Single Mom Who Took a Final Exam While in Labor Graduates From Harvard Law
Just over a year after taking a final exam while in labor with her daughter, Briana Williams graduated with a degree from Harvard Law School with Evelyn in her arms. The 24-year-old took to Instagram on graduation day to reflect on how her life has changed since that day she gave birth in April 2017 and how hard she worked to complete her degree as a new, single mom — with Evelyn in tow, most days.
"I went into labor in April — during final exam period. I immediately requested an epidural so that my contractions wouldn't interfere with my Family Law grade. And, with tears in my eyes, I finished it," Briana wrote. "This 'biting the bullet' experience is quite quintessential of my time at Harvard. To say that my last year of law school, with a newborn, and as a single mom was a challenge would be an understatement. Some days I was so mentally and emotionally fatigued that I did not leave my bed. I struggled with reliable childcare. . . Evie attended classes often. So I'm going to be honest with you guys . . . I didn't think I could do it. I did not think that, at 24 years old, as a single mom, I would be able to get through one of the most intellectually rigorous and challenging positions of my life. It was hard. It hurt."
But, spoiler alert: Briana did do it. And despite the "heart-wrenching" journey, she's happy she put herself through it and persisted, both for herself and to set an example for her daughter.
"Today, Evelyn in my arms, with tears streaming down my face, I accepted my Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School. At first, I was the anomaly of my [marginalized] community. Then, as a single mother, I became a statistic. Next, I pray that — for the sake of my baby, I will be an example," she wrote.
Speaking to Evelyn, Briana added: "They said that because of you I wouldn't be able to do this. Just know that I did this BECAUSE OF YOU. Thank you for giving me the strength and courage to be invincible. Let's keep beating all their odds, baby."