Self Care

15 and pregnant


Finishing school is hard under the best circumstances. Even with everything going your way, you can still struggle. There’s always a party to go to, someone inviting you to just hang out and something to do that’s a lot more fun than studying.

But finishing school can get a lot harder when you’re 15 and pregnant. My life changed in one moment when the 2 pink lines appeared on the pregnancy test. I went from being 15, young, and carefree to being 15, young, and carrying a life inside of me.

I’ll be honest - when I found out I was pregnant I cried, a lot. I barely ate for a week. I just had questions. Questions and no answers. The biggest question I had was, “How was I going to manage to raise a child and finish school”

Fast forward two years, and now I’m in matric, raising my beautiful baby girl. I managed to pass grade 10 and 11. Here is how I managed to juggle motherhood and being a student :

Support system:

The first thing I had to do was accept that I wouldn’t be able to do this alone. I had to make sure that I was also on top of my schoolwork. I was never alone during my pregnancy or in raising my daughter. It was tough at first with the other learners making fun of me and being mean to me but I had teachers that were very supportive. I explained my situation to my teachers and they helped me not miss out on any schoolwork. I attended extra classes on Saturdays that our school offered and asked for extra work. My teachers were happy to help and encouraged me to keep my new attitude going.

Having a group of people around me that I could trust and depend on made all the difference in the world. My parents, Thabiso (my baby’s father), and my friends were all there to support me and help me stay motivated on the days I felt low.

Goal setting:

At the beginning of every term, I wrote down my academic goals and how I planned on achieving them. Starting every term like this was good for me because it helped me focus on what I wanted to achieve. It also meant that I knew how much I had to put in to get the outcome that I wanted. And having them written down helped because it made my goals feel real and I could see them every day, I could see what I was working towards.

Create a schedule:

My family and I worked on a schedule when my parents were away working I would take care of the baby, and do the cleaning and cooking. When they returned, it was my time to study. Thabiso would bring me my schoolwork and explain what had been taught that day. Thabiso and his family would have the baby from Friday to Sunday evening. Those days were mine to do as I pleased - I usually slept, caught up on my reading, and worked on my assignments.

Taking care of myself:

A part of studying that I had overlooked before was taking care of my body. Having to juggle being a mom and student meant that my days were longer and fuller than everyone else’s. To keep myself from burning out I started exercising 3 times a week, drinking more water, and eating better. It’s sometimes a challenge to do this consistently but it was important that I make sure my body could handle everything it had to.

Next year I plan to go to the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal. I have put together a foolproof plan to maintain my good marks so that I can get a bursary.

What is your foolproof plan to get good marks this year? Tell us in the comments section