Aida Bahhur: Learner realizes post-secondary dream after 16-year gap
Transforming Lives: Learners at AU is a testimonial series written by AU learners and alumni who want to share how AU helped shape their lives.
It’s a space for the people who have provided support and encouragement throughout their journey. It’s also a forum for sharing how AU is helping them achieve their educational goals and realize their future 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.
When I was a teenager, I lived in a war-torn, underdeveloped part of the world, which made it difficult to safely attend school on a regular basis.
Between the ongoing violence and school closures, I would miss weeks of school at a time, so after my first year of university, I made the difficult decision to leave school until I could commit myself more fully. In the following years, I relocated, married, immigrated to Canada, became a parent, and took on a range of employment and volunteer opportunities.
My desire to return to university never faded, but at points it seemed more like a dream than a goal. I was not sure when I would be able to return to university. After all, I have many commitments to my family and within the community, and I was not sure I would be able to focus on higher education.
“Between the ongoing violence and school closures, I would miss weeks of school at a time, so after my first year of university, I made the difficult decision to leave school until I could commit myself more fully.”– Aida Bahhur
Finally, 16 years after withdrawing from university, I applied to Athabasca University (AU) in the middle of a global pandemic. While I was uncertain what the future would hold, I felt ready to pursue my academic and professional dreams because I realized nothing in life is guaranteed. AU has offered me flexibility I did not realize was possible: in terms of workload, scheduling, and payment options.
Another reason why I delayed returning to university for so long is because I could not decide what I wanted to study. Indeed, my academic and professional interests have evolved greatly over the years through my employment and volunteer experiences, and through my social interactions.
When I came across the Bachelor of Human Resources and Labour Relations program at AU, I realized immediately that this was a perfect fit for me because this multi-disciplinary degree considers employment relations within economic, legal, political, and social contexts.
“I believe this degree will allow me to contribute towards society by harnessing my communication strengths, my passion for social justice and equality, as well as my desire to help others achieve their full potential.”– Aida Bahhur
I believe this degree will allow me to contribute to society by harnessing my communication strengths, my passion for social justice and equality, and my desire to help others achieve their full potential. I look forward to a career wherein I can take on diverse roles and responsibilities and possibly start my own company.
Thanks to AU, I am confident that I will be able to achieve whatever I set my mind to—this is a confidence I have never really known before. In fact, given the extent to which AU has accommodated my life circumstances, I am already looking into potential graduate programs!
I am forever grateful for the changes this university has brought to my life.