Uni Life


This school year was a little different. I was writing my final exams when a year earlier, I would have been just finishing midterms in high school. The year still feels long and intense though; the only difference is that there’s a four month summer yawning in front of me. Four month summers. Where have you been all my life?

When I think back to a year ago this time, I see myself as a completely different person – who had no idea what was ahead. Graduating from high school was one of the best things that happened to me in the last year. It’s been nice to get a change of pace in a new learning environment. Instead of being put into a big mass of people where everyone comes with different objectives and motivations, I’ve gotten to meet people with the same energy and direction as myself. This process has not only been such a great ride; it’s also been really informative about myself.

For instance, I’m going to brag here about a friend of mine who left school in order to tour the world with a famous metal band. Today’s the last day of her tour and she’s been almost EVERYWHERE. There’s also a really close friend of mine who during the first semester was being fought over by record labels in Nashville and New York. I know some pretty epic people. It’s such an awesome place to be becoming awesome.

When I was in high school I was pretty shy. I kept to myself. I often wondered to myself, “why am I even here?” and thought everything was so lame. Being in a room and waiting until a bell rings before you’re allowed to leave? WHY… But in any case, things have changed, I’ve become much more extroverted and I’ve been enjoying the faster paced environment. In secondary school – everyone pretty much HAS to be there. In post secondary people WANT and PAY to be there. It makes a huge difference. Being around like-minded people headed in more or less the same direction as you is great. I’ve become really extroverted  – to my own surprise even.

Needless to say the landscape has changed. Walking down the hallways is a little less like the nature channel, because people who are paying for education are usually trying to gain the most from their education. In other words, the need to procreate has become somewhat subdued under the need to be educated.

For those of you heading to some form of post secondary education, there’ll be a few things to adjust to. You’ll have way more responsibility, and way more to do. But the work will most likely be invigorating and enjoyable – especially if you’ve found the right program for you. You’ve got to love how after one year of university I’ve been transformed into a seasoned professional who can pepper you with advice…

In any case, closing remarks: I could watch this kitten all day. This is literally me adjusting to university. This is the perfect illustration of how you crash, burn, and figure it out. 😉

18 responses »

  1. Wow, i’m so happy I got the opportunity to read this blog! It has really eased my mind about branching off into a new environment and leaving my comfort zone. I have always been scared of changes, I have never reeally enjoyed the thought of leaving my comfort zone. Although, seeing your response to enetering a new environment and hearing how much you enjoy it makes me feel alot better! I’m planning on going to York University, and i honestly have no idea what to expect. The thing I am looking forward to the most, as you had mentioned, is the freedom I will be granted. It may be scary at first, but I know I will learn to adapt. I am excited to meet new people and experience new places and opportunities, it is a mystery to where it will lead me, because as I have experienced throughout my life, nothing really turns out as planned. I have a path in mind that I am planning to follow, becoming a teacher, and persuing my dreams as a track star, it sounds like alot, but leaving for University and being independant to me, is the first step!

    I really enjoyed how alot of your personality was portrayed in this blog! It gave me an insight on how you are as a person and how University had changed you. I’m glad to here that you are becoming more extroverted and findiing people that you are getting along with. It sounds like you are really off to a great start! By the way, I love the video you posted at the end, and the moral behind it! Explains it perfectly in my point of view!

    -Aimee W.

    • You will definitely adapt! It’ll probably be more graceful than the cat in the gif too! 😉 Best of luck with everything! Your whole gpa will probably go up by about 5-10% if you use spell check too – but that’s just between you and me. Oh, and cyberspace. 😉 I’m glad to know you liked my blog. Lots of opportunities will present themselves, like a self-setting-up buffet table. Best of luck with everything!

  2. When i first started to read your blog I was honestly able to picture my life in university just a few months from now! High school is just a stepping stone to my future, and like you said about how it is nice to get a change of pace in a new learning environment I could only imagine how great that feeling is. I have been so afraid to go off to university, and feeling like it wont be much different from high school due to the fact that I will be sitting in a classroom for endless hours just like i do now. But reading this post of yours really reassured me how excited I am to branch off to a new school that is so much larger than mine now, and it will only expand my chances to meet new people, and to truly allow myself to follow my interests. I have accepted the University of Lake Head in Orillia, and you might not know this but it is much smaller in size compared to the one in Thunder Bay or really any other university in Ontario, and thinking back(actually thinking forward) now my level excitement i’m explaining is just an understatement to the feelings I have for starting school there in the fall.

    You had mentioned above that you meet people with the same mind set of you because of maybe your program or due to the similar fact that my fellow classmates I will see in the halls of my university will also be paying for their education.
    Its an amazing feeling that I will have the opportunity to meet new people, but new people that have the same interests as me, and to experience life on my own is just another positive to going off to university this fall!
    I am one out of a handful of people who have been selected to advance in a certain law program next semester, and now reading your blog post on university it has reminded me how lucky and excited I am to study a program that is so perfect for me. I will have the chance to study what i enjoy, and find new interests that I wasn’t aware i had.

    Your post was spectacular, and I very much enjoyed reading it! It truly helped me along with my fears or troubles that I created in this stressed filled brain of mine. It was helpful, and comforting to know that someone else had the same thoughts as I do, and you were able to really connect with myself and i’m sure my other fellow classmates in the process of school next year!
    I advice you to continue writing many more blogs as they are amazing. Not only this one, but more than several of your others posts I had the chance to read.
    I hope to read many more soon, thanks for the wonderful, and helpful blog post!!! 🙂

    P.S. I love the video of the kitten you posted.
    -Sophia S.

    • It sounds like you are going to REALLY enjoy university Sophia! High school is basically like doing your time in purgatory until you get to heaven. And some people who go to private schools have the option of paying their way out of it as if it was an indulgence…
      You will not believe how many things change when you’re out of high school. It’s like the air gets so much fresher. You’re in a position where you get to improve yourself relentlessly pretty much. Have a good time at Lakehead!

  3. I am really glad to see somebody that is a year ahead of myself. I am not urge what I’m doing but I am going to George Brown for Marketing. Personally I am tired of highschool; I don’t really have similar energy or direction with anybody at my school. It is very much like the nature channel at my school; when I walk through the halls all I can hear is the gossip “did you f***(sleep with) him” I heard that little gem not five minutes ago. I am really excited to finally be free if this place; only two more moths then I’ll be sitting in my appartment looking forward to all the new experiences I will gain. Thank you so much for putting my mind at ease, and you have a very nice writing style and an exepen vocabulary.

    Keep up the good work,
    Cayden C.

    • Well I’m not urge if you misspelled a word there or not. 😉 I like to count moths in my apartment too from time to time. While we’re mentioning things we have in common – you’re studying marketing. So am I. I’m just studying it hands-on as I’m working a sales job for the summer. Frankly, I would sure you to do something similar. You can learn a lot about marketing by selling to people. You can also learn a lot about selling to people by doing marketing. Yeah that was indeed very redundant. In fact, it was like saying the same thing twice. For example, after making my point I would repeat it. So once again I reiterate my thought.
      In any case – I’m glad you enjoyed my exepen vocabulary! It’s even better now that it has exepen in it!
      Anyways, I’m going to stop chirping you now (chirping – there’s a word I haven’t used in a long time). Best of luck with everything!

  4. For the majority of my final year in high school the prospect of going to university has been a source of both excitement and anxiety for me. The approaching changes in my life are no doubt daunting but I think real change is something I need desperately in my life right about now. There are aspects of high school I’m sure I will grow to miss but at the moment I’m relieved I will soon never have to return. I myself am no stranger to wondering “Why am I even here?” while at school and at many times have very little interest in classes I must take but do not enjoy. I feel as though I am in a rut and university can be my escape from this.
    I’ve watched older siblings and friends go off the post-secondary schooling, each having their own experiences with it, me being envious each time. I’ve noticed each of them changed when they went away to school not particularly in any good or bad way, with some changing more than others but there was definite change in each of them. It’s interesting to consider that this time next year, after completing a year of school I may not be exactly the same as the girl sitting here today.
    I know the stress of uni life will no doubt be killer, worrying about school and money already weighing on my head before it has even begun. I hope this could be beneficial for me however. Perhaps a small amount of stress will push me to be more productive in my studies.
    I feel the most excited about living in a completely new environment. After living in and around Barrie for the majority of my life moving to Toronto will be a huge change for me. As much as I will miss my family I can’t wait to acquire a new sense of independence.
    From reading even this small piece about your experience I feel even more eager to leave high school. I’m ready to embrace the change that next year will bring. At this point September really can’t come fast enough.

    • Tina, I would give you a giant hug right now and tell you – EVERYTHING’s gonna be JUST FINE! Yes, money and studies are stressors, but don’t forget that there’s other things that can make you feel on top of the world – realizing you’re moving forward in life! 😀

      Moving from Barrie to Toronto is like moving to a different country. Except instead of a new language there’s hundreds of new languages. There’s a lot to get used to but it’s great. I have friends from many different corners of the world and it’s blown my mind wide open!

      If I could give you a word to the wise – be savvy when it comes to making friends. You’ll meet a lot of people, and not everyone who lands in a university is actually cut out for it. Hence we have dropouts… Most people are there to move forward and get going with things, but then there are others who are there on their parents dime and don’t really care about it. Hint wink nudge – the people who are serious about their education are probably going to be the ones who don’t disappear throughout the school year, thus you’ll have the chance to get closer to them. I feel like I’m getting hyped up for/with you. A year ago I was like a bird being let out of a cage! You’ll go rock this uni biz! 😀

  5. Being in high school still I haven’t experienced much yet. I’ve never questioned or thought “why am I even here?” (in high school that is). I always thought of high school as that thing you have to do before post secondary. Personally, I still consider myself a shy person even though I changed from elementary school to high school. I was sick of taking crap from other students and knew it wouldn’t change until I did something about it. I did become a little stronger but needless to say people still think of me as that shy quiet girl in the corner.
    I will be attending post secondary education at Sheridan college and I know that there will be more responsibility but to hear you say work will most likely be invigorating and enjoyable makes me feel better and not so nervous about attending. The reason I say this is because I’ve read many people say many different things about the work load but never invigorating and enjoyable. I feel the same as you so finally hearing it from someone who is more experienced and in a post secondary school is nice to hear.

    • High school is definitely just a stepping stone. I think of it as a kind of purgatory that someone has to go through before getting to heaven. Some people pay their way out in private schools. It’s a lot like buying an indulgence.
      Seriously, you’ll love post-secondary. I definitely empathize with you – I was always that shy girl in the corner; I kept to myself and did my work, then when I got into a program I really enjoyed, it was like the real me came out. I’m not too sure how to describe it, but it’s like being closer to who you really want to be – which feels so exhilarating!
      The work load can be quite heavy at times. My only advice is to get as much done as you can when you don’t HAVE to and things aren’t due soon, because that way you’ll be able to breathe easier around deadlines, and you’ll also have done a better job than you would have done at the last minute. People who are crushed by the workload in university just aren’t organized enough (or they have other stuff going on – like working a lot of hours at a job). If you keep as organized as possible, and take reasonable bite size portions out of your work – you’re really going to love it! ENJOY 😀

  6. University is something I am honestly so stoked to be getting involved in, as I am going for something I very much enjoy. Architecture has been a big change of pace this past year of grade 12 because I was a kid who hated any form of science, and loved Drama. I was also a SUSO kid last year, when it was created! I then decided that architecture would be great for me because, ever since I was a kid, I loved to build and design things. I am now almost done high school, with a love for Physics! It may seem odd, or at least it did for me, because I never knew how much something could change. I know for a fact that my studies have gotten much better because of my girlfriend, Charlotte, because she pushes me in the best way possible so that I get my work done, and get the best out of how smart I actually am.
    Reading this post was very nice, and also very relatable because I could learn from it. I don’t like reading anything unless I can learn valuable information from it, and to me, this is valuable. It tells me that it’s going to be a big change, but also a good experience; Although, I am extremely nervous to be a two hour drive from home, I am also very much so excited.
    Being a SUSO kid, I’ve learned so much about being the person I truly am, and not being fake. SUSO brought out the real me, and now I’m getting the best grades I’ve ever gotten, and I’m super proud of myself. I also am pretty set on what I want to do for the rest of my life, which is exciting.
    Anyways, very helpful, interesting post! Looking forward to seeing more!
    Greg Kirkpatrick 😀

    • And Greg you deserve to feel really proud of yourself! I’m super glad to hear that you’re surrounding yourself with people who are going to cheer you on in becoming the you 2.0 🙂
      Cool to hear you’re into architecture! I’ve heard studying that’s a real bitch – but persevere in it! If you’re really into it, it’ll pay off!
      Take care and keep up your great individualistic sense of style that I remember so well! 😀

  7. In high school it seems that everyone was different in the way they approached schooling. A lot of people didn’t care about their schooling, while others were hardcore, library dwellers, who saw disappointment when under performing, when others would consider reaching those heights of scholastic achievement a pipe dream. Now with these kids growing up and heading off to university, when staying back for a victory lap, I thought I would be told different experiences of university when the university students returned for the summer as adults. Surprising to me was that the same story was being told by every person who returned, the story that you have just told. It seems that everyone found new friends, a new focus and a new drive for education. University would be a struggle within the first couple of months, trying to adjust to your surrounding and trying to find yourself, but then it would get easier as the focus on education would stand out as the most important part of your life, while also finding people with similar interests that would have been a dream friend in high school.

    As someone who repeated Grade 12 and is now waiting for September to roll around, I find that I have less to worry about now going into university, hearing all of these similar stories of struggle, only to come out as a better person. I missed out on gaining a wealth of experience this year by staying back. Now having seen others crash and burn while also drawing up a game plan to how I’ll approach university, knowing what I’m up against, I have confidence that like that cat, once it’s all over, I’ll be staring university in the face, saying, “Come At Me! I’m Ready!”.

    • You know what, Mike? That’s honestly such a wise idea to reloop (not a word in English but it exists in French so I’m wanting to use it so badly) grade 12. I know a number of people who landed in the wrong program for them, and ended up both hating the year and wasting $10K.

      You sound like you’ll do well in university. It’s like working out. You can expect the workload to rip your muscles – but you will end up much stronger afterwards. It’s crazy how much you can learn! If I could recommend one book to you it’d be Cal Newport’s “How to Become a Straight A Student”. It’s not one of those tacky self help books – it’s based on what straight A students have done in order to get their results. One of the things I appreciate the most about his writing is how balanced it is. He’s really down to earth and understands how students social lives take importance too. Reading it would help you big, big time! Best of luck to you!

  8. To say I’m jealous of you would be a complete understatement. The reason for this is simple – you’re out of this hell-hole we call secondary school and seem to have some incredible friends! Reading your accounts of your high school days reminds me of myself now it’s crazy! Perhaps we’re twins?
    I go to school every day wanting to leave because nobody is passionate about what they’re in, and frankly neither am I. Some of the courses I’m in now are because guidance decided to throw me into them. Then when I do enter classes I enjoy, others are bringing me down. I find enjoyment in my extracurricular activities so as commencement slowly draws closer I’ve been looking at them to inspire me to keep going rather than the classes I’m supposed to be ‘enjoying’. I will be attending university next year, majoring in something I love a lot, and I hope others love it too. Hearing you say how incredible it is to be around people who WANT to be there, rather than HAVE to be there, sounds exhilarating. The thought that I can hold a sophisticated conversation over something I find enjoyment in now – sounds something like a dream.
    Now as Uncle Ben says, ‘with great power comes great responsibility’. I’m excited for the incredible change, but a little nervous for the workload ahead of me. High school quickly became a routine of barely studying, yet still passing. Until this year when I finally kicked it into gear and proved to not only my teachers, but myself, that I could do better. Then, I became involved with SUSO and other groups within the school to see if I could handle the pressure, and I could. I think what I’m trying to say is that I’m afraid that once I enter university I will put all my attention into either my extracurricular activities or my academics, rather than in both. Did you ever face this at all? And if you did, was it hard to pay attention to both in the end?
    Now, with my closing remarks: I loved that kitten. Now I’ve never used this site so my link might not even work, but I laughed for years at this. I’m going to say it shows my inner struggles or something deep and philosophical. Oh – and I loved the blog! I will most definitely be coming back soon!
    -Katherine M.

    • AWE YOU’RE IN SUSO? A GIRL AFTER MY OWN HEART! Perhaps we are long lost twins… When I read your comment I thought to myself, “wow that’s exactly what I was thinking a year ago this time… Why am I even here; let me OUT!” You will love university.
      Oh, and the giraffes say it all!

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