Leaving Home

By: John Miguel Oliveros

 

It’s never easy saying goodbye to the place you called home. While the Philippines is fantastic (the food especially is to die for), home is not the place you grew up in, but the people you care for that make a place home. The realization you’ve left those people behind can hit the hardest months down the line as it did for me. I was staring out the window of the library as I studied for an exam. My mind was overloaded as information swirled over the screen. Outside, I saw a deer grazing amidst the pack of parked cars. I found it hilariously random and got the urge to tell my friends about it. Then it hit me, the time difference meant they won’t see it until hours later. I won’t be able to meet up with them at the bar and just tell them about my random life events. That moment of being alone at the library just brought me back to how I felt right before I left.

The last 24 hours before my flight was a peculiar mix of feelings. Elation, fear, and anxiety melded together and formed an emotional hodgepodge soup simmering in my thoughts. Had I packed everything I needed? Maybe I forgot something important? What if something goes wrong? It was a struggle to keep those panicked thoughts at bay. I somehow managed to keep calm and distracted myself with whatever I could, like the fantastic idea of beating a 120-hour game before a flight (that is a true story). Regardless of the distraction though, I felt nervous and uneasy. I had everything prepared, I even spent the last month giving my goodbyes to family and friends.

It started with my college friends. We spent a whole evening at my house. We celebrated their birthday (All three of them had their birthday in the same week) and my departure for Canada. For an evening, we seemingly turned back the clock to our college days as we ate, drank, and swapped stories until dawn. Each person gave one last heartfelt goodbye as they left. Hugs were freely passed around. It stung knowing we weren’t within traveling distance of each other when one of us needed a night out to relax or rant about our lives. Life choices can suck in that regard.

Next were my high school friends. They visited me the week of my departure. We went to this overlooking eatery that was just a 15-minute car trip from my house. We all joked around like our high school selves would. They told me how they found out about that place through their friends who enjoyed biking up mountains. We stayed up there for as long as we could, just sitting in a Bahay-Kubo (an open-air cabin) that overlooked the city while we ate cheap ramen bowls sold by the eatery. It was interesting finding a place so captivating right before leaving. It made me wish at the time we headed up there more often.

The next round of goodbyes was my family. The day before I had to leave, we had a small party at our house. My aunt loved food. She’d always tell us about great restaurants around the city. On weekends we’d always have ourselves a feast trying out different cuisines (nothing beats Japanese cuisine and ramen nights though). On the day I left, she ordered from this restaurant and brought it to the house. I mostly remember how fantastic the truffle mushroom rice was. I stuffed myself silly, basking in the final moments I would be living at my old house. The chipped white walls (that may or may not have been my fault), individual wooden floor tiles (that I’d always kick out of place), my grandma’s collection of ceramics stored behind glass doors (that I’ve been enamored to play with for the longest time), and this giant fabric artwork of the last supper we’ve had since I was a child hanging by the glass dining table (that I would always mindlessly stare at, it was huge).

Across the table sat my grandma. She wasn’t the emotional type of person, but she was a caring grandma who we loved being around and can cook up some fantastic food. On that day, she was complaining about who will help her out now with her when her TV or phone would malfunction. She also asked who’ll order her iced coffee in the afternoons (I never paid for the coffee, but I loved taking credit by always handing her coffee). It was her way of saying she’ll miss me. I do miss her as well. On certain days, I find myself craving her cooking, like her recipe for Dinuguan or Nilaga. I reminisce about our little routines, hiding behind the door to scare her after a smoke or waking up to a glass of taho in the fridge that she bought for me in the morning. Writing about it now does bring me back to a melancholic place. Some days, I vividly picture myself waking up at that house, walking down the stairs to have my grandma greet me for lunch or my mom bugging me with affection or ordering some iced coffee for us. The mental image I have of that childhood home will always house those dear memories to me.

As I approach the last 12 hours, one of my friends managed to bike up to my house (which was at the top of a steep hill, so props to you, Jerald) to say farewell in person. Jerald has been one of my closest friends since kindergarten. It felt appropriate he was the last one to send me off. Aside from that, I managed to get one last stowaway from my first college friend, JC. We both had an affinity for Starbucks as our comfort coffee place during college, which made it hilariously befitting her parting gift to me was this Starbucks stuffed turtle bear I’d affectionately named Burtois (because he’s a tortoise-dressed bear barista, get it? it’s a bad joke). Burtois was my travel partner for this big journey in my life and he’s been a beary good companion ever since. He stands for all my bad jokes and that’s where it matters (and no, that’s not because he can’t speak). As we arrived at the airport drop-off, my nerves and excitement shot up. I was so close to getting on the plane and experiencing new things across the globe. But no matter how ready I was, saying goodbye to my mom was probably the hardest part of it.

My mom and I have been inseparable since I was a kid, my first ever memory was my mom waking me up for kindergarten. My passion for video games started when my mom introduced me to Final Fantasy VIII as a kid and that game is still our favorite game. On weekends, my mom and I would usually head out either to meet my aunt and go shopping or eat. During the worst moments in my life, I knew I could always be open to my mom, and she would never judge me. She was always just a caring ball of energy whom everyone loves being around. She’s been the biggest reason I took the leap; She always taught me growing up to chase after my dreams. When I felt lost about which college course to take after high school, she told me to trust myself. To pick the path that would make me most happy. While that path didn’t pan out, she never held it over me. Instead, she told me it was ok to start again. Pick where I’ll be happy and able to chase my dreams, which ended up being here. It might’ve just been a couple of minutes to say goodbye, with no speeches or tearful goodbyes being said, but it was bittersweet leaving my mom there. It was hard to go off to the airport doors alone, but it’s a part of growing up. some paths just temporarily lead us away from people we care for, but that won’t be the end of those relationships.

So, what was this dream? It was to be a writer and make a career of it. That dream led me to study abroad. Writing about something personal is endearing and painful. I found it difficult to dig through old memories of an inaccessible place. Vividly relieve those fleeting moments with those I care for. The more I write though, the more I started to feel happier to have those moments to look back on. Little memory capsules I know I experienced with memorable people.

Going back to the library, I did feel alone at the time. The distance can get to you sometimes as it will never be easy saying goodbye to home, nor should it ever be easy. Those connections are special, and the distance only creates a small nuisance. It may have been an end of an era where we lived close to each other, but it doesn’t mean I can’t keep in touch. The time difference sucks but I find ways to text my friends all my deer-sighting thoughts. We also get together for some video calls here and there. Usually when they’re out at night. I drink coffee while they have alcohol. It’s hilarious. For my mom, it’s the semi-daily text updates or hour-long calls on weekends. My grandma and aunt show up sometimes on the calls. I may not be there physically, but I still find ways to make sure they’re part of my life.

The other way I get past that feeling of loneliness is I’ve managed to make a second home in Canada. The first year was blissful and rough. There were so many memories that made me feel on top of the world. My first hike in Banff (a 6-hour hike is still not a beginner trail), my first published paper in the Agora journal, and most importantly, making my first friends at RDP (Kiru, Tim, Mark, Runmar, Gie, Rodrigo, Cori, Ais, Wyatt, Oliver, Bruno) and the summer nights I spent with them dancing, playing pool, and eating wings.

With the great highs, there will always be the lows; days that made me question why I even left home in the first place. Days I felt unsure, doubting my skills while mentally stuck on papers. I feared not being social enough to make new friends. Those days never last though. I had caring relatives that looked out for me while learning the ropes of Canada. My skills, while not the most refined, did show up through my effort. I did make some great friends in Canada. All my bonds support me through rough times and self-doubt. It helps prove to myself that I made the right choice. Moving away does suck at times, but my home isn’t some faraway memory. They’re just a phone or text away (and maybe 13 hours ahead).

Balancing It All

By: Erin Bast, Vice President External

 

I’m not going to lie; this is not a topic I am a fan of discussing at the moment. I am in the process of moving…my life is the definition of messy right now! I guess I shouldn’t say that – I have a roof over my head, food on my table, happy children, and things are starting to come together. But I am the type of person that thrives when my life and house are in order. Chaos, clutter, and all the things that come along with moving right now are just not helpful to me, especially while juggling school, work, and kids. I think I also forgot to mention that my husband works away…so yeah, I have a little bit going on!

Organize

Trying to function while attending post-secondary and living in a chaotic state is hard. You all probably have your own tricks to juggle all this successfully but for me, being organized is key. First, I usually try to have a clean and organized home. This allows me time to focus on other areas such as school, work, and my kids. I would be so lost without my day planner and Outlook, I have to write everything down in these! But, it isn’t pretty…there is a lot of Whiteout happening in my day planner but I also know that I need to be flexible because things happen, and schedules can change last minute. Even if it’s something that I am looking forward to attending, I look at it as either more time spent with my family or more time available to do schoolwork. And because of this, I try not to take things personally when it doesn’t work out one way or the other.

Prioritize

I think it’s important to know where and how things rank against each other. When it comes to my life, my family is number one; everything else comes second. Yes, I choose meetings or events in the evenings or on weekends when I am away from my family, but the kids are having fun with Nana and Papa or hanging out with their fun babysitter. However, if they are sick, it’s their birthday or Halloween, I am doing my best to juggle things and put them first.

Knowing that we would be moving, I decided not to put my kiddos in any extracurricular activities this semester, and you know what? They are fine!! They are enjoying the downtime of not being rushed around town and always being on a schedule. And honestly, so do I! The rush and need to have our kids in every sport, every activity, and excel at everything is so exhausting and as parents, we are adding so much pressure and stress to our lives! I’m tired, and they are tired. This downtime is one thing that I am happy to have experienced; slow down…you’re not gonna get there faster by being busier unless you’re headed to the grave, that is.

Since being elected as the Vice President External with the Students’ Association, I maintain office hours now. So, instead of heading to the Nova Learning Common to complete my schoolwork, I have meetings, events, and reports to get to. That, combined with my home life, time is no longer on my side. I realized that I spend a lot of my available class time not working on assignments. This is something I am aware of that needs to change in order for me to be successful with my education. So now, when I have the opportunity to tackle an assignment, I pop in my earbuds and drown out all the noise that inhibits me from getting to work in class. This has been such a massive help in my personal and school life. When I think about all the extra hours I have now because I am mindful of how I use my time, I wonder why I wasn’t doing this before!

Physical Health

I know that this is such an ick thing to hear, and I feel gross saying it but eating properly, working out, and getting enough sleep plays a massive part in whether I am successful and feeling good. Trust me, nothing turns my crank more than a big ‘n juicy curly fry poutine from the Far Side, but if that’s the only real meal a girl is eating in the day, your body is not going to thank you for it. In turn, your body will take it out on you by messing up your train of thought, focus, and mood. This may seem like adding more to a person’s plate by encouraging them to meal prep but it’s truly a life saver!! Chicken, rice, veggies, done! So easy! And working out can be a tricky thing to get into, right? But once you’re in it, it’s so good and becomes necessary. It feels so good to feel good and it’s actually something I need to get back into! I miss it and I love Studio Pilates! (they offer student discounts btw.) I’ll get back at it once I’m all moved in and organized. Let’s talk about sleep…I’m a night owl, an anxiety-ridden night owl; thank goodness for anxiety meds (which I have been on for many years now and cannot recommend enough!!). They help with the nighttime struggles, but I don’t think I will ever not be a night owl. I just get more accomplished between 10pm and 2am then during the day! This coming semester, I have an 8am class and I am not looking forward to getting to bed early and waking up super early!

Friendships

At New Student Orientation, one of my instructors told our class that the people we were sitting next to will more than likely be lifelong friends. In my head, I’m like, “Nope,” I wasn’t here to make friends. I was here to learn, get an education, and work my butt off. I wasn’t a young kid anymore; I was a 40-year-old wife and mother of 3. I didn’t have time to make friends, I already had friends, and they are enough trouble. My first year, I was the nerd in the Nova Learning Commons before and after every class. To me, it didn’t matter if people joined me or not. I was there for my family, myself, and our future. Then Covid reared its ugly head again in the winter of 2021. We were shut down for what seemed like an eternity, and I found that I became closer with some of my classmates while we were shut down. Once we were back in person, I did my best to stay close to them. Sometimes school, family, and work take precedence, but we are all there for each other when needed, and that’s what’s most important. Knowing that I have a group of people I can rely on if/when my kids or I are sick to pass on class notes to me or hand in an assignment for me or if I wanna complain about my husband or others that are grinding my gears, they are always there to help and lend a listening ear. These people have kept me sane during some pretty difficult times. Their dorkiness, humour, tough love, and support are what everyone looks for in a friend. I may be the least present person in our group chat, but even reading through the chat after a long ass day of endless responsibilities they bring me back up or get me back down right where I am meant to be. Their love means the world.

Filling Your Bucket

Balancing everything can be tricky and it’s such a balancing act! Between day-to-day responsibilities, school, work, families, it can be hard to remember that we need to fill out own buckets. I found my happy place and it’s volunteering. I have volunteered at RDP Counselling Services for over a year with Linnea, and it has become a place that helps chills me out. No matter how much I have on my plate, volunteering puts me in check and reminds me of what’s important, why I’m attending RDP, and who I’m here for.

Good luck to everyone trying to make it work and remember that everyone in your life is rooting for you – including me! But if you need a little extra help along the way, there are so many great and free resources here at Red Deer Polytechnic to get you through this.

Your President is a NERD

By: Savannah Snow, SARDP President

 

Do you know what I love after a long day of student leadership? Sitting down and playing some video games. There is simply no better way to unwind and forget about the little stresses of life. I’m going to talk about some of my favourite video games in this blog post – something lighthearted to alleviate the stress of midterms!

My very first video game was Barbie: Rapunzel when I was four years old. My grandpa would put me in his lap and let me play on his big desktop computer back in the early 2000’s. I LOVED that game! It truly sparked my interest in video games, and I’m grateful to my grandpa for having the patience to play with me.

Another historical and current favourite of mine is Animal Crossing. I have played since the very beginning – all the way from the GameCube Animal Crossing to Animal Crossing: New Horizons on the Switch. I have sunk upwards of 700 hours on my current town. The premise of Animal Crossing is that you live in a village of talking animals. You get a house and have to pay off your loans through activities like fishing, hunting bugs, or collecting fruit. You can collect furniture items to decorate your house the way you wish! The most recent release is every decorator’s dream: The entire island you inhabit in-game can be customized! From the way the rivers flow to the houses that your villagers inhabit, you can create a world that is perfectly reflective of you. My favourite part of the game is seeing what other people have created. There are some truly incredible islands on the server! See the photo below to take a sneak peek as to what my island currently looks like!

Moving on to some current favourites! Lately I have been playing a lot of Red Dead Redemption 2 Online, Sea of Thieves, Moonlighter, and The Outer Worlds. The Red Dead storyline game is an absolute masterpiece, would highly recommend playing if you are looking for an immersive storyline paired with breathtaking graphics. In the online version, you are a cowboy, and the world is yours for the taking! You can choose if you would like to be honorable or dishonorable, every action you take impacting your status. You can also join posses of other players, wreaking havoc or doing good deeds. I personally belong to a group of 60 people who play together or simply come to each other’s rescue when other online players are causing you trouble. Pictured below is my character along with my beloved horse, Hera.

Sea of Thieves is an online pirate game where you sail the seas, battle monsters, and search for booty! I am a solo player here, which presents its own challenges. There are often events where you go on wild seabound adventures! Since I am a solo player, I captain one of the lightest ships, meaning I am usually able to run away from person vs person (PVP) fights. My proudest moment was leading a hostile ship on a goose chase across the whole map for over an hour, making them so frustrated that they logged off! I may be a cowardly pirate, but a pirate nonetheless! See below for a photo of me on my ship and my fox companion, Alice!

Moonlighter is a bit different than other games I like to play. There is no character customization as with the rest, but it doesn’t make this game less addicting! You play as Will, a local shop owner. There are abandoned mines nearby which have been overrun with monsters. You forge your way into the mines at night, defeat the monsters, and collect the loot to sell in your shop during the day. The dungeons are randomly generated, making for endless enjoyment!

Most recently I’ve been playing The Outer Worlds upon recommendation from my fiancé. The game is set in the future, where they’ve sent ships full of frozen humans out to colonize planets. You belong to a ship that has been lost for 60 years, and a scientist has pulled you out and unfrozen you. The game is quite similar to Fallout, where you create your character and pick different stats you would like proficiency in, which shapes your gameplay. It is another choose-your-adventure type game, where all of your actions impact how the game will end. You also collect non-player characters along the way to fill out your crew and bring new abilities. See below for a photo of my character!

I have started a Twitch streaming channel which me and my fiancé share. Due to the busy nature of my schedule, I don’t get to stream often but enjoy it when I can. I am always looking for new people to play with, so if you enjoy any of these games please reach out and I will send you my gamertag!

Thanks for going on this little digital adventure with me!

 

Meet Your Executive Team

Savannah Snow
SARDP President

Hello everyone! My name is Savannah Snow. I am your SA President in my second – and final – term! I am a fourth year BBA student majoring in General Management. I am politically-minded and hope to head back to school later in life to pursue a law degree and gain employment in Canada’s political sphere. In my spare time I like to play video games, current favourites being The Outer Worlds, Moonlighter, and Stardew Valley. I am also a dungeon master for a Dungeons and Dragons group that my fiance and I started. I live in Blackfalds with my fiance, step daughter, and dog. I look forward to this term and serving students to the best of my abilities!

 

Erin Bast
SARDP Vice President External

My name is Erin Bast, and I am your SA Vice President External. I am in my second year of the Legal Assistant Program. Aside from attending Red Deer Polytechnic, I am a wife and mother of three kiddos under 10. For fun, I enjoy camping and going to the movies with my little family. I love reality TV, true crime documentaries, gardening, and organizing.

 

Alex Fuiten
SARDP Vice President Academic

Hello everyone! My name is Alex and I’m your Vice President Academic for this school year. I completed the UofC psychology collaborative program last year but decided to take an extra year here to work on getting ready for grad school. You may have seen me around campus as a peer tutor in the library, a member of the psychology society, or last year as your Vice President External. Outside of school you will generally find me watching hockey (Go Oilers!), playing videogames, listening to and playing music, or buried inside some weird diy electronics project. Take care and have an awesome year!

Notice to the Membership

Our Vice President External, Laura Beaveridge, has resigned from her position with the Students’ Association of Red Deer Polytechnic, effective August 22, 2022. We thank Laura for her service to our Members and wish her well in her future endeavours.

As per Association Bylaws, a by-election will be held in the Fall. To stay up to date on the election process, follow up on Instagram and Facebook.

If you have any questions regarding the position of Vice President External, please contact Marian Young, Governance and Student Support Coordinator at [email protected] or your President, Savannah Snow at [email protected].

Congratulations to the Incoming 2022/2023 Team!

Because of you, we are excited to share that our voter turn out for the 2022/2023 Students’ Association General Election was 17%, which is an increase of 7% when compared to our voter turn out of 10% for the 2021/2022 General Election! So, thank you students of Red Deer Polytechnic!!

On March 24, Red Deer Polytechnic students elected the following team for the 2022/2023 year:

The Executive team consists of:

  • President, Savannah Snow;
  • Vice President Academic, Brenan Fuiten;
  • Vice President External, Laura Beaveridge

The Student Council team consists of:

  • Felicity Arndt
  • Erin Bast
  • Kindra Duthie-Woodford
  • Lovejeet Kaur
  • Larissa Soehn
  • Kiara Welch
  • Tessie Yomi-Dada

Newly elected members of Executive Council will take office on May 1, 2022 and Council will begin their term that same day and both will remain in office until April 30, 2023. At this time, we have 5 vacancies on Student Council if you are interested in gaining leadership experience, learning about governance and finance, and making a difference for the students of RDP, email [email protected] for more information.

2022/2023 General Election Candidate Profiles

We have officially entered election week here at Red Deer Polytechnic and we are excited to share the candidates with you! We are sharing the candidate profiles on our website and social media accounts to create awareness about our General Elections and to encourage students to vote. The Students’ Association remains impartial and does not endorse any of the candidates.

VOTE ON YOUR LOOP ACCOUNT
MARCH 22-24, 2022

 

President Candidate

Savannah Snow

Hello there! My name is Savannah Snow. I’ve had the absolute pleasure of serving as your SARDP President over the 2021/2022 academic year – and what a year it’s been! Right out of the gate, going live to announce the transition from RDC to RDP; Joining the Red Deer Polytechnic Board of Governors and being the first student appointed to a Presidential Search Committee; Continuing the fight for degrees…

 

 

Vice President Academic

Brenan Fuiten

I would like to acknowledge that the Students Association operates on Treaty 7, Treaty 6, and Métis ancestral lands, which are home to many Indigenous peoples. I have been a part of the RDP community for a number of years, and have had four different majors during that time, proving that you don’t need to have a clear and defined path as soon as you enter…

Continue reading Brenan’s profile here.

 

 

 

Vice President External

Laura Beaveridge

Laura Beaveridge is excited to represent RDP students to support their educational success as the Vice President External!

As your candidate, I have first hand experience navigating the challenges of post secondary life, and understand the need for student advocacy. Originally from BC, I moved several hours away…

Continue reading Laura’s profile here.

 

 

Student Council

*Profiles have been shared in alphabetical order by last name*

Felicity Arndt

Hello there! My name is Felicity Arndt, and I am in my first year of the elementary education degree. I’ve been in the Student Council for one year and I would love to continue to facilitate change and be a face for students around the school. I try to involve myself…

Continue reading Felicity’s profile here.

 

 

 

Erin Bast

My name is Erin Bast; I am a wife and a mother of 3, all under ten years old. I was born in Red Deer and raised in a small town called Elnora. I graduated from Delburne Centralized High School in 1999, which officially makes me old.

I have been a stay-at-home mom for over ten years, so the thought of going to college…

Continue reading Erin’s profile here.

 

 

Kindra Duthie-Woodford

Kindra Duthie-Woodford graduated with her BA in Psychology through the University of Calgary collaborative program at Red Deer Polytechnic. She is currently in her 1st year of Justice Studies at RPD and plans to complete a PhD in Forensic Psychology. She has been an active councilor on the Student Association Student Council since 2019…

Lovejeet Kaur

Hello! My name is Lovejeet Kaur, an international student pursuing Business Administration at Red Deer Polytechnic. Being a Commerce student, I have a passion for accounting and management, and I have planned to build my Carrer in Human Resource because I know I want a job that allows me to be around people and provides a chance to change their lives in a better way. Moreover, Human Resource…

 

Larissa Soehn

“Helping students from all walks of life find a mentally healthy and happy balance”; that is Larissa’s platform during this election.

Having been in Red Deer for the past twelve years, Larissa is proud to call Central Alberta home. While most of those years were spent in a corporate position, the future looks vastly different as she takes on the role of a full-time student…

Continue reading Larissa’s profile here.

 

 

Kiara Welch

Hey everyone! My name is Kiara Welch and I’m currently a 3rd year Business Administration student focusing on Accounting. I started here way back in 2017 when it was still RDC, and business was at the DSB downtown campus. In Fall 2021, I joined the student council and have loved being involved with decisions that impact every student!…

Continue reading Kiara’s profile here.

 

 

Tessie Yomi-Dada

Hello! My name is Motesolaoluwa Yomi-Dada. I prefer to go by Tessie. I am running for the position of Council 2022/2023. I am a first year in the Practical  Nursing Program. I have spent the last year working in RDP Residence as a Resident Attendant and I also volunteer on RDP International’ s mentorship program. I want to serve you…

Budgeting 101

By: Oliver Felisilda, RBC On-Campus Assistant Branch Manager & Advisor

 

Budgeting 101: How to Create a Budget

As a student, you likely have experienced many unexpected changes as a result of the current COVID-19 crisis. You’re doing a great job at adapting to the changes and forming new habits. Now, more than ever, is also the time to make sure that you are staying on top of managing your money – making smart financial decisions now will help you prepare for the future.

One of the ways you can do this is to develop the habit of paying attention to what’s happening to your money and where you want it to go. This article aims to help you understand what that means practically through a strategy that you may already be familiar with – budgeting.

All things related to money are very personal and really no two people’s budgets should or would look the same. So, as you are reading this, I recommend that you bring out something that you can use to document your entries. If done right, you’ll find that what you have created can give you a snapshot of your financial situation, how you feel about it, and adjustments you can make to reach your goals.

What is a Budget?

A budget refers to the tool that helps you track and manage your money. While simple, its impact to your peace of mind cannot be overstated.

It is common to find interruptions in one’s finances. Perhaps a new expense arises unexpectedly or maybe your income declines due to conflicting priorities or losing the time or ability to work. People that budget ultimately have less stress about money, because they have a handle on their financial situation and avoid overspending and managing debt. People that budget also have a better grasp on what they actually need vs. what they want, and can more easily prioritize and make smarter decisions about how to spend their money.  Budgeting can really help you make the most of your money and get to your financial goals.  Budgeting helps you to stay focused on what really matters in school – not money.

Step One: Income

A budget begins with listing your income. Whether it’s a one-time deposit (OSAP), a regular occurrence (pay check), or an unexpected surprise (birthday money) – money coming in is what you want to consider your ‘income’.  The monthly totals of these incomes are going to make up the pool of money that you have access to do be able to spend.  On this note, kindly list down all the sources of your income for the month.

So the money that comes into your account doesn’t always stay there – it goes out to pay for things you want, need, and things you think you need but you actually want. To avoid that “empty pockets” feeling, it’s important that you understand your ‘money that goes out’ – or the monthly expenses that you have so you can make sure you have enough income to cover it – and so you also can properly assess and prioritize the expenses that are essential and the ones that are more ‘nice to have’ but not vital.

Step Two: Expenses

So let’s think about what types of expenses that you have. These are the things that you are spending your money on regularly like that quick $2 tap every morning at Tim’s for coffee, or one time bigger ticket items like books you buy at the beginning of every semester, or the rent you pay every month. Take a look and for every item that you spend money on – write the item and the amount the spend column on your budgeting sheet.

Income and expenses are things that you can more or less plan ahead for and expect. Then there are the things that you might want to do with your money, like save for a local getaway, or for an iPhone, or have access to funds that you can spend going out with your friends. You need to be thinking about this stuff so when you start going through the budgeting exercise you’ll be able to see right away what you can afford to actually do.

Step Three: Goals

Take the time now to jot down some things that aren’t accounted for in your expenses or income that you’d like to be able to have money for – record it in the Goals column.

At this point you have a broad list of income, expenses, as well as ‘goals’ for your money. It’s necessary to organize these lists in a way that give you a simple and accurate snapshot of how much money you actually have.  There’s so much fluctuation and change in expenses and income in a school year that if you just take an annual overview you won’t actually have a true sense of how much money you can spend each day to stay in control of your finances and feel confident when managing your money, so that you can achieve your goals.

The amount of money moving in and out of your account isn’t the only thing that matters.  You also need to be aware of when money is moving in or out – so you can budget to have enough in your account to cover the expense. How often money is moving in or out is also important to make sure that the money you have coming in can actually last the entire school year.

You’re going to want to keep track of your budget on a monthly basis so you can plan for both your immediate needs and future needs.

Shortages: What If I Don’t Have Enough Income?

If your balance is negative it means you that income you’ve stated is not enough to cover the expenses you’ve listed. It also means you don’t have any money to contribute to your goals. First thing you’ll want to look at if you’re in this situation is your expenses by finding ways to trim down. You can do this by identifying the things you absolutely need to survive. In addition, it is possible that there are things that are non-essential and should be treated more like goals. For example, I have Starbucks on my goals section of my budget – it’s a treat for me, if I can afford it.  But I can live without it. My rent, however, is an essential expense.  I wouldn’t be able to survive if I didn’t pay for the roof over my head.  Furthermore, reducing the costs of your expenses can go a long way.  So you can try to find ways to shop smarter or save money.

On the flip side, the other thing you can try to do is find ways to get more money. But applying for scholarships, getting a job, or finding ways for your money to make you money are some things you can explore.  RBC has some resources for jobs and scholarships, your campus will have resources as well. The government has relief programs to help support students.   For some of you, asking your parents may be an option. For others, sitting down with a financial advisor might be helpful in finding other solutions that will help your financial situation.

Budgeting Tips

While everyone’s budget is different, the following tips are useful to everyone.

Primarily, budgets are often more effective with an emergency fund as a part of your goals. Allocating about 1% of your income into this fund that can be used for unplanned expenses as they come up can give you more peace of mind. Secondly, always having some type of savings goal gets you into the habit of setting something up and achieving it while putting your funds aside. Furthermore, if your budget balance is 0, it means you aren’t setting yourself up to either plan ahead or save for a goal. So, always be mindful of how your lifestyle is causing a surplus or a shortage.

It is also worth noting that making a budget doesn’t guarantee that you’ll stick to it. Life happens, sometimes you might go over budget or maybe you’ll find that you’re just tapping too much and in adversely increasing your expenses.  If you find yourself in a situation where you aren’t staying in your budget – don’t just give up.  Every day is a new opportunity to course correct.

One of the ways you can ensure consistency is by ensuring that the budgeting tool that you use is fit for you. There are many apps, tools, and budgeting calculators online that can give you an updated budget in real time.

In addition, alerts are a great way to get proactive and reactive information about your bank account in real time.  You can set up alerts through online or mobile banking to get a text every time you tap, to reminder you about an upcoming bill, to see your balance at the end of every day, or to see your balance if it dips a little too low.

If you’re an RBC customer you get access to something called NOMI insights in mobile banking. This is our artificial intelligence tool that analyzes your account activity to give you insights about where your money is going and smarter ways to manage it.

You can also ask for help from your advisor at your financial institution. Your advisor can offer support to make sure you are using the right account, plan for any upcoming changes to your budget or adjust for unplanned changes, minimize unnecessary fees, and ultimately do what they can to keep you on track to achieving your goals.

For any additional questions or concerns about this article, please let us know! We are happy to help you with your journey so please reach out to Oliver or Bruno at the RDC on campus location near the forum or via email at [email protected] or [email protected].

 

HONOURING THE CHILDREN AND ADVANCING TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION

Indigenous Student Services in collaboration with the Social Work Diploma Program and the Student’s Association of Red Deer Polytechnic are inviting students, faculty, staff and community members to contribute to an upcoming event that will be bringing awareness to the residential school experience and the unmarked graves of Indigenous children that are being found. We are also encouraging that this be an opportunity to share, educate and gather contributions from family and friends where appropriate.

A feather template (attached) can be used for your contribution and is available for pick up and drop off in the Gathering Place on campus at RDP (next to the main security desk) throughout the next 2 weeks with a suggested deadline of Friday, November 12th by 5pm.

Community members can connect with Talitha to have feather templates dropped off and for pick-up arrangements if required.

Feathers can also be completed in the Gathering Space. In creating a feather, we ask that it is done in the spirit of Truth and Reconciliation and with a positive intention towards a transformative and meaningful relationship with Indigenous peoples’, but also in honour and memory for the Indigenous children who did not survive their residential school experience.                

This event is also timely in the fact that the Red Deer Industrial School grounds are currently being searched for unmarked graves and the bodies of children that have yet to be found. The results from this search are anticipated in the next few weeks.

Please create in a way that speaks to yourself and your intention, some ideas include: Using the feather template to draw, colour, leave a message, create a collage, paint and so forth. Feel free to use all the space that is available on the page. Consider the following when creating your feather:

  • What is your message to the children whose lives were lost? Their families and communities? How might you portray this in words or art.
  • What needs to be done on the path to Truth and Reconciliation?

Other pieces are acceptable on other materials as long as they are appropriate to being burned in a fire. Pieces are being collected to be displayed on November 15 in the Forum from 10 am to 2 pm. The feathers with all of their pictures, words and positive intentions will then be burned in a Fire of Intention with an Indigenous elder, to essentially release these individual and collective intentions, that will take place at some point in the coming weeks. The Fire of Intention will take place at 1 pm on Friday, November 19 in the Forum Courtyard.

For more information on this timely topic please consider watching the short video Searching for the Unmarked Graves of Indigenous Children which can be accessed HERE

Questions? Please contact Talitha Klym, Indigenous Student Services Generalist at [email protected] or 403-357-3672

How to Incorporate Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion into Your Daily Life

By: Shannon Humphrey

 

What is EDI?

Everywhere we go we are hearing more and more about EDI initiatives, committees, and events but what is EDI?

EDI stands for EQUITY, DIVERSITY, and INCLUSION. Ultimately, equity is the goal, diversity is the fact, and inclusion is the action. Equity comes first in the acronym because it is the guiding principle and end goal.

Where do I start?

Start with you! It is common to think an equitable, diverse, and inclusive models of behavior has to do with others but EDI has quite a lot to do with ourselves. Before you can actively practice and integrate EDI in everyday life, you first must understand who you are and how you exist in the world. It is important that we start with ourselves.

For some this understanding of self might seem like an entirely overwhelming concept that is difficult to navigate. Consider how you would label yourself on the diagram below as a starting point.

The more comprehensive your understanding of self, the closer you get to your most authentic self.  It is much easier to practice EDI when you start from a place where you are unapologetically comfortable as your most authentic self. Only once you understand how you exist in the world can you truly understand how others exist in the world. That is the most difficult part of practicing EDI in everyday life. EDI is so much more than simply coming up with and implementing a model of behaviour, it is also a journey of self discovery that takes us in unexpected directions and down paths we never thought possible.

This journey of self-discovery and understanding is called our intersectional identity. Intersectionality is an analytical framework for understanding how aspects of a person’s social and political identities combine to create different modes of discrimination and privilege. The term was conceptualized and coined by Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw in a paper in 1989 and is illustrated by the diagram below.

 

Ok, I know myself. Now what?

The next step is seeking to understand. Once you have figured out how you exist in the world, now it is time to consider how those around you and others exist in the world. At this stage you must practice hearing, seeing, and validating others. However, before you can do this you must understand what each element of EDI means individually.

Look no further, here are some definitions:

Equity – The fair and respectful treatment of all humans recognizing an obligation to provide safe spaces and barrier free environments. Equity involves the reduction of disparities and ensures that everyone has barrier free access to opportunity, resources, and supports that fit their needs. Equity goes beyond simply acknowledging the existence of inequalities and recognizes that those inequalities are deeply rooted in historical and contemporary injustices. Equity accounts for the fact that not everyone is made equal and accounts for differences. For those of you who are visual learners, here is a picture that explains equity.

Diversity – Acknowledges the existence differences between individuals. The goal of diversity must be to recognize, value, and celebrate those differences rather than trying to eliminate them.

Inclusion – A set of measures that can be integrated into everyday life that ensure all people feel safe, welcome, and valued as their most authentic self. Inclusion is about creating safe spaces for diversity to thrive. In other words, the means of recognizing, valuing, and celebrating difference.

EDI – Most simply put, EDI is a journey of growth toward humanity. It aims to challenge and destigmatize stereotypes and unconscious biases to ultimately eradicate prejudice, discrimination, and marginalization to make the world a better and more equitable place for all. Equity is the goal, diversity is the is the fact, and inclusion is the action.

See, Hear, Validate

How can you practice EDI in your daily life? My guess is that you already are in one way or another.

Since the goal is to seek to understand, this can be as simple as a conversation. If you are sharing your experiences with others and explaining how you exist in the world while listening and learning about how they exist in the world, you are already seeking to understand and thus practicing EDI. In the grand scheme of things, a conversation should be relatively simple and come naturally. Just remember this stage is all about hearing, seeing, and validating others. However, it is also about being visible to be seen, using your voice to be heard, and validating your own identity and feelings. Yes, psychology students, I am referring to achieving self actualization on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is an excellent example of where critical thought through an EDI lens comes into play to shed light on some local history that indicates there is more to the story. Did you know that Maslow spent six weeks living at Siksika, a Blackfoot Reserve in Alberta in the summer of 1938? His time there conceivably challenged his early hypotheses and shaped his theories that influenced the framework for the hierarchy of needs. While Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs focuses on the individual, the Blackfoot way of life offers an alternative framework that focuses on the community. Self-Actualization as a word or phrase does not exist in the Siksika language, but The Blackfoot word niita’pitapi, meaning “someone who is completely developed, or who has arrived,” is used in reference to a community who leaves no one behind and is engrained in the cultural teachings of the Siksika Nation. Moral of the story? Part of practicing EDI in your everyday life is applying critical thought to history and the narratives that are given to us from only one perspective. What about the other sides or versions of the story?

As students we have options that we can take in our course load. One of the best ways to practice EDI in your every day life is to learn about it. Take courses that interest you! Take courses that provide content and context on the things you want to learn more about. Use your time here to your advantage and learn about whatever you want to learn about. That is what your options are for. This is a great way to learn more about intersectional aspects of identity and the things that influence EDI. Your instructors are a great resource as are your librarians, your student services, and of course your SA.

The Simple Things

Are you still feeling overwhelmed and like there is a lot to learn? No problem! This is the part where you are required to practice a little bit of self compassion and self empathy. Give yourself a break and allow room for error. We don’t get good at things overnight, we must practice, grow, and continue learning. The point of practice is to make room for troubleshooting and strive for improvement. Always remember that it is the fact that you are trying that really matters. If you mess it up, that is okay, no one is expecting perfection. While it is important to own it when we do mess up, it is equally as important to learn from it and ultimately move forward a more aware and a better more informed version of yourself. Your efforts are appreciated, valued, and important!