The Voice Magazine recently had a chance to chat with Kim Leppington (she/her), a Bachelor of Health Administration student currently residing in Edmonton, Alberta. Post degree, Kim hopes to work with “Alberta Health Services, with a long-term goal of working in the new hospital being built in the heritage valley area of Edmonton.”
On a personal note, Kim “grew up in Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge, BC (Ridge Meadows).” She continued, “I worked in a quick service restaurant for 10 years and left with invaluable management knowledge. My last restaurant was Fort McMurray AB. After that I moved to Edmonton and decided to go back to school. Along my Alberta travels I have since gained a husband and we created two beautiful children. Who am I? I don’t really know. My oldest keeps asking me what I want to be when I grow up and I haven’t really figured that out yet, apart from this degree!”
She had some unique study tips for fellow students, especially those of us who sometimes struggle with motivation. “I am two years into my degree and can honestly say I don’t have valuable study tips! Each course is different and comes with its own challenges or lack thereof. I find I am super motivated at the start of each new semester with fresh courses and material to learn and I go hard for a month straight. Then my interest usually fades, and I get a little lazy for 1-2 months then I realize I have a month left and go hard again to complete the remaining work! I do not recommend this! I also don’t recommend doing one course at a time during a semester as the material becomes bland and monotonous. Instead, I work on one course and when I hit the inevitable wall, I start doing the next course, etc. This keeps it fresh and exciting. Think of it like doing a puzzle: you could stare at it for hours and not find one single piece that you need, but if you step away from it for a day or even a few hours and then come back to it, all the sudden the right pieces are staring right at you!”
She also shared some great advice for new students and/or prospective students. “It’s never too late to go back to school. Also, four months is a long time, but it also goes by very quick so use your time wisely but don’t panic!”
When Kim is not studying, she spends time with her children, “an almost 6-year-old and an almost 4-month-old,” who keep her “hands … pretty full!”
She also enjoys travelling, sharing a recent memorable vacation with The Voice Magazine. “I have visited Cuba, Mexico, Jamaica, and Hawaii. I would say Cuba was most memorable as I suffered from a kidney infection (in my last remaining kidney) and truly thought I was going to die there. It was the last day and night there and I could not wait to get home.”
As for her experience with online learning so far? “I love the flexibility of being able to complete school whenever I can (nighttime, cram it all into a month, or here and there). Online school is a necessity with small children, I would not be completing this degree if this was not an option. The only dislike I could say is there is sometimes a long delay for communication with faculty.”
And Kim’s most memorable AU course so far? “It’s strange, students are always asking for course recommendations, or personal experience with a course and I know I have taken said course, but I can never strum up useful details! However, I really enjoyed HADM 326[:Health and Healing]. It provided me with valuable knowledge regarding health, food, wellness, and Indigenous history. I have actually shared my papers and a PDF by Raymond Obomsawin Ph.D. with my mother and sister because I found the information very interesting. As well, PHIL 252[: Critical Thinking] was challenging, enjoyable, logical, clear, and refreshing.”
She also let us know a bit about her communication with her course tutors. “It is usually easy to communicate with them, though there is the odd time where they don’t respond in a timely manner,” she explained.
When asked about her most valuable lesson learned in life, Kim had an interesting answer. “I don’t think I have a most valuable lesson. I think I could write a novelette on why those carefree younger times are not worth it, to smarten up sooner, and seek out advice from elders. This is not to say that all should go to school, get a 9-5, then retire. No, but unfortunately, we are in a society which demands some of that from us, but you must incorporate the beauty life has to offer.”
And her proudest moment? That would be her “two children.” Best of luck Kim!
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!