Check your courses
Speaking from experience: I hated mathematics in high school. (I still don’t love it!). By the time I figured out what I wanted to pursue in university, I realized many of the programs I was interested in required certain grade 12 credits. All I wanted was to graduate from high school. So, I was delayed applying to university and took the math courses after work so I would be able to apply for my programs.
- Make sure you meet the minimum requirements. Check your high school transcript or your timetable to ensure that you have a minimum of six—grade 12 U or M courses.
- Ensure that you will complete all diploma requirements by the end of this school year to graduate from high school. If not, then make an appointment with your high school guidance counselor as soon as you can.
- Take an evening or online class to satisfy a required course to graduate from high school and apply to university on time.
Explore different programs
Speaking from experience: I waited until it was almost time to apply to university really to explore the programs and narrow down my choices. Bad idea—yes, because I didn’t satisfy all the requirements I need for the programs I wanted to apply to. So, I had to wait a year before applying to university as I still needed two courses.
- Research programs that interest you.
- Find the essential courses and required average for admissions.
- Start preparing the required documentation you will need to submit to universities.
- Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Explore several programs so you don’t limit your options.
Attend Ontario Universities’ Fair (OUF)
Speaking from experience: I had no idea what I wanted to study after high-school. I went to the OUF but I might have just stayed home. I collected a few brochures but never engaged with the staff from the universities.
- I’m sure had I reached out to speak to someone then they could have pointed me in the right or even informed me about the undecided major (if it was offered at that time!).
- I’m sure some would have told me about the math requirements for my programs of interest if I had reached out to them. This could have saved me an entire year!
- Make a list of question and bring to OUF with you.
- You can connect with current students and faculty members.
- Ask questions about programs that interest you or if you are unsure what program to pursue.
- Inquire about campus life, resources, commuting resources, admission requirements, residence, and finances.
Generate some ideas to gain hands-on experience
- Explore the co-op and internship programs offered at your university to see how you can get hands on-experience while completing your degree.
- If you are living at home and commuting then you can look for part-time work in your community or on–campus.
- For students living on residence or moving away from home then on-campus employment is a great option because there is no commute time involved.
- Whether you work on-campus or off—don’t look overlook the valuable experience you gain. Most companies have opportunities for growth at the store level or at their head offices.
- Campus employment is just as valuable because there are opportunities for career mobility once you graduate.
Until next time!