By Ryan Velez
It’s finals season, which means that college students are doing whatever they can to get the top grades on their tests and cap off their college semesters. While late-night study sessions may be the norm, one college student took things to the next level: going viral after being shown completing her exams from a hospital bed in labor.
Nayzia Thomas studies psychology at Johnson County Community College in Kansas City, Mo. Determined to get her degree, she stayed in school until she was 39 weeks pregnant, and had even made plans to do her finals after her son was born. However, the baby had it’s own plans, and she went into labor ahead of schedule. Faced with the possibility of getting an incomplete by putting off her final psych exam, she decided to finish the assignment.
“It wasn’t due until the end of the week — finals week is Dec. 11 to tomorrow — but my goal was to try to have everything done before,” she tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “[I thought] ‘before all this gets crazy let me hurry up and finish this final.’” As a result, she finished her final on dissociative identity disorder shortly before giving birth to her son, Anthony Johnson, on Dec. 12 at 1:30 p.m. Her mother snapped the viral pic of her on her computer in the hospital bed, because she feels that summed up who her daughter is.
“School is so important to me,” she said, explaining that she was working three jobs and going to summer classes when she found out about her pregnancy. “I didn’t want [the pregnancy] to be in the way. That’s what people expect. You’re a teen mom, you’re a young mother. That’s why my mom took that picture. It shows [I] follow through.” Thomas had some complications during birth, including major blood loss and her body going into shock post-delivery. However, as she happily tweeted, she and the baby are fine, and she managed to get a 3.5 GPA for the semester.
To date, the initial tweet has gotten over 93,000 likes and 18,000 retweets. While this may be a dramatic case, it’s not that uncommon: according to a 2014 study from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, 26 percent of all college undergraduates, mostly women, have a child dependent on them. For now, Thomas will take a month off during her winter break to care for her newborn before going back to school next semester. She will take a 15 credit workload and has her boyfriend and support system to help take care of little Anthony while she works towards her degree.
“My mom was a single mom,” she said. “We’re all three in school and getting our degrees.”