Treasure every moment, just like high school, your post-secondary journey will fly by too.
Dhillon School of Business student Sydney Shade, Míínaakii (BMgt '22) is proud to be crossing the stage to receive her degree in Accounting. Sydney's experience at the University of Lethbridge was shaped by several significant life events, as she met her partner and became a mother during her studies. As she prepares for the next stage in her journey, Sydney is reflecting on her time at ULethbridge.
What is your most memorable ULethbridge experience?
Becoming a mother in the midst of my post-secondary journey was most memorable for me. During my first summer semester of being online, I met my boyfriend Devon. Going into the Fall semester we found out we were expecting our first child. I had Cairo during final exam week of April 2021 (very thankful for the professors accommodating my final exams!). Then I went through my final year of school taking on 4-5 classes a semester, all while being a full-time new mom. This was my most memorable experience because I do not think I will ever forget meeting my professors over Zoom with a baby in my arms or writing notes with one hand and feeding Cairo with the other. While it did have its challenges, the rewards are so endearing.
What is the most important lesson you learned during your time at ULethbridge?
The most important lesson I learned during my time at ULethbridge was learning how to properly manage my time. It started with learning how to balance all my classes, then adding in my work schedule, and then once I had my baby it was also finding time for my family and time for myself. Once you learn how balance your school, work, and personal life... things will start to flow a lot smoother and you will be able to enjoy every aspect of your life a lot more.
Is there someone specific who had an important influence on your ULethbridge experience?
I was honoured to take a class from my uncle, Dr. Leroy Little Bear and although it was cut short (due to COVID-19 happening mid semester), the stories and humour he brought to that class stayed with me. I also remember when we got switched to online mid semester, he called to check up on me to ensure I was doing okay with my studies.
Did you receive scholarships and awards? If so, please tell us a bit about how they helped you throughout your studies.
I received a few scholarships from the University, as well as some from other places. Some of the ways they have helped me was with being able to purchase my first vehicle in 2018, and a few years later they helped me financially with preparing to have my first baby. Now with some scholarships still saved up, I am able to travel after graduation with my little family and create new memories for Cairo to experience.
What are your hopes/plans for the future?
My plans for the future are to eventually obtain my CPA (Chartered Professional Accountant) designation and relocate with my family to start my future endeavours from there. Also, to take it easy and have a chance to enjoy my family and travel more.
What advice would you give to those about to begin their journey at ULethbridge?
Treasure every moment, just like high school, your post-secondary journey will fly by too. Do not feel the need to rush and finish your degree within four years, I found it easier taking four classes rather than five classes a semester, and it is a lot easier to manage a smaller course load if you are also working part-time outside of your studies.
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