Minds We Meet—Amy Wall

Interviewing Students Like You!

The Voice Magazine recently had a chance to chat with Amy Wall (she/her), a 26-year-old student currently living in Halifax, Nova Scotia, with upcoming relocations plans to St. Thomas, Ontario.  Amy stated, “I would like to begin by acknowledging that we are in Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq People.  This territory is covered by the ‘Treaties of Peace and Friendship’ which Mi’kmaq and Wolastoqiyik (Maliseet) people first signed with the British Crown in 1725.”

Amy is enrolled in her first year of the Bachelor of Arts in Psychology program.  She mentioned, “Once I finish my BA, I plan on completing my Master’s in Counselling, with the end goal of becoming a certified therapist!”  Originally from southern Ontario, she has “been living on the east coast for the past 6 years (3 in PEI and 3 in Nova Scotia!).  She will be moving back to southern Ontario in September.

Speaking of Ontario, when Amy shared her most memorable vacation memories with The Voice Magazine, she mentioned “a very recent trip back to Ontario” when her entire “family was able to get back together up at a cottage for the first time in about 3 years!”  She explained that the trip “was much needed” since her family lives in Ontario and in Florida.

The Voice Magazine asked Amy for some of her study tips, and Amy had some great ones for AU learners.  “I have always been a good solo learner – online learning has always worked for me!  With myself being the only one accountable to finish the courses on time is what motivates me for the most part.  I am also big on getting the people around me to hold me accountable, even if all it means is me communicating what I am currently working on and need to complete.  And of course, Quizlet is my saving grace for studying,” she explained.

She also had some advice for new students and prospective students, which was time management.  She stated, “As soon as you have your courses, take a detailed look at everything! Number of units, quizzes, assignments, papers, etc., and write them all down.  I did this and have a printed copy sitting at my desk, so I can always see how much I have left and how much I have accomplished – and you get to have that satisfying moment of crossing something off.”

When Amy is not busy studying, she has recently rediscovered her love of reading “after a year or two of a lull.”  She explained, “I have way too many on my to read list, yet I keep buying more.”  She mentioned that The Circle Series by Ted Dekker has had an impact on her life, explaining, “I read them when I was a teenager, and they had such a hold on me.  I reread them every two years or so.  I’m not sure why, I think it’s a good mix of a lot of different aspects in writing.  Plus, at this point it’s just nostalgic.”

She also does “a bit of portrait photography, although I’ve recently taken a little break from it to focus more on school.”  Amy also enjoys the outdoors, “whether it’s some form of outdoor activity/sport, or just sitting in the nice weather with a book.”

As for the person who has had the greatest impact on her desire to learn?  “My incredible mother.  A few years back she actually went back to school to get her Master’s degree, which was so inspiring, especially to be able to cheer her on.  She has always encouraged learning but has also never pushed me or my siblings to go any one specific route, it was always made clear we were not expected to go to school (especially right after highschool) and that it was more than okay to change your mind on your educational path (which I already did – I was previously attending UPEI for nutrition).”

Overall, Amy’s experience with online learning so far has been positive.  “I don’t have many complaints with the online learning system!  I enjoy being able to thrive on my own and make my own schedule.  It allows me to continue working more flexible hours, as well as for making time for friends.  I do however miss the environment of an in-person university, being surrounded by your peers and being able to speak in person with professors,” she admitted.

Her most memorable AU course so far has been her Introduction to Psychology course, “because I was so excited to start school on a path that I was very passionate about, and this course obviously gave a good overlook of a little bit of everything I would be diving into later.”

As for communications with her course tutors?  “I have never had an issue communicating with any of my tutors this far!  They have all been relatively nice and helpful, and quick to reply!”

When asked what her first project would be if she were the new president of AU, Amy was contemplative.  She stated, “That’s a great question that I’m not sure I have an answer for.

“I have yet to take a deep dive into the student community at AU and everything they have to offer.  I would maybe make the school merch a bit more interesting, although that’s not really the president’s doing.”

Amy also shared a famous person, past or present, she would you like to have lunch with, choosing Michael Bublé.   She explained, “I have been listening to him since I was a kid, and he introduced me to the beautiful world of older jazz and swing music.  So besides loving his music, I feel like I have a lot to thank him for!”  And the lunch?  “Lunch would probably the most expensive dish of spaghetti (because he would be paying obviously, and it’s my favourite).”

Amy shared her most valuable lesson: “It’s up to you.”  She explained, “I think it’s important to have the mindset of you are the only one responsible for making things happen in life, whether you have the biggest support system or not.”  And her proudest moment?  “I would have to pick my top two, both being my siblings’ weddings!  Not so much the idea of them being married that made me proud, but watching them participate in such a public act of declaration of their love for their spouses made me feel like a proud sister.”

As a final thought Amy stated, “I would love to make more friends/study partners within my program, even if we aren’t at the same stage! You can either message me on the AU student app, I am part of the Psychology major BA group, or shoot me an email awall1@athabasca.edu.”  Best of luck Amy!

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!