A pregnancy test was probably the one test you hoped to flunk in high school.
But here you are. Pregnant, with a long list of classes to finish. Graduation may seem completely out of reach.
But it’s not.
Sure, it will be an uphill climb. But you can do it. Others before you have succeeded. (For example, here’s the story of one young woman who did.)
How did other pregnant teens conquer the graduation challenge?
In every case, they held onto these three things: perspective, a plan, and people.
Keep a Big-Picture Perspective
Successful teens kept the big picture in view. They didn’t let the short-term stuff paralyze them.
So take a step back from your panicky feelings about “right now.” What’s the big picture of your life from here on?
- Live for the long run. In the big picture, you’re going to do a whole lot more living after high school than in it. Don’t let high school define you. Let your whole life show who you are.
- Somebody’s depending on you. The baby you’re carrying could someday be the one who tells everyone what an awesome thing you did: “My mom beat the odds!” You can be your child’s inspiration when they're tempted to give up in hard times. You can be That Mom—the one who stayed strong to give her child a better life.
- Keep your eyes on the prize. Your diploma is a gateway to all the opportunities that lie beyond. Compared to drop-outs, high school graduates tend to find better jobs. They earn more money. And they live more satisfying lives. So maximize your future options with a diploma.
Make a Plan
Pregnant teens who graduated made plans to reach their goal. They took specific steps to carry them from where they were at the moment to where they wanted to be in the long run.
Ready to see how it’s done?
- Picture yourself in 10 years. List the character traits you want to have—things like courage, honesty, dependability. Beside each one, write what you will do now to start being that way. Like this:
- Courage: I will keep trying even though it’s hard.
- Honesty: I will tell the truth no matter what.
- Dependability: I will keep my promises.
- Plan your first steps. You've got goals—graduation, and being a great person. Now make a list of specific things you can do this week to start moving toward those goals.
- I will talk to my counselor about my school’s options for pregnant students.
- I will sign up for Earn While You Learn at Choices Pregnancy Center to get the training and supplies I need to be a good parent.
- I will start taking good care of my body so I’ll have a healthy pregnancy.
- Take those steps. They will lead to more steps. Take those steps, too. Feel your momentum build!
Gather Supportive People
Teens who graduated while pregnant also had a team of supporters—the kind Olympic athletes have.
You need people cheering you on, lifting you up when you’re down, shielding you from the haters, listening to your concerns, and offering help in every way they can. Consider getting these people on your support team:
- Family and friends. Who in your family is going to stand with you through this pregnancy and beyond? (If your parents are struggling with the situation, you might want to show them this.) What about your friends? Are there some who truly want to encourage you and won't drag you down?
- Adults at school. By law, your school must enable you to graduate while pregnant or parenting. And most adults there do want to help. Find out from your counselor what your school offers. Can you study at home? Enroll in a flexible alternative program? Take online courses? To learn more about your rights as a pregnant student read this.
- Your local pregnancy center. These people are known for listening, caring, and helping. They can teach you all about pregnancy and parenting—at no cost. They can also provide free resources for you and your baby. And they know their communities well, so they can connect you with other helpful people. Find a center near you.
Graduate? Yes, You Can!
Some of life’s hardest challenges are also the most important to conquer.
You are facing one of those challenges now. But you don’t have to face it alone.
If you live near Redwood Falls, MN,
the team at Choices Pregnancy Center is here to stand with you.
Text or call us at 507-637-2534 today.
We will even meet with you privately at your school if you can’t make it to our office.
Here's what one of the area teachers said about our services:
That same kind of help is available to you. Contact us today.