Tag Archives: highschool

Dear High School Me

STOP. RELAX.  Enjoy the easy-going high school days— it’s the calm before the storm.  You’re stressing so much about the future, and on university acceptances that you’re forgetting to enjoy what’s right in front of you.  Don’t take those high school friends for granted.  Don’t take the participation marks, that are worth 30% of your grade, for granted.  Don’t take the free education, the lack of homework, or the classroom of no more than 25 kids for granted.  I’m warning you, you’ll miss all of that.

If you think getting into university is the hardest part, you’ll realize it’s definitely not— it’s staying in that’s the challenge. You’ll study for hours for tests and work late into nights on assignments, but one thing high school failed to teach you was that studying hard doesn’t guarantee you good grades.  What you’ll quickly come to learn upon entering university is the trick is to develop good study habits that work for you, so that you can spend less time studying “hard” and more time studying effectively.  But, once you develop a good study plan, you won’t mind the excessive workload, and you’ll actually come to love what you’re learning, because the work is so much more interesting than what you’re doing in high school, and you’ll come to appreciate that!

Also, you should know, DON’T BELIEVE ALL THOSE UNIVERSITY FACTS YOU READ ONLINE! First of all, you really should stop looking up every single concern regarding university, and about what you should expect, because Google can’t even begin to explain the real university experience– you’ll experience that for yourself soon enough, so stop scaring yourself with other peoples’ experiences. Just like everything else on the internet, be wary! Your marks DO NOT drop by 30% (as long as you maintain good study habits and don’t slack off).  You won’t make life-long friends within the first two days (good friendships shouldn’t be rushed)!  People HAVE NOT suddenly and drastically matured (first-year is just a bunch of overgrown high school kids- same immature minds)!  And most importantly, despite many claims that “first year doesn’t count”, it most definitely DOES count (so don’t even think about slacking off).

That said, it’s not all lies! Not everything you read is false. It’s true that for every hour of class, you’ll have to spend about 3 hours worth of studying.  Unfortunately, that’s no myth. It’s also true that it’s possible to avoid the “Freshman 15”— as long as you’re no stranger to the gym.  And, of course, what I found most surprising of all, is that professors really are approachable!  They aren’t that intimidating, and are actually willing to help you!  And the most important piece of advice: don’t be afraid of change!  I know you’ll be losing a ton of great friends from high school, as everyone goes their separate ways, but you’ll also meet many new friends in university (shout out to Nigel and Shihan!), who you’ll make endless memories with.  Yes, you’ll miss the familiar faces of the teachers you’ve known for years, but you’ll encounter professors who’ll actually make you excited to come to class and sit in their 2-hour lecture (shout out to Professor Derry, the most amazing religion professor!)
You’ll be surprised by how ready you actually are for university life; it’s not as scary as it seems.  Just remember to continue doing what you love and don’t let anyone else make decisions for you!

P.S. Whoever said Prom night is the best night of your life, never experienced Frosh week! Definitely go to that, because you’ll gave a blast.
Sincerely,
Your future, much wiser (not really :p), university-attending self

Out With the Old, In With the New

Last Friday, my high school had its commencement, which is basically graduation in November.  The idea is to have a reunion, rather than a goodbye.  It was great seeing everyone, but one thing that really surprised me was the feeling I had walking back into my high school.

As I walked through the hallways that I spent 4 years in, the same hallways where I chatted with friends on the way to class, and ran through in the morning, trying to make it in on time, I couldn’t believe how foreign it felt.  It didn’t feel like it was a home to me for the past 4 years, and I couldn’t understand why.

When I walked through those halls again for the first time in months, I expected to experience a sense of security and comfort, or familiarity and relief — a feeling of finally coming home after a looong vacation.  But I didn’t experience that, and I can only think  of one reason why.

I have a new “home” now.  A new place of familiarity and security.  Although I’ve spent 4 years in high school, it already seems like I’ve spent an eternity at UTM.  The atmosphere of UTM is so welcoming and warm, that it’s easy to adopt it as a new home.

After talking to friends at commencement who are  attending other universities and claim they still feel like outsiders, still trying to adapt to the new environment around them, I realize how lucky we are to go to a school that is so easy to love and become comfortable with.

Don’t ever take that for granted!