Rebecca Snider currently lives in Red Deer, Alberta and is enrolled in the Bachelor of Arts major in Psychology program at Athabasca University. She recently spoke to the Voice Magazine and shared why she decided to go back to school and what she loves about online education.
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 Rebecca, I grew up in a small town called Ponoka, I moved to Red Deer about three years ago, and within my move I decided to peruse the conveniences of online schooling.
What program are you in? Do you like your program?
I am enrolled in the Bachelor of Arts major in Psychology program. I have been enjoying my program and have also found the new journey of online learning to be an interesting, knowledgeable experience, which I am trying to embrace to the fullest.
Could you describe the path that led you to AU? What was it that made you realize you wanted to go back to school, and what pushed you into the Bachelor of Arts, major in Psychology program?
I decided to go back to school when I realized I was not happy in what I was doing anymore, which was working full time at Subway. The decision was a very big one for me, as I have never participated in any form of online schooling and was unsure about juggling finances, scheduling, and how to still pursue what interests me. I decided to sign up for the psychology program, as this is something that has always been with me throughout high school, always capturing my attention and interests.
Do you have any advice for people who are on the fence about going back to school?
My advice for anyone on the fence about whether to go back to school would be to take the leap and think about it when you are done, just keep moving forward.
What do you do like to do when you’re not studying? Any hobbies?
When I am not studying, I have a part-time job where I am a cashier which takes up most of my time outside of school. When I am not working or studying, I like to attend concerts and have nice movie dates with my significant other.
What is it like working part-time and studying? Do you find it difficult to find time to study, work, and still have time for the things you love?
When I first decided to pursue my online education, I was working full time, but it only lasted two months before I had to drop down to part-time, it was just too much! I find working part-time more beneficial to me mentally and physically but for sure more challenging when it comes to wanting to do things outside of school and work.
What are some of the best concerts you have seen?
Some of the best concerts I have seen vary from small venues where nobody knows the artist to massive venues with everybody knowing the artist. Some of my favourite concerts I have been to would include Mayday, Steve Miller Band, Ice Cube, and Shaggy!
What are your plans for this education once you finish? What would be your dream job?
I want to help the people who do not know how to help themselves. I want to be a person who someone will come to for a helping hand or a listening ear, helping the next generations to come. My dream job would include somewhere with children and helping make sure they get the full experiences and care for their young fragile lives.
Do you plan on enrolling in a master’s program once you are finished your degree?
I do plan on enrolling into further studies once I am finished my program, but I have not completely decided yet, as I am waiting to explore more options.
Who in your life had the greatest influence on your desire to learn?
My boyfriend has been the greatest influence and supporter when it comes to my learning destinations. He has provided a stable environment, encouraging me and pushing me on my deadlines and studies. Another great influence has been my mother, helping me to understand the registration process.
Could you describe your experience with online learning so far? What do you like?
My experience with online learning so far as been very interesting, from learning how to register into courses, and how the programs and courses work. Now that I am going into my second year of online learning, I feel more prepared and encouraged then ever, knowing I can do this by myself, with my teachers, and peers right there if I need them. One of the things I enjoy the most (which is another reason I decided to pursue online learning) is being able to make my own schedule and work on my assignments from the comfort of my own home!
Is there anything that you dislike?
I dislike not having that personal connection and being able to ask questions face to face to working out problems on the spot. In an online setting you need to wait for a response email or a certain date.
At what point did you waver the most about continuing your schooling? What caused it and what got you through it?
The point in my life where I thought the most about going to school was a couple years ago, when I realized I am not going anywhere working at a fast food chain. It suddenly clicked that I can waste years and years to just be another number in a company, or I could do what makes me happy and keeps me going and interested new things.
What is your favorite AU course that you have taken so far, and why? Would you recommend the course to others?
My favourite course that I have taken so far, is PSYC 345 (Psychology of Women). This course has taught me things that was never in any of my other courses. It encouraged me to expand my horizons. I would recommend this course to anyone wanting to learn more about how women have affected our world.
What have you given up to go to AU that you regret the most? Was it worth it?
The biggest thing I have given up was my full-time paycheque. To me it was worth it so I can move forward from where I am stuck at to start beginning my career, even though I do not get paid as much, my life has been busier with school distracting me from the things that need money.
How do you find communications with your course tutors?
I find communication with my teachers mediocre, being able to only get responses sometimes on certain days. Communication can be difficult at times when you are working on an assignment sometimes its easier to have the answer right away instead of in a couple business days, but saying that I also understand how busy these teachers must be.
What is your biggest pet peeve, if you have one?
My biggest pet peeve is rude people. I just resent how people can have so much negativity that they feel the need to disease others with it.
Could you describe the proudest moment in your life?
The proudest moment in my life was when I graduated high school. This may not seem like a huge accomplishment to many, but so may doubted me as I went down a rough path, but I was able to prove those people wrong and it felt good.
Could you describe one thing that distinguishes you from most other people?
Something that most people do not know about me is that I have a soft and sensitive side, many people do not realize this because I portray myself to have a strong personality.
What is the most valuable lesson you have learned in life?
The most valuable lesson I have learned from life is to just keep going, no matter what life will always go on.
Have you traveled? Where has life taken you so far?
I have traveled to Mexico when I was twelve years old with my family, and I previously have been to Nova Scotia with my boyfriend.
Which was your favorite?
Nova Scotia was my favourite just because it was a special time for me and him with meeting his family and showing me around his hometown.
Do you have any travel destinations on your bucket list?
I would love to travel the whole wide world if I could. Some destinations I have always wanted to go to include Germany, France, Jamaica, Australia, and Greece.