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“Studying & being a young parent.”

Hello! My name is Jayde Edwards, and you might remember me from my last blog post when I spoke about how I am coping with the new changes since COVID-19. This time I thought I would discuss something different, something that I believe many young parents struggle with but have an ‘inner strength’ to keep pursuing. Currently, I am a full-time student studying Law with International Relations. As you can imagine, this is an extremely intense subject so juggling university alongside working part-time and being a full-time mother of two energetic young boys can be challenging. I never thought I would be able to study due to having a lack of childcare and believing I was not smart enough to be able to get into university because I had my son so young. I had Cavani, who is now five when I was only fifteen years old. But eventually, I convinced myself that continuing to study although I was a mother would be one of the best choices I could ever make. My journey into university was extremely interesting as I did not get into university the ‘normal way’ which is usually applying in college through UCAS. Because I did not complete college due to facing may struggles. I completed a short course at the University of East London. It was a short, intense course called New Beginnings, which enabled me to get the skills I needed to study the degree I wanted. My university was incredibly supportive, and I was given all the information I needed. There were lots of things to learn and obstacles to overcome, such as applying for student finance and finding the right childcare for Cavani. Did you know student finance covers your childcare costs? But in some cases, you might have to pay a little more on top depending on how expensive your childcare/childminder provider is. Eventually, my son was in nursery. It was a game-changer because not only was I given a break to study and focus on completing my assignments, but my son was able to interact with other children and have lots of fun! It’s still extremely challenging being able to complete coursework once I’m at home. To make it easier, I always stay about 1-2 hours in the library to catch up with my reading and complete the necessary tasks before having to come home. “I hate bringing university work home. I rather do university work at university and be a mother giving my full attention to the children at home.” I find that doing this helps me to focus on one thing at a time rather than juggling so many different things. I love studying, and I cannot wait to graduate as this will be a huge accomplishment that I can be extremely proud of, and my children can also be proud of. Jayde Edwards

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