An august end to August, I find this issue, to me, really brings the feel of Autumn to it. Even if we’re not quite there, having articles like Jason Sullivan’s exploration of how simple questions can unmask philosophical considerations of the self, or Darjeeling Jones’ look at Haida Gwaii in northern BC and the sense of connection that place brings strikes me as reflective of the beginning of fall. Similarly, the Struggling Student Rants returns with Angela Pappas exploring the idea of an emergency fund, why you need one, and how even you can create one.
All of these seem to connect for me in the sense of reflection or reverie you might get as you watch a sunset. The ending of the day signalling a moment to pause and prepare for the day that comes next.
For our feature article, we interview a student, Stephanie Ball, who was profoundly affected by her time as a youth-in-care, and now wants to use those experiences, and her AU studies, to put her in a position to help other youth who may be in precarious straights, by working as a probation officer.
What’s interesting about her interview, to me, is her pet peeve is something that I instantly agree with, and something that AU should see if they can find solutions to. As a spoiler, it’s about the lack of information that AU presents to students about exams. It’s well known that many students suffer exam anxiety, and I’d personally wager that at AU this is higher than at other institutions, for a number of reasons. For instance, AU students may be returning after a long absence, the prospect of an exam can be daunting. Also, I would guess that more students going to AU have anxiety issues than may be the norm at brick and mortar institutions. After all, the notion of being able to take a fully accredited degree without having to confront the masses of people at a traditional university makes AU extremely appealing to those who have difficulty in those situations.
Yet despite these, AU often provides less information about its exams, or even the exam situations than most other universities. ProctorU is a great step forward in this regard, allowing students much more control over the environment they must take an exam in, but Stephanie has a point that it can often be difficult to get information about the exam itself.
So be sure to read her interview, and while you’re at it, don’t miss out on the rest of the issue, including the news, scholarships, events (that’s right, we have some events again!), and advice on various things such as shopping, diet, and relationships and even on how to approach the fact that you’re already rich, you just don’t know it.