Cory Monroe: Graduating Public Relations Major and Mother

Cory sits with her son on the Rowan Proud chair.

Today we speak to Cory Monroe, a graduating Public Relations major and mom from Medford, NJ (Burlington County). Cory transferred to Rowan from Rowan College at Burlington College. Corey is a first-generation college student.  

Cory poses in front of trees on campus.

If you could paint a picture of your time here at Rowan, what would that look like?

It would look like it’s come full circle, I suppose. I graduated from Rowan College at Burlington County and transferred to Rowan University in 2014. I was finishing up one semester and then the next semester would have been my final year at Rowan, but my mom got sick and was hospitalized the week of finals. I couldn’t even finish taking my finals because she was diagnosed with cancer. It was a chaotic time for me. She passed away quickly the next month. It took me a very long time to come back to school. I would say that I just feel like my time at Rowan, though chaotic, has come full circle.

What are some challenges you faced, being a student and a mother?

I would say that I experienced mom guilt sometimes. Sometimes I need to ask my husband, “Hey, I didn’t get everything done that I had to get done. During naptime or bedtime, I need a few hours to study or to write this paper,” and I feel bad. My husband is very supportive. I still feel bad segmenting off that time, even though it’s for the better. It’s for the best that I finish my degree. I would just say time management has become really important, and conquering mom guilt is very important.

Cory poses with her husband and son.

How has Rowan helped you achieve your goals?

I would say that Lori Brucker, the advisor for the Public Relations and Advertising department, has been very helpful. There were a few times I was going to come back to school, but then it just didn’t pan out. I was suffering with some depression prior to having my son, and the people at Rowan were really patient. They didn’t say, “Oh my gosh, this is like your third time talking about coming back to school, get your life together.” They were really patient and believed that I could graduate. Each time that I would come back and ask “Okay, what do I have to do?” and then I didn’t go through with it, they were always just very supportive of me finishing my degree and telling me what I had to do to get there. I appreciated that.

What was your inspiration for coming back to finish your degree?

My son, 100 %. Eventually, when he’s a little older, I want to go back to school for nursing in an accelerated bachelor’s program, and you have to have your bachelor’s degree to be in the program. I want to complete what I started and make my mom proud of me for finishing it, even though it wasn’t easy. 

How do you best balance school, life, and being a mom?

I take advantage of nap time. Luckily, my son still naps. During his nap time, I set a goal of getting something finished, and that’s when I do it. I actually find that I’m more proactive with deadlines now as a mom than I was before. I used to wait until the last minute and say that I don’t have any time, but now I finish assignments two weeks in advance. I try to get things done, so it’s off of my shoulders.

Cory looks on as her husband holds her son in the air.

What advice do you have for other mothers that are thinking about coming back to school or that are already here trying to finish their degree?

I would say that if it makes you happy, come back to school and complete your degree. You’re definitely going to be inspiring your son or daughter. They’ll be able to see that you made sacrifices and that you work towards an end goal that wasn’t easy. They’ll see that as an adult, it’s difficult to come back to school to finish a degree, or begin and finish a degree while having a child.

What is your favorite thing about being a mom?

I love absolutely everything about being a mom right now. I’m a stay-at-home mom. I love being a stay-at-home mom. My son is always happy to see me. As soon as he wakes up in the morning, he’s always so happy to see me. He is just full of like endless love and limitless fun. He’s my heart.

Like what you see?

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Story by:
Rachel Rumsby, sophomore communication studies and public relations double major

Interview by:
Kayla Tucker, junior public relations major

Photos by:
Joe Gentempo, senior art major

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