The Voice Magazine recently had a chance to chat with Jennifer Betke (she/her), a 4-year Bachelor of Arts in Psychology student from Saskatchewan. In particular, this busy student lives with her “husband and 3 kids in a hamlet near the Manitoba/Saskatchewan border” and plans “to get a Master’s degree in Counselling Psychology.” Over time, Jennifer would like “to become a therapist/counsellor … and has “considered working for the health region, opening a private practice and/or working in the school system.”
Jennifer had some great study tips for fellow students. “I study best in pure silence, or in a coffee shop with my headphones blasting music. My motivation is my desire to help people and my love of psychology—it is so interesting to me. I still handwrite all my notes and refer them to study for exams.”
She also had some advice for new students and/or prospective students. “I wish I had known how helpful the write site and the library are as a new student, and how to use the search engines on the library site. It would have made my life much easier. Reach out they will help you however they can,” she stated.
When she is not studying, Jennifer spends time taking her children to various activities and also enjoys “CrossFit, reading, hiking, camping and working on self-improvement.”
She credits two individuals in her life for having the greatest influence on her desire to learn, including her best friend who “suggested [she] do something for [herself].” She also had “a counsellor who had a profound impact on [her] life;” as a result, Jennifer “wanted to pay it forward.”
Like many students, Jennifer described online learning as “the only option.” She explained, “We are very rural, and I cannot leave my family to go to the city to participate in in class learning. This gives me an amazing opportunity to get an education and still be here for my family.”
Her most memorable AU course so far was MATH 215: Introduction to Statistics, which Jennifer called “awful,” but, thankfully, she “still passed it.” As for communication with her course tutors? Jennifer has “had really great tutors that reply promptly and thoroughly.”
The Voice Magazine asked Jennifer what her first project would be if she were the new president of AU, and she commented that she would update courses. “I find most of the information in the courses quite outdated,” she explained.
We also asked Jennifer which famous person, past or present, she would like to have lunch with, and why, and she chose author Gabor Maté. “I think he is so insightful, humble, knowledgeable, and kind. I would love to hear his stories and learn so many things from him,” she stated. As for the lunch? “We would have pizza.” She also mentioned enjoying Maté’s books, along with those by Brené Brown, Dr. Nicole Lepara, and Bessel Van der Kolk.
She let us know about her most valuable lesson learned in life, which is “to love yourself, and never quit growing. The invisible ceiling is lifted when you love yourself and anything becomes possible.” And her proudest moment? “The proudest moment of my life would have to be the moments my three children were born.”
As a final note, Jennifer mentioned, “It is amazing to have the opportunity to get an education as a mom of 3 living in rural Saskatchewan at the age of 35.” Best of luck Jennifer!
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!