The transition from high school to university will be filled with new experiences and learning curves, but the more prepared you are, the easier it'll be to adjust once you get there.

This doesn't mean you'll know all the answers, or that everyone's university experience will be the same. It just means that the more open and prepared you are, the more likely you are to get the most out of your university experience!

What can you expect in university?

Of course, your academics are a crucial part of university. University is about learning, researching, and exploring, except now you get more choice than ever about what the subjects will be.

But one thing to note is that the university 'experience' has as much to do with what you do outside the classroom as what you do inside the classroom.

Personal connections are an important part of the journey, from the friends you meet in residence and the professors who share their passion for a niche subject area, all the way to the networks you build in co-op. It's also about things like:

  • sports teams
  • clubs
  • student societies
  • jobs
  • volunteering
  • travelling

And whatever else you do in your free time! You'll learn from all of these experiences just as much as you'll learn from the formal classroom curriculum.

How do you pick a program?

Choosing a school and program can be overwhelming, especially if you don't know what you want to do.

There are lots of factors to consider when choosing a university — however, deciding on a program is just as important. Discovering something you're passionate about doesn't mean you know your future career, it just means you're on the path to finding some of those answers.

And it's totally normal to not be entirely sure what you want to study or what you want to do. That's why it's helpful that your decision doesn't have to be final. If the program you chose doesn't feel right, there's resources available to help you figure things out.

What if you don't feel ready for university?

Most university students can think of things they wish they knew before coming to university, and that's okay. You're coming to university to learn. You don't need to have it all figured out before you get here. As you grow, you will change, and your university transition is no exception. With time, you'll learn your own ways of doing things that will help you succeed.

Some helpful ways to get the inside scoop on what campus life looks like at university:

  • attending open houses
  • booking a campus tour
  • checking out a university's website
  • scrolling through a university's social media

Take some time to browse these online resources and see if the university's vibe and style resonate with you.

Everyone around you is a resource, too. You can ask family and friends about their university experience or talk to your teachers and guidance counsellors about subjects you're interested in. The more advice you can collect, the easier your decision will be.

It's okay to figure things out as you go. University might not always be what you expect, and that can be stressful, but when the pieces come together, the outcome will be better than you could have ever imagined.

So, be kind to yourself and make decisions that work for you.

Learn more about choosing the right university program