Pregnancy is always a trying time most people. When you get pregnant while still in college, it can be a hard task for you; finishing college while at the same time having a baby. You may think that it is the end of your dreams, yet it isn’t true. Having a baby isn’t the end of your career or dreams. It is the beginning of an amazing experience for you as a mother. Here are ten tips on how to finish college if you are pregnant.
- Talk to somebody
Many students always think about how they are going to be judged by the society, as the girls with loose morals who were unfortunate enough to get pregnant. This has led many students to become stressed and even depressed. What you should know, is that you are not alone in this situation. Many girls have fallen pregnant while still in college and gone ahead to complete their studies. Every campus has a counselor who you can talk to. You can talk to an older person who has gone through the same experience. You can also talk to your friends and the baby’s father if you are in good terms. When you talk to people, you will realize that you are not alone and relieve yourself of the weight you are carrying on your shoulders.
- Tell your parents
As much as it may be devastating for them to hear, it is advisable to tell your parents. Even though they may have threatened you with death if you get pregnant in college, your parents love you and only wish the best for you. Your parents will form a good support system for you as you transition into motherhood. Even though, they may shun you out once you tell them, don’t worry. Sooner or later they will come around and accept you and your baby.
- Talk to your professors
Let your professors become aware of your situation as soon as possible. Professors are also human beings and they will understand your situation as long as you talk to them. Pregnancy is a very trying time. There will be days you will wake up with morning sickness and end up getting late to your classes. You will need to take numerous breaks during lectures to go to the bathroom. You will miss classes to attend the antenatal clinic. Talk to your professors to let them know in advance. They will arrange for you to have to make up classes and tests if you miss any, and give you assignments to finish ahead of schedule. However, do not expect any special treatment.
- Carefully plan your schedule
You have to re-plan your schedule to accommodate the baby. Plan to attend pre-natal clinics at before or after classes. Don’t sign up for classes that are at the opposite ends of campus, or three hour long lectures when you know you cannot manage. If possible, sign up for classes that are taught by professors you already know. Once the baby is born, your schedule to fit in with the baby’s feeding and nap times. Arrange to study when your baby is sleeping to avoid distractions during study time.
- Take fewer classes or alternative classes
Even though you had envisioned finishing your degree in less time, you will have to take fewer classes that you can fully concentrate on. This way your GPA will not suffer and you will graduate with a much better grade. Remember, you also have to take care of the baby. A young baby needs much more attention and you cannot concentrate on it if you have too many classes.
If your school offers different study options, then you need to look into them. Some options include; online, evening, weekend, independent study and part-time classes. Even though these classes may have their own challenges, it will offer you the much-needed flexibility to balance your studies and the baby.
Utilizing online services to lighten your burden might come in handy when academic deadlines come knocking on your door. Here are some of the best sites for writing help to get you going.
- Grants and Scholarships
College is extremely expensive. You need all the financial aid you can get. Check if there are grants and scholarships available to you since you do not have to pay them back. College loans are expensive and you should consider them as your last resort.
- Consider your Living Arrangements
Most colleges do not provide accommodation for young mothers on campus. You need to check with your campus before you are delivering. If you have a roommate, you need to come up with an amicable arrangement. Look for an apartment that is near the campus where you do not need to spend money on transportation costs. If possible, live with the baby’s father who will help you look after the baby when you need to attend classes or go out.
- Solicit the Support of Friends and Family
Take advantage of the people around you if they are willing to help. Letting other people help will relieve the stress of worrying and taking care of the baby. You will find that you have more free time to study and look after yourself. Everyone needs a break, even if it is just for an hour or two.
- Look into School Subsidized Child Care
Many colleges have formed a childcare for studying mothers. These childcare services are usually subsidized and much cheaper than what you may find elsewhere. If you do not find a friend or family member willing to help, look into these child care services.
- Invest in a Good Breast Pump
It is always advisable to exclusively breastfeed your child for the first six months. Pumping is a must for breastfeeding moms who attend college. You can pump once extra per day and use it in future. Pump more so that the baby has something to feed on while you are attending class. Talk to your school health care facility to find out where you can pump breast milk while you are in college.
In conclusion, being pregnant while still trying to finish school is a challenging experience that most people are not willing to go through. Remember, that you can only succeed if you have a good support system. Remember, you are doing this so that you and your baby can have a better future.
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