Justine Blanchet is a seventeen-year-old country singer and songwriter from Quebec. She is in the Faculty of Business focusing on marketing classes to better market her music business. You can learn more about her on her website and listen to her music on her YouTube channel. This is her story.
Can you give us a little bit of background information about yourself? Who are you? Where do you live, where do you come from?
My name is Justine Blanchet and I am seventeen years old. I am the second child of a family of four. I live in St-Colomban, Quebec, and I come from the South shore of Montreal. I was homeschooled all my life and it has helped me with a disciplined schedule. I am also a singer-songwriter in the style of country, and I have been doing music since I was 4 years old.
Describe the path that led you to AU. What was it that made you realize you wanted to go to school, and what pushed you into the program you’ve signed up for?
I was homeschooled from age six to age sixteen. I started earlier, along with my older brother, so we were always in the same grade. I decided to go with online education because it gave me the same flexibility that homeschool gave me to pursue my music career. I am in the marketing field at the moment, choosing this field because it would help me market my own business.
Can you explain the similarities with being home schooled and studying at AU? Do you think you were at an advantage?
The similarities involve things like flexibility, being independent, and managing my own schedule. All of these are needed for an online education and homeschooling. It was easier for me to adapt to online education from previously doing independent studies. Time is a lot more manageable for sure.
What do you do like to do when you’re not studying?
I like to workout and do music. I hang out with my family and friends when I am not busy with music or school.
What are your plans for this education once you finish? How does it fit in with where you want to go?
I want to advance my music career with my knowledge in marketing and communications. After this semester I will enroll in another college to pursue my bachelor’s degree in communications because this other college is a little cheaper which is, unfortunately, more convenient for me.
Who in your life had the greatest influence on your desire to learn?
My mother is my influence. She is a teacher and learning specialist. She has taught me all my life and shaped me to be who I am today.
Describe your experience with online learning so far. What do you like? Dislike?
I love the online experience because it allows me to work my school around my music business. I like the easy access and e-text that I carry on my phone. I don’t like the hassle of exams (ProctorU) that creates confusion a lot and the exams are very tricky.
What’s your most memorable AU course so far, and why?
My memorable class so far has been MKTG 406: Consumer Behavior. I like the psychology of consumer’s minds, knowing what stimulus happens in their minds is very fascinating!
What have you given up to go to AU that you regret the most? Was it worth it?
I have given up the opportunity to socialize with other students and travel to my college like an adult and take responsibility for my education. It was worth it in some sense that I got to do a lot more of music.
How do you find communications with your course tutors?
I like that they are very supportive and kind in their emails.
What’s your biggest pet peeve, if you have one?
I do not like it when people chew with their mouths open.
What famous person, past or present, would you like to have lunch with, and why?
I would like to have lunch with Taylor Swift because I want to ask her how she handles all the fame. I know I wouldn’t be able to handle it if my career blew up because fame and money is not what I want the most.
Describe the proudest moment in your life.
I got a 96% on a paper I wrote, and it made me really proud of the work I did.
Describe one thing that distinguishes you from most other people.
I survived an acute appendicitis. I was forty-eight hours from dying when I was brought to the hospital. At eleven years old, it was really hard to get through sickness and three weeks of hospital. I still get side effects from the big surgery I had.
Oh, no, what kind of side-effects?
I had side effects that included my intestines blocking that lead to vomiting, constipation, and severe cramps. These effects still affect me today up to twice a year, unfortunately.
Have you travelled? Where has life taken you so far?
I spent a year in Mexico back in 2009 and I have traveled to the USA often and Canada as well.
Why did you spend a year in Mexico?
I spent a year in Mexico for my dad’s job. He works at Bombardier and he helped out the company at their location near Queretaro. It was pretty amazing to live an entire year elsewhere! There are only two seasons (rainy and hot). We live in a little community of homes with a gate and a guardian. Since we were homeschooled, it was easy to pack up and leave Canada for a year! I’m glad that I was old enough to remember Mexico! I was happy to come back home because the whole experience was nice but getting to come back in your comfort zone is pretty nice too.
What is the most valuable lesson you have learned in life?
Life is fleeting. You never know when it could be your last day so appreciate the time you have to say “I love you” often to the people you love.