There are No Stupid Questions, So Ask Away!
By Christina Matcham
Admit it. Everyone has questions about University that they don't want to ask their parents or counsellors…but never fear! We're here to help!
Where should I go to University?
Only you can really make this decision. There's a lot to consider.
What do you want to study? This should be the most important thing. If you want a really specific program, it may only be offered at two or three schools in Canada, therefore making it easier to decide between schools.
$$$: Unfortunately, this is probably the biggest factor, although in an ideal world, it wouldn't be. You can save a lot of money staying at home with mom and dad and going to a local school.
City vs. Country: Can you cope living in a big city? If you always lived in the countryside, are you ready to live in Toronto? Alternatively, if you are a city kid, do you want to be at an agricultural college in the middle of nowhere? Sometimes it can be great to make a big change, but make sure you know what you're letting yourself in for…
Not a good idea: Don't apply to a school in California because you want to meet Zac Efron or Jessica Alba. Seriously, there are people who do this. Also, just because your BFF is going to one school doesn't mean you should. If she/he is really your friend, you'll stay friends no matter where you are.
Is College hard?
Your classes should be challenging, but not impossible. If you can't feel the pressure a little, then you're not trying hard enough, or not doing the work properly. However, if you are feeling overwhelmed, talk to an academic advisor or a prof you get on with.
Will I make friends?
Apart from the whole qualification thing, this is what going to school is about. You'll get to meet hundreds of people from different provinces and countries, all of whom are in the same position as you. Your school will organize lots of events and orientations so you'll get to meet lots of people. Believe me - you'll meet the friends that you'll keep for life.
Are my grades good enough?
It all depends. Most schools want a grade point average of 60% and above for degree programs. However, community, vocational and university colleges often accept lower grades for certificates or diplomas, which can lead on to a degree in the future. You can also take high school classes again if you need better grades. As long as you are willing to spend time bringing your grades up, it's not an issue.
Is it better to live at home, in res, or in your own apartment?
Ah, the age old question. In a nutshell:
Pros: No (or only a few) bills; no roomates; mom on hand to cook your favourite dinner - yum.
Cons: "Where do you think you're going at this time of night?"; "You're going out dressed like THAT?"; "Have you written that paper yet?". Argh.
Pros: Independence, but no extra utilities to pay, and (possibly) meals included - yum; lots of