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“My son’s future will be bright” – How one mum is juggling parenthood and online study!

As a parent you probably feel like you never have a moment to yourself. But having children shouldn’t stop you achieving something amazing in 2018.

Did you know we have lots of students who choose to study online whilst juggling parenthood and a job? Yes, we think they must be superheroes too!

One of those students is Jenny* a single mum, from Herfordshire. She decided to study law after experiencing hard times and negative situations in her life. Now she is making sure others don’t suffer the way she has.

Jenny tells us how studying for her online degree has made her proud and given her hope for her son’s future:

“I chose to study online as I have a three-year-old son and I am a single parent. I didn’t have the opportunity to attend university when I was younger, and this seemed like the perfect time to fulfil one of my long-term goals. Being a full-time parent and working part-time from home, going into university seemed daunting and would mean spending even less time with my son.”

Throughout her course Jenny has been supported by tutors, her own Student Adviser and fellow students. So far, she has been pleasantly surprised how easy it was to adjust to online study.

“The second module has been more challenging than the first! But I have settled into studying and made it part of my daily routine. I feel lost if I am not engrossed in a book or online around the other students. I conducted some research into online studies and University of Essex Online stood out to me the most. Offering the course that I was interested in and having a Student Adviser to talk me through the process definitely made all the difference. Juggling work, childcare and studying has been a welcome challenge for me as it keeps me busy and not twiddling my thumbs. My support network consists of very few people, three to be exact, and their support gets me through any challenges that I may face.”

It’s understandable that many parents would feel apprehensive taking on a full-time commitment whilst raising their children. However, with our flexible part-time courses you really can fit your learning around your life, as Jenny has found.

“Me and my son do ’homework’ together, so this takes away the stress of worrying if I am neglecting him. Be prepared to put in some hard work! Studying online and being a parent is definitely a challenge, fortunately for me I have a reasonably well behaved three-year-old who does not interfere with my ’homework‘ as he calls it. I do think I have been very lucky and have yet to experience any real interference between parenting and studying. The latter years may be more challenging! If I could give any advice to parents interested in studying I would say, make sure you are studying a subject that you enjoy otherwise it becomes a chore rather than something that is part of your life.”

Jenny hopes that once she has completed her studies she can secure a brand-new job within law, using her skills to help others.

“I have experienced a lot of negative situations in my life and I would like to help others, so they don’t go through these experiences. I feel that my personal knowledge will be a benefit to others in my future career.”

“The word proud doesn’t begin to cover how I feel, I am ecstatic to be taking part in this course, and achieving what I have so far at the age I am. Being able to study is quite an emotional aspect for me, as I didn’t have this opportunity before. It took a lot of negative things to happen to me for me to pick myself up and concentrate. Being able to graduate and provide a future for my son is the ultimate goal and I am happy to be working towards that. His future will be bright if I lead by example.”

Been inspired by Jenny and want to try online studying? Download our prospectus here.

Need more inspiration? Check out this video of our 2017 Top Undergraduate Business graduate Michelle Michaelides, who completed her studies whilst looking after her children:


*Name changed to protect identification