It is mid-August and already the geese are flying over. Can it possibly be that summer is nearly gone? It doesn’t seem entirely possible and yet the leaves are changing and the geese are honking. When I completed my undergrad degree in the beginning of the year I had allotted myself a definitive amount of time to decide which path I wanted to head down next. I decided that instead of forcing myself into a decision immediately I needed to take a few moments to breathe, to float in the lake and just be. However, August, my self-defined deadline, has come and almost gone without a decision made.
There are many things that influence this choice, but the lack of being able to decide has been impeded mostly by the lack of time to dedicate to thinking on it. I am learning, though, that instead of stressing myself out about this choice, I need to allow the deadline to move. The summer months are notoriously busy; I spent the last few summers allotting myself a few days here or there to enjoy the weather, and spent the rest stressing out about a course. I am pleasantly surprised that I have allowed myself the time to work on my own projects and to spend time with family and friends (guilt free): even if that means the summer seems to have gone by twice as fast.
With September looming it is time for me to buckle down and consider my choices. The annual news of AU’s possible shut-down has me weighing it as a negative against the university. While this news comes around every year, and I have learned to roll my eyes and continue on, I have to consider this now. I have no fear that the university will close its doors. However, my concerns come with the support from the university. What provisions are being made to ensure that tutors will remain accessible to students? Talk of job-loss and call-centres are concerning when considering continuing on with AU.
My experience within the proverbial walls of AU was a wonderful one. I thoroughly appreciate and loved the school. But, the last year I saw many issues being raised and I have to wonder how these will be resolved? What is being done to ensure students have access to physical textbooks if they prefer? And access to their tutor for courses where call-centre’s are not a good fit? To ensure that tutor-moral is kept up? These things have a massive impact on students. The budget issues are concerning and how to best handle them is best left to the expects, however, the impact these are going to have on the students has not been made clear. The adjustments that the school will have to make have not been made transparent. The most recent article posted by AU does not address anything other than acknowledging an issue and that they are attempting to deal with it.
For students, both present and prospective, I think there needs to be transparency on the discussions AU is having about the budget concerns. As far as I can tell something is going to have to give; the question is what?
Deanna Roney is an AU student who loves adventure in life and literature