Minds We Meet—Lorie Tran

Interviewing Students Like You!

Lorie Tran resides in Calgary, Alberta and is currently in Third year of the Bachelor of General Science program.  She is also a new member of AUSU’s MEC Committee position at AUSU.  About that, she said, “I hope I can contribute my support to students during this year with their student life.  I want to be their voice for anything related to education, financial situation, and other student affairs.”

An active member of Psychologists Association of Alberta and an event volunteer at many non-profit organizations in Calgary, Lorie hopes to apply for Masters of Counselling at Athabasca University by 2023.

“I knew that I wanted to be a psychologist,” she explains, “I chose only courses that meet the requirements of the provincial association.”

During her free time Lorie likes to cook different cuisines,  “When I have free time, I like to try to cook different foods.  Cooking is an art.  For me, this is a great exercise to remind me about my mental health.  I try to use my break time to cook, spend quality time eating well and avoid my phones and laptops.  When I enjoy food, it releases my stress.  Sometimes, I found it interesting to learn more about the history of new cuisine.”

Lorie’s parents had the greatest influence in her desire to learn, dream and achieve her life goals.  She mentioned affectionately, “They love me unconditionally and gave me the best life that I could ask for.  They worked so hard for my future, and they didn’t complain about their lives to me.  I wish I knew it and took responsibility for my family earlier.”

As for her friends in AU she mentioned, “I met a friend from Vernon.  She wrote a book and it’s a top book for kids on Amazon.”  You can see our recent interview with Christine Dubois for more on that.

Lorie would also like to adopt a puppy and run it to the park everyday!

As for experience with online learning, she professionally weighed the pros and cons as follows:

“Pros: I can study faster or slower, depending on my work schedule.  I can select any courses that I feel confident to check first.  I love to plan things out, which is perfect for me to work on my study plan.  There are student groups all over the world that I can connect with.  It forces me to read a lot and utilizes all of the resources available in my course.  For example, textbooks, videos, Key concepts…One thing I like is the materials of our schools; I can refer anytime I want.

“Cons: It’s not for everyone.  I think it will be hard for people who need interaction. Sometimes, I feel a lack of motivation to keep studying.  Besides, looking at a computer for long hours made my back hurt.  I need to learn how to stretch and manage my break to ensure my brain is not overloaded.  I want to mention that there is a lack of communication between school and students.

“Moreover, a guideline for each course should be more visible on the system.

“Sometimes, I feel there is no community in our school.  There are not many student clubs to join.  I hope there will be some group work in the future and people can meet and learn from each other.”

These were all points well made, if you ask me.

As far as communication with tutors is concerned, she mentioned,

“So far, I have my ENG 255 &; MATH 215 classes only.  I would say I am so lucky to have my tutors.  They are very quick at responding.  I try to interact with them to share my goals for each course.  For every assignment feedback, I reconfirm my mistakes and how I can improve.”

Lorie would like to eat Pho in her favourite restaurant Pure Kitchen in Calgary with Meg Jay; who is an author of the book The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter–And How to Make the Most of Them Now.  She recalls:

“After I read her book, I decided to become a therapist.  I would love to tell her how she changed my life and how powerful her stories are.

“When the pandemic restrictions were in effect, I lost my job and stayed home for six months and I couldn’t think about anything.  One day, I could not stand my feelings anymore.  I started to clean up my house and tried to sell everything I could to pay my bills and debts.

“I never thought it could happen in my life.  I found a book that I bought for myself—never had a chance to finish it.  The book is called The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter-And How to Make the Most of Them Now by Dr.  Meg Jay.

“Jay was an experienced as a clinical psychologist who helped people their 30s and 40s who were hampered by a “loss of vision” in their 20s.  This book is intended to give people in their 20s some guidance on how to create that vision (in a non-corny way) so that they can better prepare for their 30s and beyond, rather than playing catch-up after derping around for eight years.  I highly recommend everyone to read this.  I believe that every struggle in our life is a good lesson for us.  Learning about the history of our family can help us to define who we are and how we want our life to be.”

Lorie wished that she didn’t work so much in her twenties and that taught her the valuable lesson of just how short life is and how quickly time flies by.

“If I could go back, I would prefer to take my time to study, think and observe my own life to make significant decisions for my career.  I would love to travel more and enjoy life.  However, I need to admit that all of the experience I had led me to continue education and commit to building a great life.”

Lories proudest moments was “when I got accepted to my current program.  I’m grateful that my program opens for me so many doors to connect great people and promising opportunities.”

She also suggested, “Students should check out the counseling department of Athabasca to do some quizzes and define which programs are good for you.  For me, learning about psychology helps me to research more about childhood experiences.  From there, I was able to know about the learning style to study well.  I tried to revaluate my work experience in the past and write down the pros and cons.  Looking at those notes helped me gain a deeper insight about myself and made me a better person.

“Recently, I learned about IKIGAI, the reason why you get up in the morning.  Japanese people believe that the sum of small joys in everyday life results in more fulfilling life as a whole.  So to know what your purpose of life is, you may want to answer these questions:

What you love.

What you care about.

What the world needs

What you can get paid for.

I hope to share later when I know how to utilize this concept with you all.”

Lorie distinguishes herself from most other people through actively volunteering which brings her happiness and inner peace, “I do a lot of volunteer work.  Helping people makes me happy and grateful to share great moments with them.  Besides, I’m an active member of the Psychologists Association of Alberta.  I am also an event volunteer at Calgary Korean Women’s Association and VietSAIT mentor and other Vietnamese community groups.

“In my free time, I help new Vietnamese comers to reach out to necessary resources.  On the other hand, I used my knowledge of Business, IT, and Psychology to coach Vietnamese youth groups to choose careers and improve academic English.”

Lorie likes to read books about “mostly psychology” and recommended reading How to deal with difficult people by Gill Hasson.

She loves watching Grey’s Anatomy since “Watching the series, I learnt a lot about empathy in the workplace.”

Lorie Tran’s efforts to achieve her goals, affection for her family, devotion for the community and lifelong achievements are well worthy of praise and a source of true inspiration that is nurtured by selfless hours of volunteer work especially for new immigrants.  I thank Lorie for sharing her journey and pray for her success in all aspects of life.