Lori

What's your top tip for other student parents?

Be organised ,stay  focused and have a good network of childcare available. It might seem a lot of work to do or new stuff to get to grips with but if you manage to do every little bit one thing at a time when you look back its amazing that you have done so much.

Why did you choose to go to university?

So I could get a better career for myself and improve my daughter's life.

What are the best bits of university life?

The freedom of studying as and when it fits in with my family (other than set lecture times)  - not as rigid as work hours.

The chance to learn something at an advanced level.

Clubs and societies, although most of these are evenings and often not manageable when you have a child if you have no other childcare.

What have been the biggest challenges?

Finding suitable childcare. Overcoming feelings of guilt and separation when leaving my daughter with a child minder so I could study.

How do you cope with money?

It's hard, but I make it work. I have dropped out of study in the past due to lack of money. However the extra financial support available now I have a child has made it easier, although my outgoings are higher and I have had to rely on financial support from my grandparents. The first year was particularly hard, as I had previous study and I was not entitled to a loan for my fees and had to pay this myself. However it was worth it to finish the first year.

What do you wish you had known before you started?

Just how much study and reading would be required.That I would feel so guilty about not spending time with my daughter during the week, even though I know it's for the greater good.

How do you juggle your responsibilities?

I plan my time well, and do assignments in plenty of time rather than waiting till the last minute. Sometimes I spend time at home rather then on campus if I have no lectures so I can do housework when I have a break rather than socialising on campus.

Where will you be in 10 years time?

Hopefully I will have finished my degree, had another child and finished my master's in careers advice and be working in a school or college as a careers advisor.

What are your top money management tips?

Pay for the big things when you get your loan, like bus pass, any new  clothes, house stuff etc. but don't go crazy. Then give yourself a weekly budget for living costs and take the cash out on a weekly basis. Don't use cards, just spend what you have for the week.

Name:
Lori
Age:
29
Course:
English Language
University:
Newcastle-upon-Tyne
Year of study:
2nd
Lives:
with daughter, aged 3