Student who became a mum during her studies remains focused on career goals
A young mum hasn’t let adapting to life as a new parent stop her from working towards her life-long ambition of becoming a PE teacher.
Stacey Wilson graduated from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) this week with her two-year-old daughter, Scarlett, at her side.
The 22-year-old, from Preesall, received a shock when, at the beginning of the second year of her degree in sport and physical education, she discovered she was six months pregnant and had to take time off to have her baby.
Despite the challenges of being a new parent and returning to study during the pandemic, Stacey remained focused on her degree and now plans to study for a PGCE in secondary physical education at The University of Huddersfield.
Stacey, who grew up in Manchester and then Euxton, before moving to Preesall when she was 15-years-old, said: “It was stressful at first and I had to adapt to a completely new way of life.
"Returning to University after maternity leave and balancing my studies alongside parenting was difficult and I considered dropping out. However, Scarlett is my main motivator and I wanted to complete my studies to be a positive role model for her"— Graduate Stacey Wilson
“Returning to University after maternity leave and balancing my studies alongside parenting was difficult and I considered dropping out. However, Scarlett is my main motivator and I wanted to complete my studies to be a positive role model for her but also so I can provide a good future for us both as a single parent.
“Thankfully, I received a lot of support from a lecturer who really boosted my confidence and I leave UCLan with a lot of positive memories and experiences that will stay with me for life.”
Stacey made the most of any extra-curricular opportunities available whilst at UCLan, including trips to China and Paris, where she learned how PE is taught in other countries, and organising a mini-Olympic styled sports event. She also completed work placements in schools and took part in several sport taster sessions.
“I think I naturally enjoyed this course because it was doing something I loved, and I thoroughly enjoyed the experiences that were on offer” she said.
“From an early age sport has always been a part of my life and I was one of those children who attended every sports club possible. With always enjoying playing sports and having positive PE role models at high school, I chose subjects that would help me work towards my future career aspiration to become a PE teacher.
“I want Scarlett to look back and be proud of what we have both achieved and the challenges we faced. I’m looking forward to beginning my PGCE course and seeing what my future holds.”