Finding out you are pregnant while going to school can make you feel like your life is over, especially if you weren’t planning on being a parent. But there are many, many women who complete school while pregnant and caring for a newborn. Some earn master’s degrees or even doctorates! You CAN be a parent and go to college and thrive!
Here are some things to consider to help you achieve your dreams:
- Contact your college student affairs office. Colleges are required to make reasonable accommodations for you. Those accommodations vary depending on the college and your situation, but common ones include alternate test dates, working around bedrest, and helping you communicate with instructors as needed.
- As needed, use your community resources. For example, Wellspring offers parenting classes with the opportunity to earn items you need for your baby like diapers, car seats, and cribs. If you are on a tight budget, earning these things for free can make a huge difference. It also gives you the opportunity to meet with moms who can provide you with mentoring and emotional support on your parenting journey. Other community resources may include, WIC, Medicaid, or help with rent while you go to school. Each community has different resources, so keep that in mind.
- Research childcare options early. Many daycares are limited to a small number of newborns. If possible, have the father of the baby or one of your parents to help cover childcare while you are in class or work. Some colleges have a bring your child to class option, but again, that depends on the professor and school policies.
- Be organized. Now that you are a parent, you’ll need to learn how to balance multiple responsibilities. That sounds scary, but as you get busier, you may find that you get more done than before you became a parent! Parents are great multi-taskers! Keep a planner or to-do list to
help you remember things.
Stay positive. If you tell yourself you can be a great parent, you will be a great parent!