Pregnancy & Education: Tips and Experiences
I want to share information on how to get through school when you are pregnant, but this information is really universal for all women attending school.
First things first. Don’t be embarrassed. Being pregnant is not something to be embarrassed or ashamed about. When you come in the room for the first time, or walk around campus, there will be eyes on you. Own it. I know sometimes it’s hard to be confident while being pregnant but take pride in the fact that you are making an effort to improve you and your child’s life by attending school. Always keep the goal in mind.
I was still in community college and just got accepted into a four year university when I first found out I was pregnant. I finished off my courses for the spring semester, and took two courses over the summer, before I transferred. During my first semester there, of my junior year, I signed up for four courses but I withdrew from one because it was too much work for me to do at the time. This was my way of taking a break. With all the stress of being pregnant, completing course work, preparing for the baby, and dealing with relationship issues, I needed to take that time to concentrate on my mental, and get my mind right. Sometimes life really gets in the way, and your attention is taken away from the plan. That is OK, as long as you get back like you never left. The spring semester, after I had my son I took five classes: four undergrad and one grad. My senior year I took like 12-14 courses while working part time and being a new mom.
Which brings me to the point of classes. If you need extra help, ask. If you need more time to complete your work, ask. Show up as much as you can (&on time too!). Make a connection with someone who you can get the notes from if your absent. Communicate with your teacher about your situation. Let them know the accommodations you will need. There are all different ways that they can accommodate you. For instance one of my professors let me turn my final paper in late, while another allowed me to take the final online. Don’t expect to get any accommodations in grading however. This is why you still have to do your best.
Don’t let petty things get in the way of your education. If your boyfriend is getting on your nerves don’t focus on that. Don’t argue. Focus on your assignment. It’s hard to do at first but the more you do it the more you learn how to concentrate on the task at hand without being disturbed by anything else.
It’s called resilience. You have to be resilient in your pursuit for your desires and education. You have to challenge yourself. Push yourself to the limits. Limits you may not even know you have. It is not easy work by any means but if you do the work you will get the results.
You also need a support system. It doesn’t matter if it’s family, friends, community members, it just has to be people you can depend on. I don’t know how it is to do absolutely every single thing for a child by myself. I am sure there are some of us that do, and hats off to you. But for my sanity I needed to have people that I could trust and communicate with. For me it was a combination of family and friends.
When I was pregnant it was very helpful for me to talk to others that were pregnant too. It made me a little more at ease with the life changing experience. This is why you should have someone that you can speak to about what you’re going through. This could even be done online through a chat room, blog, etc. Another thing I did was I kept a journal. This really helped me with dealing with all my emotions of going to school and being pregnant.
After you have your baby it’s time to go hard. I’ll talk more about that in another post.
Have you been pregnant and in school or working? What are some things that helped you get through it? Any advice to share?