Finding The Right Post-Secondary School For You
If the Post-Secondary School Fits
Finding the right post-secondary school is like trying on a shoe. Cinderella didn’t have to force her foot into a glass slipper, so why should you? I volunteer for my Alma mater. One of my favourite activities is to offer school tours for prospective students, parents, and guests. I went to UTSC where the number one question asked is, “Why should I go here instead of UofT St. George?” Of course, this is a valid question. But my reply would always be, “Well, have you gone on a tour there yet?”
Figure out if a school is right for you by visiting the campus. It isn’t always about trying to get into the “best” program or the prettiest campus. If you go and visit a school and feel out-of-place, or you don’t feel a hum of excitement coursing through you, then guess what? It probably isn’t the school for you.
I’ve had friends absolutely hate their university experience simply because they chose a campus that was based on its convenience, specific program, or because their parents thought it was a good idea. They didn’t feel a sense of community. I loved going to a smaller school like UTSC where I got to know everyone, but some people prefer a bigger school in the heart of the city. It’s all based on preferences!
Going to visit your post-secondary school also provides an advantage of asking questions. So, keep a few questions locked and loaded to learn more about the school. Here are some good questions to ask your tour guide or admissions representative:
- How big are class sizes?
- What are the class schedules like? (Some classes are later than others depending on the school.)
- Are professors easy to speak to?
- What is the price of tuition for the upcoming year?
- What are the differences between Tutorials, Labs, and Lectures?
- Do I have to pay specific program fees?
Residence Specific Questions
- Where do residence students go for groceries?
- Where do students do their laundry?
- Who cleans the residence?
- How are roommates chosen?
Even if the guide you’re speaking with doesn’t know the answer, they can get you in contact with the person who will. I always also suggest doing 2 tours if you can. First, do a one-on-one with someone from the admissions office who can fully answer your questions. The second tour is on a special “Campus Day”. This is run by admissions, so you can ask upperclassmen and program reps questions. This will offer great insight into the university.