Tell Us Your Story — U of T Student Parents Project

The Interviews

Interview #1

This 26 years old, 5th year undergraduate student and single mother of a preschooler shares her perspective on how to juggle these two roles by offering advice on how to choose courses and talk to professors, the importance of making her story heard at her registrar's office, and how to successfully access various resources and supports at the University.

Interview #2

Teresa is a single mother who has been at UofT since 2000. During this time she completed her undergraduate studies and is now doing her Masters in European Studies. She talks about the university resources that help her balance her life at U of T, including financial resources such as the work-study program, and about eventually becoming a UofT employee, as well as being a don at her residence. She also speaks about attitudes towards pregnancy and single parenthood, and about childcare arrangements.

Interview #3

This 33 year-old Doctoral candidate started his Master's program at U of T in 2006 when his wife was a stay-home mother caring for their first child. Now, he is also currently a full-time student and they have since had their second child. He talks about the two different situations his family has faced in the course of his program at U of T and shares his perspective on many aspects of the student parent life. He also offers tips and advice on time management.

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Interview #4

This undergraduate, single parent and mature student who decided to attend university after her third child was only six months old, gives a number of simple but great tips on managing finances and also on juggling children and her studies. She shares her insights on the importance of taking the time to build your support network and to ask for help when you need to do so.

Interview #5

This 3rd year PhD candidate is in a two-parent relationship and is the mother of a 3½ year old son. She accessed the services at the Family Care Office even before starting her program, and has been balancing mothering and academic life - an enjoyable, rewarding, and often challenging juggling act. She encourages others to take on the challenge, and suggests always to remember that family life comes first - academic deadlines and opportunities come and go, but childhood and early parenthood are fleeting.

Interview #6

This undergraduate student describes herself as not being the typical undergraduate student or the typical university student. A single parent of a three-year-old, she shares her experience of working to support her small family and to pay for her studies at U of T as she isn't eligible to receive OSAP funding. This interview debunks the myth that students who cannot afford university can always pay for it with OSAP, and describes what are the options if you are in a similar situation.

Interview #7

This 2nd year undergraduate student and single parent has to also care for her ill mother; she is an OSAP recipient and identifies herself as a lesbian. She comes from an underprivileged background and one that usually doesn't make it to university. She talks about the struggles and the rewards of being in her situation, and offers encouragement to other parents who might think university is not for them, or who have other types of family responsibilities.

Interview #8

This very accomplished undergraduate student immigrated to Canada as a child, came to university as a single undergraduate student, and got married and pregnant before her second year. She continued in school receiving awards from the Faculty of Arts and Science, working in work-study positions and also having a second baby. She offers a glimpse of how she has accomplished all that she has. She discusses navigating the system, alternating between being a part-time and full-time student, learning how to apply for loans and bursaries, and at the same time not losing sight of the fact that motherhood is the most important job she holds.

Interview #9

This international PhD student is in a two-parent relationship and is the mother of a 7 year old daughter who was born soon after the student arrived in Canada to start her PhD program. She accessed U of T services when still in her home country and when she and her partner arrived, they had already arranged for an apartment at U of T Student Family Housing. She talks about time management, being far away from her family, about a difficult experience with her supervisor, and how it was resolved.