This is something that’s been on my mind forever, but especially recently considering I will be moving away to university in less than eight (!) months. Sadly, I will not be travelling there via a European nor Hogwarts-esque train.
The VAST majority of my friends will be living at home and going to the university in our city. In fact, 70% of students at my school do that. I, on the other hand, have known since I was twelve years old that there was no chance of me staying in Edmonton once I hit eighteen.
I’m not saying that there is something wrong with it, or that it doesn’t have a purpose (hello, savings upwards of $30k). All I’m saying is that I’ve known for a long time that I need something more.
University, to me, is about so much more than simply getting a degree. Especially for someone who barely has a clue what she wants to do with her life, getting outside of my comfort zone and experiencing a whole new environment is not only fun but essential. How am I supposed to decide what I want to do with the rest of my life when I’ve lived in one city my entire existence?
Short answer: I can’t. I can’t go through four more years of, essentially, high school. It would be the same routine with the same people and I would rather work retail in another city than attend university here. I’m not being spoiled, and I understand that a lot of people feel they have no other option. But the fact is, if you work hard (I have a job and maintain honours at school), I believe that anything is possible.
That is why I wanted to write this post! For anyone in the same situation as, honestly, the majority of high school seniors, to realize that they are not obligated to go about life “traditionally”. This is not just for seventeen year olds. This can apply to anyone looking to change their life, to follow the road less travelled and just do something different. Escape! Explore! Find confidence you never knew you had, throw yourself into a whole new environment with brand new people and see who you become.
“But, I can’t afford it.”
- Google ‘Scholarships _________ (enter your country/province/state). Apply for anything and everything you are eligible for, because $100 + $100 + $100 is $300. Ask your community league and/or YMCA if they have bursary programs you can apply for as well.
- Get a job. Even if you can only work six hours per week and you get paid $10/hour (roughly the minimum wage in Alberta) that is $240 per month that you didn’t have before. And if you can, work somewhere with tips. (Makes a difference)
- PRIORITIZE SCHOOL. Notice the caps lock? Good. There are SO MANY more scholarships available to students with higher grades. You don’t have to have an average of 99% to receive awards. In Alberta, students with marks over 70 get something.
- I’m not exactly qualified (hello, grade twelve student here) to give financial advice, but there are tons of tips all over Google to track spending, not to mention websites that give you savings alerts and goals. Take the time and make a plan!
“But, I’m not ready to leave home/my hometown/my secure job.”
- If you wait until you’re ready, you might never leave home. It’s scary to leave everything you’ve ever known, but…
Now, please prepare yourselves for the Cheese Factory
Make today the first day of the rest of your life! Happy Monday 🙂
High schoolers, are you going to university in another city?
What is one thing you want to do that others don’t understand?