Ashley stands in VIU's nursing simulation lab, wearing scrubs and a stethoscope

The art of balancing school, work and life

May 24, 2023

Meet valedictorian Ashley Sandhu

For the past four years, Ashley Sandhu has been a familiar face around campus. As a student wellness promoter, many students will remember her from different events aimed at encouraging social connections and awareness about the importance of taking care of your mental health. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing graduate will never forget the stunning views from the Nanaimo campus. She’s looking forward to starting her career as a surgical nurse with Fraser Health Authority. 

Ashley shares some highlights of her time and strategies that worked for her to successfully balance school, work and life.

Why did you choose VIU?

I grew up on the Island as a baby and would spend summers as a child in Port Alberni with my grandma. I’ve always had a connection with the Island and being in nature. When the opportunity came to return for my post-secondary education, I was all for it. 

Can you share a highlight from your time at VIU? 

The views from campus are always surreal! My favourite highlight would be catching the sunrise and sunset while studying on campus. 

What are you most proud of achieving since you began your studies? 

I’m proud of my passion to be involved on campus. I was a student wellness promoter with Thrive all throughout the nursing program and was given the opportunity to be the team leader to further build my leadership skills. A big shout out to the entire Student Wellness Team and Mental Health Strategists Sara and Adri for inspiring me to do such wonderful work on campus.

What is one thing your peers may remember about you after graduation? 

I will be remembered as someone who is willing to pursue their passions and do whatever it takes to achieve them. 

What advice would you give students following a similar path as yourself? 

Nursing school is a lot! Remember not to be so hard on yourself. What really helped me was to schedule self-care in my calendar and that helped ensure I had a good school-work-life balance.  

Can you give us three random facts about yourself? 

  • My first job was as a lifeguard/swim instructor/aqua fit instructor – all in one.
  • I am extremely detail oriented.
  • I love to go on runs. 

What’s next for you? 

I am excited to be starting my career as a full-time surgical nurse with the Fraser Health Authority.  

VIU convocation

VIU's 2023 convocation ceremonies take place June 22 and 23.

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