Health Care Technology, News

Life Getting in the Way

Program: Cardiology Technologist

This was one of the hardest, most disrupted summers I ever had in my whole life. Starting from the least disruptive to the worst I want to share my experiences of how life in the way of your studies.
With hot summer days, activities such as camping, swimming, bonfires and more come along. While enrolled in this program you can still enjoy summer activities but some sacrifices have to be made in order to keep up with the school work. Friends and family sometimes don’t understand why you may have to miss an event or two because they don’t understand the amount of work that is required to be completed. When you’re in an online program, you don’t have to leave your home to attend classes which is great but is often misunderstood about the amount of time it will take you to complete. The pressure to attend events and spend time with friends is a constant distraction in my school work.

The next nuisance that distracts me from my school work is construction that is taking place at my condominium building. It started in June and is still ongoing, I wake up every single morning at 6:30am to construction workers hammering, drilling, scraping, and scratching at the exterior of my building. I understand that it needs to be done but it is very loud and often results in me waking up not well rested and cranky. To avoid the loud noises when I am trying to listen to my lectures I often go to my university library and get a lot of work done there. This is an easy solution however I don’t enjoy that I have to do this daily and that I have developed a lot of negative energy towards my condo; Because of this (and other reasons), I decided that I needed to move which is taking place this upcoming weekend. The moving process is an added stress to my day as it comes with cancelling services, scheduling movers, packing, unpacking, and cleaning which I have to fit into my school schedule. It is very easy to get behind in schoolwork and is extremely stressful when you do which is why completing my schoolwork is my number 1 priority.

Now for the tough stuff… Late August of this year I found out my dad had cancer in his kidney. This would be horrible news for anyone but was especially hard because my dad is only 50 and his dad, my grandpa, also developed kidney cancer at 50. My Grandpa’s cancer was a lot worse as he developed cancer in both kidneys, had them removed and lived for a few months with ¼ of a kidney and ultimately ended up on dialysis until he passed away. Luckily, out of all the renal cell carcinomas my dad developed one that typically didn’t metastasize, was only in one kidney, and could be removed in a few weeks without the need for chemotherapy. The first week after hearing the news I was a wreck and couldn’t get any schoolwork done. With the cardiovascular system you have to study other body systems such as the renal system as it filters our blood and is important for filtering medications, but it was a constant reminder of his cancer. I live 4 ½ hours away from him so I travelled down to see him. He has always been the rock in our family and as always he talked to me and made me feel better. I was able to get back on track with my schoolwork and kept my marks in the 90’s through all of this. As of now, he has had his kidney removed and is home recovering for the next few months.

You never really know what life will throw at you but you can’t forget about what is important to you. I found through all of these distractions making time for yourself was very helpful. Schedule the time to go for a walk, watch a TV show or movie, meditate, go to the gym, or a coffee with a friend really keeps you focused and on track when you return to your schoolwork. I also utilized Stenberg’s Student Services Counselling by contacting Lisa Brown. She was very helpful to talk to one on one and is a great student support blogger which I recommend anyone to read. Now that the worst seems to be over I have lots to look forward to such as my first IOE day and will be sharing with you shortly.


Check out a video of our cardio tech students in action.

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