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  • Katarina Garcia


Updated: Apr 4, 2020

Mike and I in our graduation caps a few weeks before graduation.

I’d be lying if I said getting pregnant during my senior year of college was a part of my life plan. It was the last thing I thought would happen to me, so when I found myself with a growing belly, I was scared. How was I going to finish college and bring a new life into the world? These were the thoughts that ran rampant in my mind as I began to face my new reality. As it would turn out, being a pregnant college student ended up being a blessing in disguise. The little growing human’s constant kicks in your body serve as constant motivation to try your best and to settle for nothing less. Thanks to the skills I learned during my senior year, I was able to graduate with a degree in Biomedical Sciences Cum Laude four weeks after the birth of my son. It was far from easy, but I am here to share with you some tips on how it can be done.

1. Study and Do Your Work at School

Trust me! You will be getting no work done at home between decorating the nursery and your bed tempting you to take a nap. Spending time at your school’s library is a sure way to get your work done. Secure a study room and buckle down, and I promise you will get more work done there than at home. During my senior year, I got maybe 10% of my work done at home, because I was just so preoccupied with preparing for a baby and reading baby blogs on social media. You will be much more efficient at school.

2. Do Work During Your Classes

I know this isn’t something your professors are going to recommend, but this is what worked for me. Pregnancy brain is real, and your concentration is going to be very limited. During classes, I would find myself zoning out after the first 10 minutes. Most people would just continue to zone out for the rest of the class, but instead, I recommend taking your laptop out and pretending to take notes in the back of the class. Instead of taking notes, you can do something more stimulating, like doing an assignment or preparing your registry. It’s better than just wasting time zoned out in class. Just make sure you study the material you missed later on your own time when you can concentrate better.

3. Know Your Rights

Thanks to Title IX, professors have to work with pregnant students. It’s your right. If you have a doctor’s appointment or go into labor early, be sure you let your professors know so you can be given the makeup work and kept on track. If you fall too far behind, look into taking an “Incomplete” for the class, meaning you will finish the work during another semester. 

4. Talk With Your Professors

Once you find out your pregnant, let your professors know so that they can have a heads up on why you may be out more than usual. It’s better they know ahead of time so they can make the right accommodations for you. Let them know of your due date and plan on how you will finish the work if you give birth midway through the semester. 

5. Become Familiar with the Resources Offered at Your School

A lot of universities have various resources available for expecting mothers or parents who have kids already. If you plan on breastfeeding, get familiar with the lactation rooms located around campus. Some universities have organizations that help connect parents so that they can schedule play dates or just have someone to discuss the struggles of parenting and attending college.

6. Wear Comfortable Shoes and Always Have a Water Bottle on Hand

Campuses may vary in size, but you’re still sure to be doing a lot of walking from class to class. Those swollen feet aren’t very forgiving, so make sure you’ve found a great pair of shoes for your commute. And also be sure to stay hydrated. A water bottle can easily be filled up anywhere on campus and ensures both mother and baby remain healthy.

7. Panty Liners are Essential

Yes, I know you’re not your sixty-year old grandmother yet, but I’m telling you these will come in handy. Your pelvic floor will be significantly weaker during pregnancy and a simple sneeze can leave you wishing you were wearing one. So prepare ahead of time, and maybe leave and extra pair of clothes in the car just in case.

8. Keep Snacks Handy

You’re always going to be hungry, so pack snacks ahead of time to avoid having to purchase those expensive treats from the university’s dining area. These snacks will keep you energized and focused throughout your day. Buy in bulk to save as much as possible. During my pregnancy, my favorite treat was pretzels and hummus, so find your favorites and make a stockpile.

9. Give Yourself Credit

Try not to compare yourself to everyone. You’re going to fall short from time to time, because not only are you going to school, but you’re also growing a whole human simultaneously. You should be very proud of yourself. Pace yourself, and ask for help when you need it. I promise, people love pregnant women. You’re doing great and your baby is very proud of you!

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