The Voice Magazine recently had a chance to chat with Miss Patel (she/her), a 21-year old Bachelor of Management student currently residing in Edmonton, Alberta. Born in India, she “lived in Toronto for couple of years,” before moving to Edmonton four-years ago. She continued, “Honestly, I am not happy with Edmonton because it’s too dead. No one socializes. Everybody likes to stay as it is. Personally, I haven’t found one person who likes to grow in their life. People in Edmonton seem to settle for whatever they get, and I am more of a person who is an extrovert and thrives for more and hustles for it.”
Prior to her transfer to AU to juggle both work and studies, Miss Patel was enrolled at the University of Concordia. She “loves management” believing that “everything needs management otherwise eventually it’s going to fall out.” She has observed that both small and large companies “lack the basic organizational cultures and values, which disappoint me a lot.” She continued, “I hope one day I am known for my management skills.”
When asked how she best studies, Miss Patel stated, “I was a kid who always took studies for granted. Till one day I realized it’s the most important thing. Not the grades but how deep you study and understand it. What keeps me motivated is my goal and the promises I have made to myself. At the age of 21 I am completely focused on my career and not on the weekend parties and day to day hanging out with friends. Because believe it or not, it is a distraction. My personal study tips are paraphrase everything and remember the key points. Have a friend or family sit in front of you and talk your course out. That way you’ll know how thorough you are in your subject. And most important, write it down! It works always.”
And her advice for new students? “Online universities and studies can be overwhelming. You may miss out on 90 percent of stuff. But register yourself, join Facebook groups, call the student centre and ask tons of questions. Be curious. Play around on MY AU and go through every detail provided in the course. Book your exams prior. Make a schedule by what time you will finish the course. Book appointments with your course coordinator.”
When not studying, Miss Patel is interested in “spirituality – gaining knowledge of nature, karma, how to be the best version of yourself.” She continued, “I practice meditation. Since last few months I am very conscious about my body, health, eating habits. So, I hit the gym quite often as well. And since I was kid, I love fashion. So, I try to keep myself up with the latest news of fashion as well. To walk a ramp at New York Fashion Week is my near dream.”
Her experience with online learning has been both “positive and negative.” She explained, “I like how you self study in your own way, but with 300-400 level courses it’s a little disappointing how you don’t get a bit of simplified notes for the textbook. That scared me a lot. But, overall, it has been fine. The best and overall advantage is you can complete your course at your own pace.” She also thinks that communication with her tutors is “okay,” continuing, “Some are nice and some I feel cannot complete the void of in-person tutoring.”
When asked, which famous person she would like to have lunch with and why, Miss Patel did not “have any famous person in mind.” She explained, “The respective famous leads today were once a common man or woman. I would in fact love to just go on a special elite lunch with myself. Sit with myself. Feel every emotion. Be free and be present for the moment. On my lunch with myself I’d take a pen and paper with me. And make a promise to be true to myself. Make a list of my flaws with a reason that why I do I feel those are my flaws. And my positive characteristics with their reasons as well. That why I am just getting a step forward of being a better human being. And who knows my betterment can lead me into being famous just like others!”
She also let The Voice Magazine know, “My memorable vacation was the trip to Maldives. She felt that this experience was “quite life changing,” and eventually led her “to spirituality.”
As for her most valuable lesson? “There are tons. I have always learned a lesson through my struggles. And since the last 8-9 years I would say I am in a dark phase of my life. But, the lessons learnt was—be honest to yourself, do no harm to others emotionally and physically. Invest in yourself, and not others. And never be emotionally dependent on anyone. Love everyone truly and never betray.”
As a final note, Miss Patel stated that students should always take a two-day break in their study schedules, counselling “Do self care. Do whatever they love and forget about all the worries and stress of deadline or whatsoever. And honestly if there’s anyone who needs to talk they can always text me on Facebook. Some times can be rough but I am there to help by anything I can do.” Best of luck Miss Patel!
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!