Sara Anderson started her degree through AU in 2015. While born and raised in Calgary until the age of 13, she spent her teens living in Washington state and British Columbia, only returning to Calgary after high school. This is not her first experience with post-secondary education as she graduated from SAIT in 2003 with her Legal Assistant diploma and worked in the industry for almost a decade, along the way meeting and marrying her husband. She left her job to raise her sons, born in 2011 and 2014, and currently lives in High River, AB as she pursues her BA credential with a major in psychology.
What do you do like to do when you’re not studying?
Spending time with my family, attending my children’s activities, travelling (or dreaming of travelling). I also enjoy a date night with my husband when we can.
What famous person, past or present, would you like to have lunch with, and why?
Former President Obama ? I’d love to know what he really thinks of the current administration and the direction the US is going. I’d also be interested to know how he seems to rise above so much negativity directed his way. I loved my experience of living in the US during my teen years and it holds a special place in my heart.
What would the meal be?
Pasta, Caesar salad, bread, and a nice bottle of red wine.
Who in your life had the greatest influence on your desire to learn?
Probably my husband, who recently completed his Master’s in Education. I have not been in school since 2003 when I graduated from SAIT.
Describe your experience with online learning. What do you like or dislike?
I like the ability to learn at my own pace while still being home with my young kids. I dislike missing out on interacting with instructors and other students.
Have you had a time when you wavered about your education?
Probably just after high school when my mom really pushed me to continue with my education but I had no idea what I wanted to do. I think she was concerned that I would never attend post-secondary if I took time off to travel. I wish I would have travelled more.
What was your most memorable AU course?
I haven’t taken many courses yet but so far have enjoyed my PSYC290 class the most as it provided a great overview on theories of development that I found very interesting.
What is most valuable thing in life to you?
Family, and making memories with my kids through experiences together.
What have you given up to go to AU that you regret the most? Was it worth it?
I don’t think I’ve given up anything. My one regret would be not starting sooner. I feel like I will be in my 40’s before I complete my undergrad.
What’s the single best thing AU could do to improve your student experience?
I’m not sure at this point. I am taking my courses at a fairly slow, part-time pace while my kids are too young to attend school full-time.
What is the most important lesson in life?
In my life, I’d say maintaining hope even when things seem hopeless. It’s been a work in progress at times.
What’s something people don’t know about you?
I have a strange psychic ability about little things ever since I was quite young. I could predict when my parents would offer to buy us slurpees after picking us up from school (a rare occurrence). I can predict songs that are about to be played on the radio and will often think of a scene from a movie and then turn on the tv and that movie will be playing. It’s a fairly useless ability except for the two times I correctly predicted our brand new vehicle would break down on my husband on the way to work.
E-texts or textbooks? Any particular reason(s)?
I am very old school in that I really struggle with e-texts. Something about having a hard copy in my hands just feels better.
How do you find the tutors?
Honestly, it has been hit and miss. The one challenge I’ve had with all my tutors is it seems they don’t do a quick review of materials, including any updates, before responding to my queries. I have found that they are quick to shut down my question with a blanket statement and only review materials when I provide concrete evidence that I believe the work I’ve done is correct.
Where has life taken you so far? (travels for pleasure, work, etc.)
Travel around Europe (UK, Scotland, Italy, Gran Canaria) in my early 20’s, some travel with my husband (Mexico, Cuba, France) pre-kids. Moving quite a few times, living through the Flood of 2013 (we live in High River and were displaced for 5 months). We have 2 boys who keep me busy day-to-day.
What (non-AU) book are you reading now?
Dead Mountain ? The Untold True Story of the Dyatlov Pass Incident. It explores what happened to a group of hikers who died under crazy, mysterious circumstances in the late 50’s. It’s pretty fascinating.