As a child, I hated school. I had no desire to participate in class, no motivation to do my homework and a reluctance to go to school. Although the latter stopped being a habit when I was in high school, my parents were concerned that I wouldn’t have the pedigree to get into university. Even if I “got in,” the notion of surviving freshman year was a grim one. I’m the kind of person who like to do things when I want and how I want.
High school happened to be a similar experience, although it was great that I could start pursuing my interests. Grade 12 would be my golden year because of all the electives I got to take. I thrived when I had more freedom. My parents said I had to go to university, so did my grades hold me back from going to the school that I wanted? Clearly, the answer is no.
Firstly, there are no bad universities in Canada. Some of the best schools in the country are in Ontario; my parents recommended I stay in the province and see what they have to offer. You shouldn’t worry about “not getting into” a university in Ontario. There is always going to be a school that will accept you. For many, what really is important is the “undergraduate experience” because after all, you’re graduating high school to go to school again. If you think about it, you’re learning how you will understand, enjoy and live your life in the next four years. I’m fortunate that in Canada, we have first-degree education that is standardized and reliable.
Along your path of getting a Bachelors, a lot of things can happen. You may find an outstanding teacher, friends for life, or you may make that terrifying leap into maturity. Most of all, your mind will be opened up to possibilities never quite imagined before: big decisions will have to be made. You will certainly get this opportunity at any university regardless if it’s at the greatest university in the world or the one that’s in your city.
I’m a first year political science student at Carleton University and my expectations are high. Many of the facilitators shared their experiences and their insights on the university experience when I was at orientation. I was pretty convinced that the life of a university student was going to be great and that I didn’t need to be an outstanding student to be where I want to be right now but I know that there are so many intangible assets I can get by just attending university. Currently, my expectations have been met and I’ve started to really enjoy and adapt to the life of a university student. There are so many nice people out there on campus and they’ll make sure your undergraduate experience is great!