I recently enrolled at the University of British Columbia. As you can imagine, I am super excited for this experience, as I will be living in Vancouver for the next 5 years, yet, I am still a bit anxious. I’m sure this feeling is also shared with other Grade 12s. Most of us will be starting a new form of studies, in a field that may not be the right one, and, for some, in a town away from our family. Two weeks ago, I had the chance to travel to Vancouver to visit the university as part of a weekend organized by UBC. The event known as Destination UBC, was offered to all Canadian high school students accepted at UBC and was filled with meetings with teachers and current students, activities with fellow prospective students, and tours of the numerous buildings on campus. While I learned a lot about life in UBC, I also brought back a more general understanding of post-secondary life that helped calm my anxiety. I will share with you a few tips that were shared with us at the event.
The President of the Engineering Club of UBC
Much like high school, it is very important to be involved. University and college are filled with clubs and organizations of all kinds ranging from your standard chess club to a hula-hooping club. You can participate in your student’s union or with your university or college newspaper. You can learn a new sport, or work on a passion with like-minded people. Ultimately, the best way to improve your post-secondary experience is by participating in all those extracurricular activities. And it’s fun too!
Learn as much as possible
In the center of the group, the Dean of Applied Sciences of UBC. Behind, the “Engineering can”
In university and college, you are not being taught for the exact same reasons as in high school. You are preparing yourself for your future career, and the best way to do so is by being in contact with your teachers. They will often be at the cutting edge of their field, and simply talking to them can greatly improve your education. They can offer you research positions or internships, which is the most interesting job you can get on campus. You will have the ability to put your studies into practice, while still paying for your tuition. Another way to improve your university education is to participate in an exchange or co-op program. This will allow you to discover new perspectives, and it looks very advantageous on a resume.
The friends I met at Destination UBC
Of all the advice that was given to us during this event, there was one that was constantly repeated: “Post secondary education is all about friends.” Even if you are still living in your parents’ house, your relationship with them is bound to change. You will be faced with new knowledge and a new way of life. You will start classes that will become increasingly more difficult. This is why it is very important to meet new people at the start of university or college. You will probably share more interests with them and you will be able to seek their help when faced with the multitude of challenges that make up post-secondary life. Ultimately, it will be with you new friends that you will create your best postsecondary memories. While it is important to acknowledge that the transition from high school to university or college is scary, we should see it as an opening to a world full of possibilities. It is the last step before starting careers of our own and this will be the most interesting step of them all. So to all the grade 12s, good luck! And to all, I hope I will be able to see some of you at UBC!
Quentin Golsteyn is a Grade 12 student at CCH. When he is not working on his latest experiment as an evil scientist, he enjoys biking, playing piano, and programming. HIs favourite thing about CCH is the incredible school spirit.