Volume 94, Issue 54

Tuesday, December 5, 2000


The never-ending thirst for knowledge - Lifelong learning students

A positive experience

A positive experience

By Leena Kamat
Gazette Staff

While some students returning to school after a long period of working in the "real world" are anxious and fearful, Louise Buck had no such qualms when she decided to attend Western.

Buck has had only positive experiences at the university and is really excited to be here. After losing her job and not liking the options available to her, Buck decided to go back to school.

"I thought it was now or never," said the first-year social science student. She has a college diploma in earth sciences but has not worked in the field for many years. She felt attending university and getting a degree in geography would improve her chances of getting a job in her field.

Financing her schooling has been her biggest challenge so far. As a single parent to 12-year-old Sarah, Buck had to make sure she could financially support both of them while she attends Western full-time. But so far, everything is working out.

She recalls in the beginning of the year, she could see how nervous some of the younger first-year students were at attending university. But she did not experience the same fear as she has been through a lot in her life already. "As a mature student, I've already gone over some major hurdles in my life."

When classes first started, Buck sometimes felt out of place as being one of the oldest students in her classes but since has made many friends. A good friend of hers has a mother close to Buck's age. But she sees Buck as a friend, as an equal. She herself sometimes forgets she is a mature student.

Many younger students have asked Buck why she returned to school and most have shown great respect for her. This along with the positive feedback from her professors has convinced Buck that she had made the right decision to go back to school.

Other mature students have really helped her. Buck has also used other resources including many of the services offered through the Student Development Centre. The essay writing has helped her with her work. "I wrote my first essay ever this semester."

While balancing her school work and her role as a mother can be difficult, Buck has managed to succeed in all aspects of her life. "I try to do my work in school so when I'm at home, I become a mom again."

"I think it's nice my mom has returned to school, because she likes it," said Buck's daughter Sarah. Now Buck has a schedule similar to her daughter's so they can be home together more often.

"I'm really enjoying school, I don't want to quit," Buck exclaimed, adding she especially likes the Christmas holidays which she never got while working.

To Contact The Campus and Culture Department:

Copyright The Gazette 2000