Bob Dylan wasn’t kidding when he said “The Times Are A’Changing”. If it’s any cliche I’ve learned in life, it’s that change is constant.
This includes changing schools. I have my university degree and writing certificate, but I knew I wanted more. I spread myself out quite a bit during undergrad, doing three modules and joining many clubs, that I wanted to specialize in something.
That’s why I am in college for journalism, but I know that I’m not the only one who’s continued their studies by finding something more practical.
If you are in your last year of undergrad, first of all, congratulations! Buy yourself something pretty, because you earned it.
Second of all, these things will likely happen to you if you go to college after university.
1. You compare your two schools
You say you wouldn’t do it, but here you are, finding the similarities and differences between everything: the bagels, the atmosphere, the textbook store, and how you were as a student during each of your first years in either place.
When you go to more than one school in your post-secondary journey, avoiding the comparison is easier said than done. In the end, you realize there are things you like and dislike about both schools, and both offer different types of education.
2. People often ask you why you’re here
I’d buy a steak dinner if I had a dollar for every time I heard “You went to Western? What are you doing here?”
Let’s see, I love learning, I wanted to expand my credentials, and I knew I wanted to do a practical program relating to the theoretical one I studied.
You can explain as much as you want, but know that you don’t have to say anything. Deciding which school to go to is a tough choice, but you’ve done enough research and thinking to know this is the best one for you.
3. People are surprised by how old you are
Well, depending how you look and act. Sometimes, I’m a little bit confused as to why people think I just graduated high school last year. Maybe it’s my baby face. Probably the fact I don’t wear a lot of makeup either. Maybe it’s my love for Pokemon. Okay, fine, it’s definitely my love for Pokemon.
Only one person I’ve met in college was actually spot on with how old I am. I’ve been told I look like I’m between 18-20, and even younger than that ever since I started university.
As much as I need to take my own advice, try not to let the surprise from people get to you. Believe me, you’ll meet a mix of people in their 20s and their late teens. Really, all that matters is you are enjoying your time in college, no matter how old (or young) you are.
4. Those first day jitters? Awkward moments? They’re back!
Before I walked down the hallways, I didn’t think I’d be nervous. After all, I had previous radio and journalism experience before college. Plus, I went through university already, this will be a walk in the park! I will not make a fool of myself, I thought before my first day.
Wrong. so, so wrong.
Before I write an essay about how quirky I am, let’s just say that everyone can figure out that yes, that is your Legend of Zelda ringtone blaring from your phone in the middle of class.
You will feel nervous and maybe make a fool of yourself, but that’s ok. We’re only human, and once you get into the routine, you feel more put together.
5. That midterm season? Finals week? You’re too used to that now.
I still get stressed out, trust me. The friends I made in college know when I am panicking on the inside if I think something’s going to go wrong. That aside, I’m used to the workload in college because of my experience in university.
My disciplines required a lot of reading and writing, and I was involved in many writing and producing opportunities on top of that as an undergrad. Mix all of that together, and you have a hermit recipe with a spot of tea. Never mind, a gallon of tea, because I’m sure I drank plenty of tea during undergrad.
Don’t get me wrong, I still get FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), but it’s not as severe. Plus, I know I can reward myself after a stressful time studying and doing projects.
If you’ve had previous post-secondary education prior to the program you’re in now, you’ll likely feel the same way. Let’s be honest; no one likes tackling a bunch of assignments when all they can dream about is watching netflix in his or her PJs, but when you’ve been doing this for at least five years, working hard just seems to come naturally.
What are some things that have happened to you? Let me know in the comments!