Most of us can think back to a favourite memory, often from childhood, that brings us great joy. We remember this as a fond but distant memory. Often, we look refer to it as the “good ole days”.
As I have gotten older and fun activities have had to be put on hold often due to money and other commitments, you find yourself trying to figure out when it all changed. My favourite memories are of camping in the summer, especially as a child at Spring Lake just outside Hythe and LaGlace. It was a “simpler” time in my thought as a kid. Another favourite summer memory is when I was 14 and I lived the summer here in Grande Prairie with my grandmother, I had since moved to Kamloops with my family, but Grande Prairie has always been home to me. That summer I volunteered, made friends that I still have today and simply just had a relaxing enjoyable summer that I could just take it all in. The trip up to Grande Prairie was with one of my mom’s childhood best friends and we took the road from Kamloops to Dawson through the Pine Pass; it was the first time I had ever been that way and I have only been that way one other time since then. My next favourite summer memory was that of the last camping trip I took to Spring Lake. I spent the time with my children and took memorable pictures of my favourite childhood camping place.
That was the last time I went to Spring Lake. That year the ownership had changed and there were to be a lot of changes and I could not bear that it would not be the same for my children. I wanted to remember it the way it was in a “simpler” time. A time where kids ran and parents did not worry as much. Catching the abundant of frogs that no longer infest those waters. Campfire cooked meals, smores, or just burnt marshmallows. Those were the days…
As we become adults, we realize these were not necessarily “simpler” times. They are not free. Parents have to work to make these vacations happen and it becomes a lot of work to balance paying bills and vacations. Even a “simple” camping trip seems to run a few hundred dollars after paying for wood, and the campsite. Not to mention if you did not have the gear or a camper. As I think about this I realize my kids have similar memories of “simpler” times in their minds, but now as an adult, I realize they are not necessarily simpler, but it is these cherished memories we carry with us and I realize that is all that matters. It’s not about trying to keep that feeling you had during those favourite summers but rather creating new ones and enjoying them for what they are and not looking back to recreate it. My goal for the next couple of years is to find the “simple” moments and enjoy them for what they are.
Let go of the past and recall the memories for what they are; fond, happy, joyful, simple…
What is your favourite summer memory?
Submitted by Student Ambassador, Heather Crichton.
As second semester starts everyone comes back to school full of motivation and with New Year’s resolutions.
This is a great way to set yourself up for success in the second half of the school year, however if you are like most people that motivation and those resolutions will most likely be lost by the end of January which can leave you frustrated and stressed out as the work load of the semester catches up with you.
Here are some important things to remember:
Set realistic goals. Take juggling for example, you can’t just pick up three juggling balls and expect to be able to juggle them on your first try, it takes time and practice. If you set a New Year’s resolution to start running, remember to start small; maybe by walking and build your way up to running. It is not realistic for most people to go from nothing to being able to run a 5km in a single day.
Plan out your days to better manage your time. You want to start exercising but feel like you don’t have the time? Start by planning out your weeks, make a weekly list of the assignments, projects and exams you have that week, any days you might work and any other commitments you could have. Once you have this done it can help you to more clearly see where you would have time to fit a work out in.
Need better time management skills? Get yourself a planner and have a friend help you decide how long it will take to finish all those assignments you have to do. Schedule time in the planner and stick to it.
Want to save more money this year? Start by packing yourself a lunch and if you need a coffee bring it from home. Even making changes as small as these will save you a surprising amount. If you used to buy a coffee and lunch every day for an average of about $10-$15 a day, five days a week for the eight months we are in school and you start bringing these things from home it will save you between $1,600 and $2,400. This money could go towards student loans or help you pay off debt but it is also enough to go on a small trip somewhere and have some fun.
Remember to set goals that make you happy and don’t forget to schedule some time to relax and unwind.
The dog in the picture below is Cosmo, he is the happiest dog you will ever meet because he always takes the time he needs to relax and calm down after an exciting or stressful event. 😉
Being able to say I finally love my life feels amazing.
I will be 30 years old in April and in the past have felt like I haven’t accomplished much in my life besides party and take life for-granted. Since September 2017, when I made the decision to come back to school, I realized that was the first step I needed to take to feel great about myself again. I feel like I am actually doing something with my life now and have found myself, even though I still have my bad days – I always try to think positive and do the best that I can.
I came back to school aiming to get my upgrading done so I could take the Office Administration Program and so far I have succeed; and I’m excited to say that in April 2020 I will be done my program.
It has been a real struggle for me since I was out of school for so long before deciding to come back and also did the majority of my upgrading while I was pregnant with my son; who was born in July 2018.
GPRC made me a different but better person; someone who is more positive and keeps trying no matter how hard it is. I know for a fact I would not have come this far if it was not for my amazing instructors who stood by me and helped me as much as they could. I am so grateful that I got a chance to meet all the amazing people that work at the college to help all the students make their careers possible.
Becoming a Student Ambassador has also improved my outlook on life and my GPRC experience. I love that it has made me grow as a person and keeps giving me so many new experiences. I love giving my time to volunteer and help others, not only is it a great feeling but it is also so much fun.
With all this being said, when I turn 30 in April, I will feel like I have accomplished so many things in such a short period of time. Walking through the college doors back in 2017 made my life change for the better and I could not be happier. Being a student at GPRC helped me in so many ways and I feel like I have now done something with my life. I have so many plans for my future and now with me achieving my goals and having it just about completed, I feel so good about the life I can give myself as well as my children.
I was so afraid to turn 30 and have nothing to look forward to but now I can say that turning 30 will be the best year of my life and I would not change it for anything…because I love my life!
Submitted by GPRC Student Ambassador, Briana Sidoruk.
High school hardly prepares you for life after you graduate. Throughout my time in high school I had been comfortable with the amount of work and studying that needed to be done; however, I had been led into a false sense of security. After having graduated in June, I decided to go straight into post-secondary studies and enrolled in my Bachelors of Science. Science was always my passion in high school and I did not expect that to change coming into post-secondary. While I knew the material would be more difficult, I was not overly concerned about it. My thought process of “it was easy in high school, it won’t be that much harder” was quickly turned around.
After the first few weeks went by I quickly realized that the relaxed atmosphere of high school was long gone. I was in a whole new world. All of the sudden, I had different assignments due every day and it felt like my life had been taken over by homework and studying. I would get home from school and do homework until I went to bed taking a break only to eat supper. I would then get up in the morning, have a shower before coming to school and after getting home it would be the same as the day before. Having this be my daily routine it didn’t take long for me to become overwhelmed by the amount of work I needed to have done and I knew I needed to come up with a new plan.
Now that we are two months into school, I have come up with a better plan to tackle the amount of work that comes with a degree in the sciences. I have adjusted to post-secondary studies and although I still have lots of work to do and I still feel overwhelmed at times I am able to spend more time focusing on myself. I no longer sit at a desk alone all night working on homework because with adjustment comes balance. I am able to spend time with my family or just relaxing and although it is not as much as what I was able to do in high school, this experience has made me grateful for every moment of it.
For those that are still feeling overwhelmed by the unexpected amount of work that comes with post-secondary degrees, the balance and adjustment will come soon. Maybe you need to make yourself a schedule of when all of your assignments are due to help you manage your time better or maybe you need to take two or three days a week and just do all of your work for the week. Eventually you will find a pattern that works for you but do not be afraid to ask for help.
Do you ever look at yourself in the mirror and feel like you do not know how to get through the day? I do, and I do it on a regular basis.
I am constantly juggling my three-month-old son and two daughters, ages 7 and 9, as well as school and my job as a server on the weekends. My life is constantly go, go, go.
When I first found out I was pregnant, I was in my first year back to school after 12 years and decided to complete my upgrading. I was living 45 minutes outside of town. It was not easy then and it has not got much easier. I had my son in July and he was born by a caesarean section; I was back working six weeks later and then not long after that my fourth semester at GPRC started. I was not used to the fact that I had a new baby and my daughters plus working and school. I almost had a nervous breakdown because I was always so busy and had no time for myself. So I took a step back and looked at my life and started to make a plan, so I still could have time for my children, for school and homework and also work weekends.
It took a while, but I did it and now I make time for myself at least once every two days, which I am working on making it every day. It does not have to be long even taking 30 minutes for yourself makes a huge difference. Some of the things I do is go tanning, go see a movie, go have a girls night or just simply lay in bed with no interruptions and put on Netflix.
I know there are many single moms and just moms in general out there that always try to do more for everyone else and nothing for them. My advice to you…make time for yourself and do not run yourself short. You can have as many goals as you want but give a reasonable timeline and make time for you! When I first started making time for myself, I felt guilty and it took a bit for that feeling to go away but then I remembered that if I didn’t take the time and just relax, I would not be able to be the best mom I can be and I will not be able to achieve my goals. I feel so much better about life and still am super busy all the time, but with giving me some “me” time I feel like I can get through the days easier and my mood has improved so much. I seem to have way more motivation then I did before and let me tell you, it feels amazing! I love my son and two daughters more than life its self and would not change anything in my life right now but there are those moments where I need to focus on me and it is not that I am a bad mother, it is because I care about my future and my children and I want to give them the best possible life I can. Now I sit back and look at my life with a huge smile on my face and I could not be any happier with what I have achieved with my children by my side.
It is not easy but it is possible to have goals, have a new baby with two daughter, and work; being a single mom is hard but comes with great achievements as well as the best feeling in the world.