Nicola

What's your top tip for other student parents?

Juggle your time effectively! There isn't much time for a social life so be prepared to miss out, but if you work hard and study when you have the chance, you will be able to balance being a parent, student and have some fun too!

Why did you choose to go to university?

I had my son in the middle of A Levels and chose at that point to continue my education as normal. I am working to provide a comfortable and secure life for my family. University was just a natural progression for me to achieve my ambitions.

What are the best bits of university life?

I love meeting new people and have met other student parents, which has been great! I find the time away from being a mum amazing, it's a healthy break. Plus, I know that all my hard work will pay off and improve both of our lives!

What have been the biggest challenges?

When deadlines are looming and I have to spend even more time than usual working, I miss my son and end up working late and getting up early, which only makes things worse. But in the end it's always worth the effort I put in.

How do you cope with money?

I was lucky - I got a grant  from the University due to good A Levels., this This, along with various other grants and loans that student finance england provides for student parents, means that I'm not really struggling for money.

What do you wish you had known before you started?

How much you really do miss out on. Everyone else gets to live the student life, living in halls, partying, shopping, relaxing; it can be hard to not be a part of it sometimes.

How do you juggle your responsibilities?

I make sure I go to all of my lectures as I know that is how I learn the best. I try to dedicate all my attention to my son during the evenings, weekends and holidays, but whilst he is asleep or at nursery I switch back to being a student and complete assignments, do extra reading and revise for exams!! As long as everything is kept in balance I keep on top of it all.

Where will you be in 10 years time?

I'm hoping to finish my degree in the summer and after a few years work experience go back to university to study for a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, so hopefully I will be qualified by then!

What are your top money management tips?

Keep a record of all incomings and outgoings so you have a budget of exactly how much spare cash you have a month to spend. Buy only what you need most of the time but treat yourself occasionally!

Name:
Nicola
Age:
20
Course:
Psychology BSc
University:
Manchester
Year of study:
3rd
Lives:
With son, age 3