Having a baby during the first year of a degree course certainly didn’t hinder one University of Ulster graduate, Lisa Moore from Ballykelly.
In fact, 21-year-old Lisa believes the birth of her son Ethan made her work even harder.
The BSc Hons language and linguistics graduate is now planning to complete a PGCE and fulfill her childhood dream of becoming a teacher.
“My circumstances weren’t typical of the majority of students,” she said.“During November of my first year, I discovered I was pregnant and it was difficult to concentrate. But I kept it quiet and worked hard to achieve great marks in my Christmas exams.
“I finished my first year undecided whether to take a year out or not, but after giving birth to my beautiful baby boy Ethan on July 12, 2011, I found a new determination to continue.”
Lisa returned to university that September when Ethan was only two months old.
“It was such a big challenge leaving my son at such a young age, but I knew for his future I would work hard and achieve my best,” she recalled.
Lisa said her tutors were extremely supportive and offered extended deadlines for assignments, but “I wanted to submit at the same time as my fellow classmates. I didn’t want to be treated differently”, she said.
“When I submitted my final essay and completed my final exam in May, I breathed a sigh of relief, but without the support of my amazing family, especially Ethan’s two grannies who looked after him while I went to class and completed assignments, this accomplishment would not have been possible.
“Ethan will be two next week and I have to thank him so much for providing me with the best life I ever wished for,” said Lisa, who also passed her driving test when seven months pregnant.
“Without Ethan, I don’t think I would have worked as hard as I did!”
Lisa hopes to complete her PGCE in Liverpool.