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A Freshman at University of the People

I also experienced depression, just like many people. One of the causes probably is moving to Canada from the Philippines. It took me sometime to learn that I am just getting used to this big change in my life. Don't you get me wrong, I consider that moving to Canada in just one of the many blessings from God. This opportunity happens not to everyone.

I rather felt sadness because I wanted to have more purpose with my education. I graduated back in the Philippines with an Associate Degree in Information Technology from AMA Computer Learning Center. It was an exciting program because I learned so much about technology and what impact it can cause to the future. After the 2-year program, I decided to pursue my studies to the Bachelor's Degree in Information Technology, but just before I finished that, we moved to Canada.

I wanted to pursue my studies in Canada but the circumstances defeated that goal. One, I had to improve my English so that I can get into a University. I can not even understand university catalogs online. For another reason, universities are very expensive in Canada. Even if I get into a university, I can not fully focus on studies because I need to work or take a loan. I do not know how would that work out with going to school and working a job that would accommodate this. It took me some time to find a settlement to pursue my education.

After 9 years, I found a university that I liked. I realize that it does not need to be a Canadian university. Also, being in school does not need to be very expensive. There is a university where there is no tuition-fee. From the University of California, University of Edinburgh, New York University and many more, the professors and staff volunteer their time to provide global, high quality and affordable education. This university is called the University of the People - "The world’s first non-profit, tuition-free, accredited, online, American university".

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Because it is online, I have so much flexibility with my time. This summer, I can manage to have 2 part-time jobs, stay consistent going to the gym 4-5 times a week and maintain very satisfactory grades. But do not get fooled of online school. While online education has these perks, it has its extra challenge. Because you are remote, you have to be your teacher. You have to be dedicated to studying the course materials. Also, you have to maintain a healthy lifestyle so you can find a balance with your schedule.

Luckily, in the mandatory introduction class called "UNIV1001 - Online Education Strategies", strategies are taught on how you can manage your time and learn different learning methods. For me, I come up with a checklist, journal and calendar to keep with my schedule. I also find that online videos are more effective for me than reading. So when we have a new topic, I find that Youtube videos are useful.

So far, it has only been my first year in my third term as a Business Administration student; however, the impact of studying has been significant for me already. It opened up a new life perspective and helped me with my personal goals. I have managed my finances better than all the years I have been trying to save money. I also obtained better time organizational skills. One day, I also wanted to teach people these skills so that there will be fewer people anxious about their finances. I wanna share the knowledge to people that after all, money does not provide true happiness and help them refocus their true values in lives. Maybe I can help many people feel less depressed.

As a freshman at the University of the People, I already am proud of the lessons and experiences I have learned so far. I am grateful for all the classmates and professors that I have interacted with because I learned a lot from them. If you are one of them reading this, thank you!

So far, I am just a freshman, but what if I keep pursuing this to graduation? Or maybe pursue this to a Master's Degree? Or many become a professor?

The sky is the limit.


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