature their opinions and experiences in her writing as well.