Recruitment season has come to an end for the fall season; what a ride it has been. I would hope that all of you have learned a lot from me through visits to your school, fairs, and/or this blog in itself. Surprisingly, the main thing I have taken from this experience is the amount I have learned from all of you high school students. I certainly felt like I was aging myself at the beginning of this journey, putting myself in the shoes of an eleventh or twelfth grader. The truth is I forgot how overwhelming this whole experience of picking a university can be. As the recruitment season neared its end I began to see a bit more panic and urgency in some of you high school students getting ready to submit your applications. I thought I would end on a high note with some tips that I think will help you all and help ease the nerves as you begin a wonderful new journey -- trust me, I know from experience!
First I want to advise you to NOT, I repeat DO NOT, leave your university application to the last minute. January 14, 2015 is the deadline for you grade 12s but saving your application until then is probably not the best idea. The Ontario Universities Application Centre (OUAC) network will probably be overwhelmed with activity on that day and you may not get your application in on time -- if it is not in on time then you are not given equal consideration for the university of your choice. I highly suggest being disciplined. My suggestion to you is to have all three of your top choices mapped out and picked before you head home for your winter break. Then, finalize the application within your first few days of your time off. That way it is done and out of the way and you can enjoy the rest of your holiday doing whatever your heart desires.
My second bit of advice is for returning grade 12s, grade 11s, or any students doing their university applications in the future: DO YOUR RESEARCH! We university representatives know that no matter where you choose to study in Ontario, you will be receiving a top-notch post-secondary education. When you get those privileged opportunities to have representatives out to your school at fairs or visits, go and talk to them about anything and everything to do with what you are interested in studying. Never assume anything about a university; the person you heard it from had their own unique experience and you will have your own when it is your turn.
For example, with us: yes, we are constantly working in a 21st-century technology-enriched learning environment, but we offer so much more with our range of faculty and programs. Not to mention the small campus but large and vibrant campus life. It's about all of the things that UOIT prides itself on and offers to our future leaders in this world. I am happy that I did my research and found that UOIT had exactly what I was looking for in its Communication program. On top of that, I got to play varsity hockey and have a student experience that I would not change for the world. As cliché as it sounds, it made me who I am today -- that is why it is so important that you research, ask in-depth questions of your reps, and never assume from word-of-mouth.
Finally, I would encourage you to enjoy this entire experience of finding your calling and to look forward to being able to study exactly what interests you in this big world. You are no longer going to have someone telling you exactly what you have to take or what you have to do. You can design your own schedule for the most part, within the compulsory requirements of your program. Not a morning person? You will often have the option to take later classes if that is what you prefer.
University is much different than high school and I truly believe it is when you will find yourself and your calling. You will experience so many different people and things and make memories to last a life time. The process of finding the right school for you is so important -- you may as well make it fun and enjoy it. Let us show you how to make it fun and informative: come to our winter open house on February 28 from 10 am - 2 pm. If you cannot make it to the open house, book a tour with us! We love showing you around UOIT; we have our own special memories embedded all around campus!
This picture is my favourite memory I took from my university experience: my hockey team and friends for the rest of my life.