Student mum pulls through

Although Finley was unplanned and she was only 20, Laura was lucky that she was in a long term relationship with the father, making parenting easier for the couple.

Laura Hill realised she was pregnant during the second year of her degree, studying early childhood, at Bishop Grosseteste.

After overcoming the initial shock, she decided that she had come too far with her course to give up and could not give up her baby, and so became a student mum.

“Finley wasn’t planned and we knew it wasn’t the right time but we had made a life and in the end that was all that mattered,” said Laura.

Chris Smith, the father, was only 25 at the time but had recently moved in with Laura. He admitted that things could have been worse.

Chris said: “We had just bought a house together so things came in the right order, but it was a lot harder for Laura than for me. I have a steady job but she had a lot of pressure on her with her degree.”

“Everyone has been really helpful and I couldn’t have carried on at university without them. It’s simple things, like despite everyone having jobs they manage to take care of Fin when can’t,” said Laura.

Laura says that preparing to be a mother at a young age was very daunting for her.

Laura said: “I’m a youngest child so haven’t even had the experience of looking after siblings, but when Fin was born instinct kicked in and everything just seemed to come naturally to me.”

Laura also feels that her social life has remained intact and she still manages to go out and enjoy herself with friends every so often.

The couple discussed the situation with each other before consulting family but Laura was relieved to have support from both of their parents.

“I didn’t live in halls and most of my friends have a boyfriend like I do, so it has worked out well and I don’t feel like I have missed out on anything,” she said.

Studying was made harder for Laura because of staffing problems on her course, which meant there were stand-in lecturers who often didn’t even know she had a child.

This meant she got no special treatment, but didn’t mind as she was committed to her course.

Laura graduates this year and still hopes to become a teacher, and she has already taken a teaching assistant job in a local primary school. Laura said: “It would have been such a waste giving up on my course and I have to thank friends and family for making it possible.”

Finley is now 10 months old, and Laura and Chris have not looked back since their decision.

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