Some things don't change during a pandemic. While social distancing has dampened the celebrations, it is still an exciting time for graduating high school students who are exploring options for the next step. You've probably considered starting university, heading straight to work, or taking a gap year. These options have always been there, but the added uncertainty of the last few months has likely heightened the anxiety of making "the right choice."
The answer isn't as clear as some may like, but it's the truth: do what's right for you.
Your unique circumstance
"Every student has a unique circumstance," says Sarah Rude, student success coordinator at Mount Royal University. She sees students as part of MRU's early support program, and knows each student has their own path to finding academic, career and personal success.
"It's normal," she says, to feel stuck and unsure when you're not sure what to do next. She has some pointers on how to tackle the challenge of feeling frozen in place.
"The key is to first seek support and advice," says Rude. "Realizing you're not alone, that you don't have to figure it all out on your own, is the most impactful first step," she says. If you haven't yet spoken with someone about starting university, a recruitment officer can provide advice.
According to Rude, recording your thinking process in writing can be helpful. "Breaking large goals into smaller, tangible tasks will help you get you where you want to go," she says.
If university's right for you
If you decide university is the right choice for you, complete these first steps:
- Apply to a program you're excited about. If you don't yet have the required grades, consider a pathway program to get started.
- If you've received a conditional offer from a university, continue working on your high school classes to meet your requirements.
- Pay your deposit and select your classes.
Depending on what stage you're in, any one of these steps can help you take control of your decision and help you build toward your goal.
"While it is okay to have feelings of uncertainty, it is also okay to be excited," says Rude.
Mount Royal University is planning for various Fall 2020 scenarios. Whether in-person or by alternate delivery, classes will be held this September. Mount Royal is known for a student-centred approach to undergraduate education, in and out of the classroom.