Fanshawe student shares her story of balancing school, work and soon, motherhood
Credit: RAVEN DOWN
Fanshawe student Raven Down is proving that with hard work and dedication, she, along with other expecting mothers can juggle school, work and motherhood. Down shared her story to encourage others in similar situations that they are not alone.
Raven Down, a 24-year-old, second year Developmental Services Worker (DSW) program student at Fanshawe, is experiencing these pressures first hand and she is sharing her story to help others in similar situations. She is 33 weeks pregnant, while going to school, attending placement, and working all at the same time.
“I have placement Monday and Thursdays 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and sometimes I go to work 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. I usually leave early because, one, they can’t pay me to stay, and two, I’m really tired, and so they send me home, which is really nice. I’m getting pretty stressed out about exams and assignments [as well], so it’s a lot of scrambling around. It’s a lot of juggling everyday life, as well as school, being pregnant, and getting ready for a baby. My due date is January 29th,” Down said.
Regardless of her strong work ethic, she still finds it hard to be financially stable. Her main focus is passing her school program, but the pressures of her everyday life make it difficult.
“The hardest part [of my situation] is being financially ready I think. I want to pass my semester so I don’t have to pay for a course in the future. Not having to pay for another course would really help my financial situation. But, at the same time, there’s a lot of getting ready to do for the baby, having rent paid, and trying to figure out how to get maternity leave, because I don’t want to quit my job. I have to quit my job to get [this leave], but I don’t want to quit my job and have that period of not having money or maternity leave. That’s a really scary feeling to me. I just want to be financially ready for my baby, and help support my baby more,” Down said.
Down has some excellent advice for anybody else who may be going through a similar situation. She suggests to not overthink, to trust your instincts and don’t be scared. “Just don’t overthink. I feel like we get trapped inside our brains and we stress about it way more then we have to. Yes, it is scary, yes, if you are alone its even scarier; and if you’re in school, and working, and trying to figure out all the financial stuff, as well as time management, it can just build up in your head. I feel like a lot of it is just going out and doing it. That is my advicejust don’t overthink it, trust your instincts, and don’t doubt yourself, which I’ve done a lot. I feel like you should just go for it and don’t be scared,” Down said.
Down also stressed the importance and positive impact a small bit of support can do for someone going through a similar situation.
“Always keep people close to you. Even if you’re in a hard time, maybe they’re not having a good time too. Remember to consider that, and be there for each other. I feel like a lot of the times we get caught up in our own problems and we forget to help each other. I feel like if there was more being together and supporting each other, it would be a lot easier to go through things like this. Sometimes it just takes somebody to ask, ‘hey, how are you?’ or ‘how’s your day been?’ and it makes you feel better. It doesn’t feel like ‘oh it’s just me,’ or ‘I’m all alone’. Even if you are alone, not in a relationship, or the only person making money, it is still scary, but it just takes one person to say, ‘hey, are you okay, is there anything I can do’, to really help,” Down said.