Chestermerian, Jenna Peters received the University of Lethbridge Dhillon School of Business undergraduate gold medal for the overall highest Grade Point Average (GPA) throughout four years.
One student in each school is awarded a gold medal for overall academic excellence.
“It made me very emotional, I definitely shed a tear of joy, reading my email. For me, it was confirmation that all the hard work had paid off,” Peters said.
“During school, I made a lot of sacrifices to put my grades first, to do well, always set goals academically and having that recognition that said I did all the right things, and the sacrifices were worth it, that really meant the world to me,” she said.
Throughout her time at university, Peters had to overcome challenges of finding balance, while making sacrifices, such as staying in to study for an exam when everyone else was going out.
“People don’t know how much your mental health takes a toll during university, it’s very challenging and it can become very stressful,” Peters said.
“I found finding a balance to be quite a challenge, but it taught me a lot in terms of being a well-rounded person and finding balance in what really meant the most to me in terms of priorities,” she added. “I don’t know where I’d be without a day planner.”
Not only did Peters have to find a balance in her everyday life to ensure she was prioritizing her time, but she also had to find different outlets to release any stress.
“For me, volunteering at the Lethbridge Therapeutic Riding Association (LTRA) was really one of those things that really helped me cope with everything, and just find some space,” Peters said.
Peters volunteered as a riding assistant at the LTRA, and she would often help mentally, and physically disabled individuals tack their horses, brush their horses, ride in a therapeutic manner, and ensure they were safe.
“It was really awesome, it was a wonderful experience,” Peters said.
Although Peters had to overcome challenges, while being a university student having new opportunities made the challenges, and sacrifices worth the difficult, stressful times.
“I was able to work with the Integrated Management Experience (IME), which was a year-long program where I worked with a cohort, and a charity to help formalize their largest business practices,” Peters said.
“Taking part in that program was amazing, I love giving back, I love working with a small group. We also saw some really cool changes in the community that were inspired just because of our efforts, and to see that was definitely a highlight for me,” she said.
Receiving the Dhillon School of Business undergraduate gold medal was confirmation for Peters that she wouldn’t have changed her university experience in any way.
“It means everything, I would not change a single thing about my experience,” Peters said.
“It’s that confirmation that you worked hard, you earned it, and you did a good job. People look back on their university experience and they maybe want to change a few things, but for me, I wouldn’t change a single thing,” she said.
Moving forward, Peters is hopeful to begin her career for an oil and gas company in Calgary, while continuing her education.
“Once I have started my career, then I’ll start studying again,” Peters said.