A University of Dundee student who found out she would be expecting her first child during her studies will graduate this week with a first class degree and a place secured to study graduate Medicine.
Eshar Bola (22) found out she was expecting baby Archie when she was half-way through her third year and had to make the difficult decision to defer her studies for a year. Despite the challenges she faced throughout this time, Eshar is graduating with thousands of her peers at the University of Dundee’s Summer 2021 Online Graduation Event.
“I found out that I was expecting in November 2019 and then it was scramble to figure out what to do, she said.
“Everyone was asking me what I was going to do so I knew I needed a plan. I spoke to the Careers Service to get some help and they advised that I defer for a year.
“I had to leave my labs straight away when I found out I was pregnant but everyone was very supportive.
“I got a job at a fast food restaurant to support myself but I had to quit almost straight away as the Covid-19 guidance was to shield entirely if you were pregnant.
“This meant I didn’t leave the house for the rest of my pregnancy. I was very fortunate to have an incredible group of friends surrounding me and my wonderful partner, George, by my side.”
Eshar, who studied Medical Sciences BSc (Hons), is one of over 3,000 undergraduate students graduating from the University this year. She will join her classmates at the School of Medicine’s virtual graduation event on Friday 16 July.
Despite her studies being interrupted and having to raise baby Archie during the strictest period of lockdown, Eshar was able to achieve a first class degree. With goals to study medicine she also attempted her UKCAT exam when Archie was only three weeks old and scored highly.
“Eight weeks after Archie was born I had to go back to University so we had to get ourselves into a routine very quickly.
“After not being able to see my family throughout lockdown, my mum was finally able to come over and visit Archie from Qatar after restrictions were eased, which was a great relief.
“The advice I’d give to anyone who finds themselves in a similar situation is to get into a routine and stick to it and to make sure you have a lot of support around you.
“My friend Rosie was the only friend coming round due to Covid-19 restrictions and I don’t think we could’ve done it without her support.”
Eshar’s original goal after graduation was to go to China with her friends to teach English and play rugby, with plans to apply for Medicine the following year.
Now going on to study Medicine at the University of Dundee, Eshar has plans to launch a parent’s society at the University to support others with young children.
The University’s online graduation celebrations are taking place 14 - 16 June. Each ceremony will be live streamed from the University’s YouTube channel.