September 23 2015
Student mum pens book on balancing university with pregnancy and parenting
A student who became a mum just a year into studying for her degree is to release a book based on a blog which she’s written about balancing student life with pregnancy and parenting.
Maddy Matthews, 21, fell pregnant at the start of her second year of her Theatre, TV and Performance course at Glyndŵr University Wrexham.
Undeterred by the prospect of studying while raising her daughter, Celyn, she successfully balanced her studies with home life to complete her degree this summer.
Maddy is now taking time out to write a book based on her experiences over the last two years, before embarking on a PGCE with the aim of becoming a drama teacher.
Maddy, originally from Barmouth but now living in Wrexham, said: “I was terrified when I first found out I was going to become a parent because I thought it was the end of the road for me. I didn’t think in a million years I’d be able to carry on with the course.
“I went to tell my lecturers I was pregnant and they couldn’t have been more supportive. They gave me several options and I went for the third one – carrying on for as long as possible and taking it one step at a time.
“Thanks to my lecturers and the university’s constant support and encouragement I’m graduating in October with the class I started with.”
She added: “The Speed Bump blog is something which I started to help me through the experience and hopefully everything I’ve learnt might one day help someone faced with a similar situation as myself.”
Despite the challenges, Maddy believes there’s perhaps even more motivation for parents to study.
“I knew I was doing something that would benefit Celyn in the long run and make her proud,” she said. “I just had to grit my teeth and get on with it, between myself and my partner doing the best we could with the time we had.
“The university offered extensions and I was able to work around all of my commitments. Glyndŵr University has excellent support for young student parents too, through its Centre for the Child, Family and Society which includes a nursery. Celyn started there when she was five months old and stayed there until the end of the course.
“She’s come on leaps and bounds and it was reassuring to have her there on campus – it made the world of difference to us as students.
“I’m lucky that I got to experience a year of ‘normal’ student life at Glyndŵr University and I loved it. Everyone on campus is friendly and there are so many different things to get involved in.
“My life changed after that but it didn’t stop me from achieving. I can’t thank my lecturers enough. They supported me from the very early days of my pregnancy, reassuring me that everything would be fine.
“They never put barriers in my way or told me I wouldn’t be able to do something due to having a child. I know I couldn’t have gained my degree without them.”
For more information, visit Maddy’s blog: http://thespeedbump.co.uk