Applying to university and college can be confusing. How can you ensure admission to your school of choice? What school will fit your personality and goals best? How should you devise a course schedule – and for that matter – what courses should you select in the first place?
Technically, your high school guidance counsellor is supposed to help you through the process and be there to answer any questions, but we all know that’s not always the way it works. They may be short with time, unhelpful or unable to connect with you.
So where else can you turn to get coaching and advice?
We’ve compiled the best three options where you can receive guidance as you move into post-secondary education.
The best place to learn about post-secondary school is talking to current students. Their wealth of knowledge is current and unmatched. They’re going to give it to you straight – what school is really like, which professors to avoid and how to budget for your first year. You can learn what mistakes they made and what they wish they did differently.
Now, how to find current students? Some ideas are checking out Facebook groups for prospective students at the school of your choice, asking around during school tours and asking friends of friends to put you in touch.
Did you know that it’s an actual profession to coach high school students to prepare them for university? Yes, you will have to pay for this, but it may be worth it depending on your needs. It’s especially helpful if you are applying to a competitive program, a program in the United States or if you have learning difficulties and need extra attention or direction.
Sometimes these mentors will come to your high school to give a presentation but otherwise you can find them by searching online for “university admission consultants”. These consultants have intimate knowledge of each institution and will walk you through every step of the process, and even edit your admissions essay.
Online forums have quickly become one of the best resources to find helpful information on the transition to college or university. Forums like Reddit can give you a wealth of information on what post-secondary school is going to be like, what job prospects are going to be available for each program, and you can even post specific questions you may have.
Another fantastic online source is Macleans Education Hub. They have articles by past students and publish an annual ranking of every university in Canada.
Moving into post-secondary education doesn’t have to be overcomplicated. With these resources you can do your best to make the transition as seamless as possible and prepare yourself for the next stage of your life.