By Daniel K.
“Success is great for a person’s self-confidence and their overall outlook on life! You also need passion and drive coupled with your talent in order to push you to become your best. But the main thing is to choose a study which can lead to a job you can live with. If you hate it or know you will not be able to live the lifestyle you want on that salary perhaps you should consider a different route of study.”
The previous quote comes from Cait Gautron, a senior at Fredericton High School. Through her studies, she has decided to move away from home and go to school in Ontario. When asked how she felt about her decision to move, she said that she was very excited, and that it would allow her to meet new people and study in just the right area that she has been looking into. Decisions like that can be extremely difficult, and not every student will know exactly what they want to do after they graduate. What CAN you do? How do you get to where you want to be?
Everything starts with research. In order to figure out where you should go for a post-secondary education, you have to look into what schools have what courses, and decide based on what they offer. If you are interested in psychology, find a school that offers psychology courses. If you want to fix cars, and then look into schools that offer repair courses. The sooner you start looking into schools, the sooner you will know what to do.
However, post-secondary does not always work for some people. While there are countless advantages to attending a school, some people would rather not and still manage without the extra education. In other cases, people may never find the school that would fit them, and just end up not attending for that reason. Some people’s personalities do not match the mentalities that universities or colleges have, which could keep them from gaining the education. However, not all people need this extra knowledge. There are jobs and careers in the world that do not require the education offered by university or college. Companies like Chevron will hire employees that do not have the extra education, but will offer more room for promotion for those who do. The plus side is that even if you do not have that extra education required for promotion, you can still live very comfortably, as their annual salaries are still quite nice.
Let’s say that someone was good at history during their high school years. Based on that, the student would most likely look for schools that offer courses like history, or classics, or things of the sort. If you are good at something, then pursue it! Not every course is rock-solid in its ideas. While the previously mentioned student is good at history that does not mean that they would take just “history”. They would most likely find a specific place or time in history that would be interesting for them to study, such as the Roman Empire, or the Greeks. Each classification of course has many different types of courses under it, making for many diverse ways of going about your education.
Post-secondary institutes require much more from their students compared to high schools. In high school, teachers would give you warnings if you fail to complete assignments, or remind you when it is due, etc. With post-secondary institutes, they will not badger you for the work that they assigned for you to complete. If you decide that you do not want to do an assignment, then they will not ask for it, and you will receive nothing from it.
The amount that is required from you also changes quite drastically. In high school, you can do absolutely zero projects in a term, but for your courses in university, odds are you will have to do at least five-to-seven years.
Classes work much differently in a post-secondary institute compared to any other education someone would have received prior. At university, you get to choose which courses you take, and, by extension, the times you take them at. However, some courses are only available once a week, so that is more like previous educations. The problem lies, however, with the amount of students attending a university. To be able to attend a course, you have to register for the course. Once registration opens, people flood the website and/or campus offices, getting the best times and courses they can. Basically, you can mostly create your own schedule when you attend a university. When attending college, everything is laid out beforehand for you, much like high school. However, you most likely will not be spending an entire day at the college (this applies for university as well), but more like three-to-five hours a day.
The biggest differences between your high school years and your post-secondary years will be the amount of freedom and flexibility that you will have. Being able to create your own life style for the next few years is a major change, allowing you to plan around your courses quite easily. At university, you have to take 30 “credit hours” worth of courses in order to officially complete a year of education. Each course is worth either three or six “credit hours”, with the ones worth six being a full year, and the ones worth three being only one semester. College courses work much more simply, with you just being required to complete the courses they hand you, instead of having to worry about how many “credit hours” a course is going to be worth.
Coming out of high school, one of the biggest changes that you will experience are the professors. Teachers are much more lenient with late work, or work in general, while professors are generally stricter on how assignments or normal work is done, or when it should be passed in. However, professors are still people, like you, so they will be understanding about your struggles and blights. Every professor will be different, but in general, more strict on their marking and due dates. Teachers will also hound you for an assignment if you do not pass it in, while professors will generally just leave it. If it is not done, then it is your own problem.
But what are the differences between, say, university and college? Universities offer a much more flexible program, being able to take as much as five but as few as just one course every semester. They also offer a large variety of courses in the programs, creating a very lenient education system. College, on the other hand, (usually) takes much less time in order to finish your education, but it is much more condensed and strict. For college, you apply for a program, and if you are accepted, you are given a list of courses and times you have to be there. You do not get any choice in the course once you are in the program, but it takes much less time in order to finish with your education, as you spend much more time in the classroom.
“I have been craving a change in pace, having moved so often in my life I am finding it hard to spend so much time in one place. I want to explore and try new things. I know I will miss my family very much, and I know it will be hard at first but I am excited to learn to live on my own. I think I will really be able to learn who I am as a person! It is so easy to get caught up in life in Fredericton.” Change doesn’t always hurt, and can be just what you need to find your way, and it is obvious that Cait feels similarly. The best advice to give younger generations is to just go out into the world and see what is there for you. Sometimes, going outside of the box is the best thing for a person.