Graduate high school, go to college, find a job, get married, and have babies — this is the sequence of a successful life many people envision for their future. But what happens when things don’t go as planned?
It’s important to remember that what might feel like an insurmountable hurdle may simply be a new part of your journey. This journey can be as beautiful and fulfilling as the one you’ve imagined for yourself.
Finding out you’re pregnant can definitely feel like one of those hurdles, especially if you’re still in high school. Thankfully, however, completing high school while pregnant or parenting is absolutely possible.
Here at Open Arms, we’re passionate about empowering women facing unplanned pregnancies to accomplish their goals. Whether you’re looking to graduate high school, attend college, or get your dream job, we’re here for you.
Check out these helpful tips below on how to graduate high school while navigating pregnancy and beyond.
Understand your rights as a pregnant student
If you just found out you’re pregnant, questions are likely swarming your mind. From wondering what fellow students will say to questioning if you should even go back to school at all, these thoughts and questions can feel overwhelming.
These doubts and worries can lead many women to choose abortion or drop out of school, even when their desires include graduating and having the baby.
As you seek answers to these questions and make the choices that are best for you and your pregnancy, it’s important to understand your legal rights as a pregnant student.
According to federal law (Title IX), public schools at all levels must provide provisions for pregnant women to be able to graduate while pregnant or parenting. Not only does this provision protect you from harassment or discrimination based on your pregnancy or parenting status, but it also details special accommodations to make it easier for you to accomplish your goals while pregnant.
These accommodations include allowing for you to participate in extracurricular activities and special programs, providing you with elevator access, frequent restroom breaks, and a larger desk, giving you an excused absence due to pregnancy or childbirth, and more.
To learn more about how your school will work with you during this time, schedule a time to talk to your school counselor and make a plan to meet your goals.
Build a support team around you
When facing an unplanned pregnancy in high school, having a supportive community will serve as a life-line when you need extra help.
Consider tapping into these groups for help when you need it:
Family and Friends
Find specific people within your friend group or family who you know will be there to champion you and support you when you’re tired, frustrated, or discouraged. It’s important to surround yourself with positive influences and encouraging individuals who will lift you up and inspire you to achieve your goals.
Mentors and Other Supportive Adults
In addition to your supportive family members, it can be nice to have adults outside your family to advocate for you in different ways. Whether it’s a school counselor, a teacher, or someone else in your community, find a few supportive adults who you can trust and go to for advice and help in times of need.
Your Local Pregnancy Clinic
Your local pregnancy clinic is an amazing resource for additional help and support. Pregnancy clinics provide no-cost medical services, education, and physical resources to women like you.
Make a plan that works for you
Almost every goal in life requires a plan to achieve it. Graduating high school while pregnant or parenting is highly achievable, it just takes a bit of extra planning.
We recommend working with a few people from your supportive community to put together an actionable plan to achieve your goal and stay on track.
Your plan might include items like:
- Getting in touch with your local pregnancy clinic to learn more about your unique pregnancy and the resources available to you
- Working with a school counselor to figure out if/when you’ll need to make up missed work based on your due date
- Joining a support group for teen moms to connect with other pregnant students
- Signing up for courses on parenting and finances offered at your local pregnancy clinic
Pregnancy and college
Whether you’re about to graduate high school or are experiencing an unplanned pregnancy in the middle of your university years, graduating with a college degree is still very much a possibility.
For college students experiencing unplanned pregnancies, visit your local pregnancy clinic for no-cost pregnancy testing, ultrasounds, and more. Your Case Manager at Open Arms will walk alongside you and empower you to achieve your goals during this new season of life.
Schedule an appointment today
Are you experiencing an unplanned pregnancy and looking for no-cost medical services and other resources, Open Arms is here to help. All of our services are confidential and designed to empower you to pursue your dreams and make informed, confident choices for your future.
Schedule your no-cost appointment today.