Four years ago, on January 31st, I chose Ryerson as my intended university for Fall 2014. It’s that time of year again and my Timehop app still reminds me of that feeling like you have a million choices to make in front of you. If you’re feeling confused, nervous, overwhelmed, or all of the above, check out these five reminders I wish I had when I was choosing a university.
No School Is Perfect
I was obsessed with finding the perfect school, where I could picture myself walking across campus, attending rival football games, studying in my dorm and hanging out with all my soon-to-be friends. My Ryerson choice came with no football team and a campus is situated in the downtown core, but they had the best program and the best opportunities for me. It’s important to remember that no school is perfect and there will be a lot of unexpected parts you’ll love once you’re more familiar with the campus.
No Program Is Perfect
I applied to three different Ryerson program (in three completely faculties!!) in grade 12 because I was having a hard time choosing my future career. If you’re not sure, don’t worry, choose what you think is best for you and if you don’t like it switch out later. If you’re really unsure, consider applying to programs like Undeclared Arts the first year, try things out, get comfortable and take your time deciding what your specialization will be in second year – it is your future after all!
You’re Different Than Your Friends
A lot of people make university decisions based on where their friends are going and what their friends are doing, but you have to remember to do what’s best for you! You’re different than your friends and one school or program that’s right for them might not be right for you. Be happy for your friends, but prioritize yourself and then work out reading week-visit schedules later.
It Isn’t As Scary As You Think
Yes, moving away or just going to university can be scary, but not as scary as you think. Everyone in first year is going through the same experience and are feeling the same emotions. Get out of your comfort zone, find a club you’re passionate about and make some new friends and I promise the world will feel a lot smaller.
There’s Life Outside Of Campus
In first year, we all get caught up in the campus life and seem to forget that the world exists outside of a two block radius of your university. Try and expand your reach and opportunities by exploring new areas outside of your comfort zone. If you haven’t found your “spot” on campus, odds are you’ll find somewhere that feels like home not too far away.