Figuring Out Your Post-Secondary Education
When you are in high school, it flies by. Occasionally, post-secondary will pop up into your mind. The question usually is ‘what do I want to be when I get older?’ Next thing you know you’re in Grade 11 or 12 attending university or college fairs trying to work it all out. You come to realize that you have to try and answer that burning question. The complicated thing about high school is that your seemingly controlled for most of it; In Grades 9, 10 and 11 it is mandatory for you to take courses like math. In your 4 years you must get at least 1 gym credit or even 1 French credit. You are forced to take courses that you don’t even want to. However, this can be a good thing: it helps you see what you are really interested in and what you’d potentially like to do at post- secondary. It’s all about figuring out what you like to do, high school is all preparation for post-secondary. Different people work at different paces; some people go into high school already think they know what they’d like to pursue when they get older, but in high school they may change their mind. Others have absolutely no idea what they want to be when they get older, they didn’t know before, during or even after. You must remember that this is completely normal, just keep looking. Everybody on this Earth has a purpose and everybody is good at something. It is hard to narrow your options down because there are so many programs and careers to choose from.
Now, I am in Grade 11. It feels like I just got into grade 9 when I was constantly nervous about being late to class or losing a textbook. At the beginning of high school, I never knew what I wanted to be. I knew that my grade 8 teacher recommended me for the STEAM program so I assumed that I would go into a science or math field, because that seemed like what I was good at. However, in Grade 9 I came to realize how much I hate science and math, but I love English and writing. In Grade 10, I realized that I like history too. I also figured out that I am not much of an athlete at all in my gym course. I am more of an expressive person; I like to write down what I feel and turn that into something more. It always feels like you have got an endless amount of time to figure everything out, but that is not true. This really hit me when I attended the university fair and university was starting to become more of a topic for conversation. Growing up is a puzzle; you’re always picking up the pieces and finding out where they fit and where they belong. When you get to post- secondary you don’t have to know what you want to do. You may even think you know, but you can always change your mind. Take whatever steps you can to try and figure everything out. Everyone’s path looks different; therefore, we all have different answers on what we would like to do. Below I have provided some advice and tips that could possibly help you slim down your options for post- secondary.
Try Extra Curriculars: Most schools have a wide variety of extracurriculars and clubs that you can try out. There are many types of extracurriculars: art club, book club, robotics, drama club, math club. There are endless options! Trying different extracurriculars and finding your likes and dislikes can help you see what you excel in and what you enjoy doing. Extracurriculars are also helpful in many areas, they can look good on a post- secondary application or a resume, they help you improve your social skills and make friends too.
Research: Everyone’s situation is different, some people may know exactly what they want to do, but not where they want to study. Some may be completely clueless as to what they want to do. Therefore, research is essential. Look at different universities and colleges to see what programs they offer and if they have what you want. Look into what sounds the most appealing to you. Attend university and college tours to see what feels the best for you. If something looks right, it also must feel right. In your research make sure to always look at your budgets and finances, keeping an eye out for money is always helpful. If you need to, try applying for scholarships.
Trust Yourself: At the end of the day, it all comes down to you and what you want to do. Do not do what your friends are doing or go where your friends want to go. Do not let your parents tell you where you should go. Listen to yourself, always be a leader! When the moment comes, you will know what to do. If you think that you don’t, do not stress over it. Your time to figure everything out will come soon enough. Everyone’s road to success looks different. You must trust yourself and validate that you know what is right for you.