10) Is it better to live in residence or to get a place on my own?

9) Is the workload really harder than in high school?

8) What is the difference between going to college and university?

7) Should I apply for a government loan?

6) Will I have time for a part-time job?

5) Will my marks drop drastically?

4) Am I going to feel like just another number?

3) What if I don’t really know what I want to study?

2) What if I don’t get along with my room-mate?

1) Are there really co-ed washrooms?

Is it better to live in residence or to get a place on my own?

Obviously, that depends on you. Generally, we recommend that everyone have the residence experience for at least the first year of school. It's the best way to meet people, it's a lifestyle you’ll only get to experience once, and it is very convenient! If you are the kind of person who really needs a lot of space, you might want to think about getting your own digs. It can be tough to get work done in res, you really have to discipline yourself. If it's an experience you want to skip, make friends with people who live in residence. For most of the people that we’ve talked to, residence was one of the coolest things about their post-sec experience.

Is the workload really harder than in high school?

It certainly can be. For most people it's really all about making sure you get to class and keep on top of your work. It sounds simple, but when nobody is taking attendance and there is a pub beside the lecture hall, you have a choice to make. For some, university and college is a time to really do well. Suddenly you’re taking classes that really interest you, and the ones that don’t got left behind in high school. Give yourself some time to adjust to all the changes that you experience. Generally, your first year is the hardest.

What is the difference between going to college and university?

There are quite a few differences between college and university. College is usually much more specific than university. You generally will spend anywhere from one to three years at college, focusing on your subject of choice. At university, you can expect to spend three years and up, studying a variety of subjects in addition to your major. The choice between whether to go to college or university really depends on what you want to study and the amount of time you want to spend in post-secondary school.

Should I apply for a government loan?

Yes! For most of us, it's the only way to pay for school. The biggest mistake that student make is they forget that they have to pay the cash back (with interest!). Use any loan money wisely because you can end up with a huge debt to pay off once you graduate. Another great source of dough are the bursaries and foundations that are available to students. Some of these actually get cancelled because not enough students apply for them. Talk to your guidance counsellors, search the net, head to your local library. The best thing about foundations and bursaries is that there is practically one available for everyone, i.e. you don’t to be a rocket scientist to get some free $$$.

Will I have time for a part-time job?

Of course not. But you’ll probably have to get one anyway. If you need to make some extra money look for a job on campus. Most positions at colleges and universities have relatively flexible hours and it's pretty convenient to be able to dash from your shift to class. You shouldn’t have to depend too much on a job during the school year to get by. School is expensive, you don’t want to blow your year because you spent too many hours telephone soliciting to alumni for donations.

Will my marks drop drastically?

For some of you. For some of you your marks might go up. The biggest thing to remember is that your first year is a transition and it might take you that time to get into the groove of your new school. There are lots of services on campus like peer tutoring, writing workshops, academic counselling, etc... You are paying for this stuff as part of your tuition so.... use it!

Am I going to feel like just another number?

You won’t just feel like another number, you are another number. Once you begin your college/ university career, your identity will become your student number. The first several weeks of school will have you standing in line up after line up. Don’t let it get you down. There are personal connections to be made on campus with profs, instructors, tutorial leaders, friends. It's up to you to make your experience on campus more personal. Get involved, join clubs, join study groups, go to pub night and please, please.... GO TO YOUR FROSH WEEK/ ORIENTATION. It is the numero uno way to meet people!

What if I don’t really know what I want to study?

Join the club. Lots of students start off in one program and then switch after their first year and beyond. Many of the people that you start post-secondary school with will likely switch programs or even schools. Lots of people will even switch from college to university or vice versa. It's okay not to know exactly what you want to do. Often taking courses after high school will help you out with that. The one thing that you want to be careful about is going to a school or taking something because other people want you to. School is time consuming and expensive, it is okay to take some time off in between to sort out what you really want to do.

What if I don’t get along with my room-mate?

Hopefully you will. If you are planning on living in res, you will likely get a form that asks pertinent info about yourself like whether you’re a slob, a day or night person, a smoker, etc... They will try to match you up with someone who in theory should be compatible with you. Sometimes this works out great, other times not so much. One thing that you can’t really understand until you live in res is that you become amazingly tolerant. You have to in order to function in that kind of community style housing. If it doesn’t work out for you, you can always move. You can also plan to live with a friend if you are both going to the same school. Think carefully about this option, best friends do not always make best room-mates.

Are there really co-ed washrooms?

Oh yeah... Some, but not all, residences do have washrooms that both men and women use. Now if you think that there is no way you’ll ever be able to go to the bathroom for the entire year you’re in res, relax... Most dorms do have separate washrooms for men and woman and even if you do end up in a co-ed facility, apparently you get used to it. You might also have some say in which residence you will live in. Either way, it's just all part of the unique lifestyle of the post-secondary student.