Burnout, Discouragement, Reignition and Growth | Arts and Science ONLINE

Burnout, Discouragement, Reignition & Growth

By Ayla Gladis


Hi everyone!

My name is Ayla, and I am a 28 year old Arts and Science Online student who is currently working towards completing my undergrad. I’ve been learning exclusively online as a distance student at Queen’s University since 2019. Along with the start of the pandemic came a fair amount of anxiety and uncertainty within the student population. I decided to use this period of time positively and focus on self-reflection, mindfulness, and self-discovery.

I want to start by sharing my story. I spent 7 years in college, having no real picture of where I wanted to go or who I wanted to be. After attending college, I worked for several years. During that time I developed PTSD, which provided many obstacles and challenges for me, but ultimately influenced me to press the reset button on my life and start on a new path. I had stumbled across Arts and Science Online at Queen’s and thought, “this environment and structure would fit my lifestyle needs.” I had always liked learning and academia; however, I was afraid I didn’t have the necessary grades to get into university. Turns out, I did.

Queen’s is a sort of hidden gem which provided the environment I needed to allow me to let go of that fear of the unknown which had controlled me. University and higher learning (in several forms, really) is accessible to everyone, no matter what your circumstances are, and that to me is what makes it special. I’m not well off financially and have health issues. Through my online learning journey, I have been able to obtain certain supports to help me achieve my goals and better set me up for success. I’ve found that support here with ASO.

Being a mature student in Art and Science Online, I always wondered if fellow students shared similar sentiments as me regarding where they were at in life. We tend to compare ourselves to those around us - after all, we are bombarded with a substantial number of stories through social media! In my curiosity, I have found many students who feel similarly to me. Even though I am an older distance student, I have been able to find a community and support through ASO. Online environments can be tough to navigate through and manage but, in reaching out, you will be pleased to know that there are hidden gems closer than you think (or at the very least, people like you).

Your story is your story—own it and own it proudly.