The Hub Natalie Meecham: my AU story

Transforming Lives: Learners at AU is a testimonial series written by AU students and alumni who want to acknowledge how AU has helped shape their lives.

It’s a space for those who want to thank the people who have helped to support and transform their lives through Athabasca University; all while looking forward to their future educational and personal potential.

Their stories are worth shouting from the rooftops! Have an inspiring story of your own to share? Email us! We’d love to hear it.

After seeing people walking around my previous college with Athabasca University (AU) sweaters, and finding out that certain staff at the college had also received their degree from AU, I knew it was something I had to check out as it kept catching my eye. It was more than what I was expecting to find.

Not only did I find my dream major and minor combination, I found a university that didn’t punish you for not excelling in the past. Having had family and financial issues in high school, my grades reflected the trouble I was having. When I left home, I could only get accepted into colleges even though I had university determination and commitment. Not only did other universities want certain grade averages, but none of their majors seemed right for me to pursue. It took me eight years to find the right program for me, and AU was the one that had it.

I’m currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree, majoring in human science, and minoring in psychology. This entails all of my interests into one. I love these areas in science so much, that even on my downtime studying feels more like reading for my own enjoyment. This university is friendly and forgiving, but also professional and masters of their field. They are also very accommodating and reasonable, making it a perfect combination for parents like myself that want to further their education to pursue a career while juggling the role of being a full-time parent.

“I first started taking courses with AU with a three-year-old toddler, and now I have a four-year-old and a four-month-old. I am able to schedule readings and assignments, even tests, at my own time and my own pace, with freedom to move dates as my family still needs to come first.”

I’ve learned more about myself in one year of being an AU student than I have in seven years exploring various diploma programs at my local college.

I remember my mother being a very hard worker growing up, and it has motivated me to continue pursuing education to get a career. Even on the hard days, I manage to stay motivated to be a good role model for my kids, but also to obtain my ideal degree and dream job in the future. AU also has an interactive Instagram page that really encourages motivational flow and interaction. Athabasca University Students’ Union also have a smart phone app that has been a huge help with reaching out to other students for help with course expectations and general questions. AU’s professors are extremely knowledgable and also very helpful, in regards to expansion on material content to needing extensions. If I am being honest, I wasn’t expecting such professionalism and individual assistance in an online university. 

I am looking forward to finishing my bachelor’s degree, potentially exploring master’s degrees afterwards, and seeing what doors are going to open up to me, thanks to AU.

Natalie is a determined 27-year-old currently pursuing a bachelor of science degree at AU with two children under five at home. When she is not studying, she is busy with her little ones, or reading science related articles while training for a research position. Once in a blue moon she likes to travel to the mountains, or just paint them. She plans to incorporate her previous four-and-a-half years of schooling in the health sciences into her degree and future career. 

  • July 2, 2021
Guest Blog from:
Natalie Meecham