How do you feel about your future?

Confused

Feeling stuck or confused about which path you want to take after high school?

Deciding where you want to go is a big decision. Every path is different and it’s important to remember that no matter where you choose to go, you deserve to have all the information you need at your fingertips.

What do you enjoy the most about transitioning from high school to college?
High school was rough for me, I didn't get along with a lot of people. Now, I love school and enjoy the people who have similar interests as me. It's completely a social thing, not to mention that learning something you're passionate about also makes it better!

I’m Josh, third year Interaction Design student at Sheridan. The best thing to ever happen to me was my rejection from Ryerson’s School of Media. It put me on the right path to Sheridan, and landed me in the perfect program for me.

What did you find the most difficult about transitioning from high school to college?

Meeting new people and growing distance from old friends. But don't worry too much about losing your current friends, you will always have the opportunity to make new friends.

My name is Nasra and I am a graduate of the marketing program at Sheridan College. I was also an event member on the Sheridan Student Union.

RESOURCES

Helping understand different future pathways

Every path is different and it’s important to remember that no matter where you choose to go, you deserve to have all the information you need at your fingertips. It’s important to remember that despite things like parental pressure, choosing a profession for the sake of money, or other external pressures, you are in control of choosing the program that matches what you want to do in life.

After high school, you can become overwhelmed at the number of choices there are as a high school graduate. Apprenticeship, university, college, taking a gap year or going straight into the work force? Which one should you take? Which one is the right decision for you? Below you can read about all the different pathways that you can choose after high school.


Understanding Future Pathways

College

Canadian colleges are career-oriented schools that specialize in giving students “hands-on experience”. You may be considering going to college because you have a career path that focuses on applied fields or a career in the trades. Colleges offer Bachelor degrees, certificates and diplomas and offer both full time and part time education.

University

Canadian universities are academic or professional based schools that specialize in theory based knowledge. You may be considering going to university if you have chosen a career path that focuses more on “theory”, such as law or history. At university, you can double major if you wish, and they offer Bachelor degrees, Master degrees, PHD degrees, and professional programs.

Apprenticeships

Apprenticeships are a way to gain experience while you learn. This pathway is usually associated with the trades sector, plus transportation, construction, and service sectors. A wage is given to apprentices while they work and learn. You should have skills in Math, English and Science if you decide to pursue this path.

Gap Year

The gap year pathway often does not get much love from Canadian students. It’s considered to delay a student’s post-secondary education and remains a risk that you may waste a year spending it doing nothing effective. However, a gap year does have numerous benefits. If you are unsure about what you want to do for a career, it may make sense for you to take a gap year and explore your interests. This can save you student debt and future stress, and not everyone is ready to simply know what their career is immediately out of high school. There are many things that you can do during a gap year to increase spending that year effectively: travel to another country, volunteer at a non-profit organization, work at a job or take other classes to learn new skills.

Straight to the Work Force

Going straight to work after high school may be the pathway for you. If you need financial needs, or don’t know what career you’d like to pursue, then going into the work force may make sense to you. There are numerous benefits to going to work after high school: understanding the work force, gaining experience and skills for future reference, and gaining money for the things you want to do in the future.

Excited

Excited about starting post-secondary? We’re excited that you’re excited.

With events such as open houses, college/university fairs, mentorship opportunities, extra-curricular activities and even possibly living on your own, there’s a whole new world out there for a high school graduate to explore.

What did you enjoy the most about transitioning from high school to university?

The environment you are put in is very unique. You are amongst a large group of people with a similar mentality, to continue their education at a higher level, which stirs innovation and a forward thinking community. The people you meet and the friends you make may seem more in tune with who you are because they get your passion, being in the same program and all.

My name is Kaspar and I'm currently a 2nd year Interaction Design student at Sheridan College. I hold a degree in economics from UWaterloo, but I realized my passion lied in design and impacting people on a more intimate scenario.

What do you enjoy the most about transitioning from high school to college?

The sense of community at my college makes me feel really comfortable especially within my part-time job with the school. I love being able to help students stay informed about all my school has to offer. Getting involved on campus has really created a college experience experience full of memories and friendships that I want to last a lifetime.

Hi, my name is Rhema and I am a recent graduate of the marketing program at Sheridan’s HMC campus. I am also the marketing street team lead at the Sheridan Student Union.

TOOLS

Preparing you for your future journey

With events such as open houses, college/university fairs, mentorship opportunities, extra-curricular activities and even possibly living on your own, there’s a whole new world out there for a high school graduate to explore.

Check out some of these ideas for extra preparation during the summer break. Preparing the summer before post-secondary can help you have a smooth transition on your journey. Join your campus’ Facebook page so you can keep up with all the important dates, and look into clubs. Don’t be afraid to get involved! If possible, contact your roommate and get to know them before you meet, setting up important expectations and room rules. Two weeks before post-secondary, look into places where you can get textbooks and resources for cheaper rates. And of course, make sure to pack everything you need for living on your own!


Preparing During Summer Break

Packing for residence and living away from home

Living on your own is a big adventure. It comes with a new set of challenges, but if you’re prepared beforehand, you can overcome many of the challenges easier! In a dorm, there isn’t enough space for all the things you have in your current living space, so you’ll have to pack and take the items that you truly love and need.

There are many resources online that can guide you into picking and choosing what you need for your dorm room space, such as The Collegiate’s Guide:

thecollegiatesguide.com

Events, Fairs and Open Houses

Post-secondary campuses often have a wide range of events that students can sign up and join or even just drop in on. There are events that range from raising awareness for important issues, exciting events that make you connect and have fun, and events that invite in guest speakers so you can learn and network.

College and university fairs can be a great way to find out information about all the different schools you could attend. It’s also a great way to gain valuable information from Informational Sessions, learn how to pay for school, and understand, compare and contrast which schools offer the best programs. If you are unsure about anything, university or college fairs are the best places to ask because most likely, faculty, students and staff from programs will be there to answer all the questions you need!

Feeling confident about the environment of your chosen campus is more important than you may think. Open houses are a great way to get a feel of the campus before you accept an opportunity. Keep your eyes out for any important dates for open houses or book a tour with the campus you want to go to!

Importance of Getting Involved

Student life and college/university culture provide a rich environment in which you can learn about yourself and others. Getting involved with other students on campus can provide great opportunities and experiences.

Stressed

Stress is a big part of our daily routines, but it doesn’t have to hold you back.

Stress is a big part of our daily routines, but it doesn’t have to hold you back. There are all sorts of services, apps, and resources out there to take care of your mental health—no matter how big or small your issue is, you are not alone.

What advice would you give a current high school student trying to decide on going into university, college, trade school, etc.?

If you're interested in a field, spend a day with a professional at their work. It's a quick way to find out if you love it or hate it, before spending any money or time studying to enter the field.

I'm Ben, currently in my second year in the Bachelor of Interaction Design program at Sheridan. I studied a year of liberal arts before coming here and am now the President of the Trafalgar campus' Toastmasters club.

What advice would you give a current high school student trying to decide on going into university, college, trade school, etc.?

Don't feel pressured to go to university. Colleges and trade schools provide incredible opportunities just as universities do. Value your time and pay attention to the cost of education. Focus on experience be it work, internship, coop, etc. It is easier to get entry level jobs as a current student than a recent graduate and experience goes a long way.

Hey, my name is Mauro Trevisan. I graduated Water Resources Engineering at University of Guelph. Have been working construction jobs to pursue my goal of developing systems I studied in real world applications.

BLOGS

To take care of your mental health

There are all sorts of services, apps, and resources out there to take care of your mental health—no matter how big or small your issue is, you are not alone. Counselling services are available on most campuses — for more information, check your individual university/college’s website. While there is a stigma surrounding therapy, it’s important to validate your feelings. Mental health needs to be taken care of just as much as physical health!


Taking Care of Your Mind

Information on Mental Health

Depression and anxiety are the two most common mental illnesses that post-secondary students have because of the mounting pressures that they face every day. It’s important to take care of your mental health just as much as your physical health. However, it is equally important to note that while depression and anxiety are the most common, a rising number of students with eating disorders, self-injury, suicidal ideations and alcohol abuse are common problems within campuses. If you, or anyone you know have any of these issues, tell someone you trust and get help. 75% of students do not ask for help and this may lead to serious problems in the future.

Stress Relief

College usually brings more stress than high school, but learning how to cope with the stress can help you balance out your life easier. Everyone responds to stress in different ways and something that works for someone else may not work for you. It’s important to explore and try out several stress relief methods before you find one that fits your lifestyle.

Worried that you’re too stressed out? Here are some symptoms of stress, it’s important to keep in mind that you may not have all of these symptoms:

  • Worrying
  • Skipping classes
  • Constantly exhausted
  • Having difficulty concentrating
  • Tense muscles
  • Frequent headaches
  • Sleeping habit changes

Reducing and managing stress is one way to bring some relief into your life, and there are lots of different ways to go about it. Using planners, calendars or notebooks to organize your homework is great way to plan things in advance so you don’t have to stress about it later. You can also go digital—there are many desktop and mobile apps to help you achieve whatever you need. College Info Geek has a great list of digital resources for students if you’re wondering where to start!

Relaxation techniques are another way to reduce stress. These techniques are useful when you need to relax your body or mind in the short term. Take your time to explore different techniques, everyone’s response is different! In a pinch? Try breathing exercises, muscle relaxation techniques, yoga or being mindful throughout your day. For more information on each of these techniques, visit www.campusmindworks.org!


Exercises and Gym Routine

Your mind and body are tied together and your physical health can help you improve your mental health. Exercise can help you reduce and cope with several types of mental health concerns. Depending on your lifestyle, the most appropriate form of exercise may be moderate activity throughout the day, at least 30 minutes of activity every day.

Getting involved in classes hosted by your campus gym are a great way to help you achieve these 30 minutes of activity. Not only do you benefit from daily exercise, you also can make friends and other amazing health benefits.

Counselling

Sometimes we all just need someone to listen to our issues. Being a student is hard work, and balance can be an everyday challenge. You don’t have to do it alone. Talking to a counsellor can be a confidential way of figuring out how to better cope with the problems you may be facing in your life. Often, campus counsellors are free and they provide additional, short term plans if you need greater assistance for mental health issues.

Check out your campus’ website for more specific information about counselling services.

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