Who are your fellow students? At times, in an online learning environment, it can feel like you are all alone, but across the nation and around the globe, students just like you are also pursuing their Athabasca University (AU) studies! Each week, The Voice Magazine will be bringing you some of these stories. If you would like to be featured next, do not hesitate to get in touch!
The Voice Magazine recently had a chance to chat with Jing Fei (she/her), from Fort McMurray, Alberta, the traditional Treaty 8 territory of the Cree and Dene, and home to the Métis Settlements and the Métis Nation of Alberta, Regions 1, 4, 5 and 6.
Jing Fei is currently enrolled in the Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting here at AU. Jing Fei obtained “a diploma in Finance from China,” before moving to Canada with her husband in their 20s. Although she did not have an opportunity to attend “university in Canada, which most immigrants would do,” she explained, “I was lucky enough to get work in a big oil sands company,” after obtaining her “1st payroll certificate 12 years ago.” She continued, “I was raising [a] family while working on my education. I had achieved the 2nd level of payroll certificate (CPM), and another 2-year diploma program with SAIT. I am now in B.COMM – Accounting program with AU. My future goal is to get [a] CPA, and open my own accounting firm.”
She stated, “I am a mother of two young boys, and, like all the moms,” she makes daily decisions “based on their wellbeing.” She continued, “I am bit strict on their academic activities.” She is strict on herself as well, in terms of her education, which affords students knowledge, “but also shape[s] the way we think, the perspective among other things in our lives.” She continued, “I am a lazy person, but proactively lazy. I have found that it’s hard to pursue education while raising two young kids, and on top of that, I have a full-time job … [that] require[s] my full engagement. So, I have found the way to balance them. Being proactively lazy does mean not doing things, instead, it requires planning things ahead … [and] time management.”
When she is not studying, she likes “reading, workout, and hiking,” which are “part of [her] ‘being proactively lazy’ strategy to get relaxed.” She also finds time in her busy schedule to read. She has recently completed several works of non-fiction, including Poor Economics, Educated, Atomic Habit, and Life Span, and is currently reading Social Psychology. As for fiction, she is reading Paulo Coelho’s collections, The Kind Worth Killing, Everything I Never Told You, and has “a long list of books to read in 2022.”
The Voice Magazine asked Jing Fei about who in her life has had the greatest influence on her desire to learn. She stated, “Believe or not, I don’t have someone to admire in my life. Sounds crazy, but what I really mean is that everyone comes from different families, backgrounds, and sometimes there is no common area for me to learn from them. From my very young age, I knew that I only compare with myself. Learning from other people would [mean] first comparing yourself with them, and that would make us feel unconfident. I compare myself from last week, last month, last year, last 10 years.”
Her experience with online learning has “made [her] dream come true.” She explained, “I am able to pursue education while having a job” and raising a family. As for dislikes, “it would be the lack of interaction with professors, who would provide more insight on the subjects or perspectives on all different subjects.”
As for her communication with course tutors? She has found using Student Support as the “best way to communicate with course tutors,” since this allows her to address a problem properly, and also obtain “feedback in writing for [her] future reference.”
When asked about the most valuable lesson she has learned in life, Jing Fei stated, “Be patient, resilient, and fair to others.” She believes that in our current situation, “we need to be patient.” She added, “We have to wait [for] the good moment come and it will be.” Best of luck Jing Fei!