Have you learned anything about yourself or the world this semester?
This semester has been different, to say the least. My first-time schooling online has forced me to adapt and be resilient as I take my first steps to getting my degree. I am the type of student who prefers the traditional in-class version of teaching, so I needed to change how I learn. During the process, I was able to adapt to an entirely new atmosphere of education and thrive.
One important thing I have learned about the world this semester is that it can be a tough place, but that is okay. As I entered university, it came to light that I am now an adult. Whatever the world may throw at me, it is my responsibility to see my way through it. You don’t always have to face it alone. I have friends and family I can ask for recommendations and help to face the world’s problems.
What were some of the greatest challenges/roadblocks you faced this semester and how did you overcome them?
On top of learning online, I faced some challenges with my financial accounting course. Accounting was a subject that challenged me. I needed to understand the processes and calculations. I prevailed, and I did so by setting aside lots of time to work on homework and assignments. I would often use double the time to study accounting compared to some of the other courses.
Another roadblock I faced was the social aspect of isolated learning. I found it difficult to get to know people and form relationships with them since we are not meeting face-to-face. It took a while to find a group of people to get to know better. Still, as the semester was coming to a close, my classmates became a tighter knit group as we worked on assignments together. I’m hoping that when we return to campus, it will be much easier to meet and get to know people.
Were there any self-revelations you experienced this semester?
It became apparent that I am completely responsible for the outcome of my schooling. University is a step up compared to secondary school. Still, it is manageable. You can excel in your field of study as long as you put in the effort.
Due dates and deadlines are set in stone more than in high school. It is your responsibility to ensure that the assignments are completed and submitted on time. Otherwise, your instructors will not mark it.
Another important aspect that I realized is that a good university mark is different from a good mark in secondary school. Work becomes more demanding in post-secondary, and averages can begin to drop. It is important not to be distraught if that happens to you. As long as you dedicate the time and effort to your studies, you will pass your classes.
What have you been grateful for during these times?
I have been extremely grateful for my friends and family. This semester has been challenging for all students, and I am fortunate to support the people around me. The beginning of the semester was difficult, and I began to second guess whether I could succeed in this program. It was my father and mother who encouraged me to pursue my education and face the upcoming year. I am glad they did this, as I could get through all of my courses successfully with strong marks.
Midway through September, I ran into technical issues as my router was blocking the accounting lectures that ran through WebEx. My grandparents were open to me driving over to their house to use their internet in the mornings so I wouldn’t miss any classes that semester.
Is there any hobby that has helped you through this semester?
My weightlifting routine definitely helped me through this semester. I’ve got the necessary equipment at my house to have a home gym, allowing me to workout whenever I want since gyms are closed. If the weather is nice, I may attend the local calisthenics gym. As the days got colder, I’d usually stay at home to exercise. I found that my routine helped relieve much stress, as I could disconnect from my school work for an hour and concentrate on something else. It also is a productive way to spend your free time and energy.
During the stressful times of midterms and finals, I often would go on hikes to clear my mind. It was very therapeutic as I enjoyed the views from the escarpment and the quietness of the Bruce Trail. If I finished my schoolwork early, I would go to local parks to practice some sports accompanied by a friend or my brother.