It’s never too early

Princeton students are arguably obsessed with planning. There are a myriad of advisers assigned to students from the moment they step on campus, with additional optional advisers as their career paths emerge. There are academic advisers, advisers within majors, and advisors for junior papers and senior theses, advisers for the pre-med and pre-law tracks, as well as advisers for Career Services. It seems that every possible life plan has a corresponding point of guidance available on campus. Security and advice abound for future-obsessed Princeton students.

Despite this overwhelming number of advisers, Princeton offers essentially no guidance for the students asking how they will fit a family into this plan, particularly for those students on whom the largest burden of childbirth and child-rearing is traditionally placed. There is a large yet unrecognized gap of guidance regarding future, planned pregnancies and how to incorporate those pregnancies into the lives the University subconsciously encourages its students to lead.

Family planning is a substantial aspect of a student’s future that must be considered in concert with career planning. Such questions are not asked, let alone answered, in most campus settings. When is the best time to have a child if you want to go to grad school? Is it possible to have a child at any point during the medical track, or should you expect to wait until far after the grueling process? What companies are the best at offering flexible options for new parents?

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