November 2002
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To University or Not
By Monique M., Fredericton High School, Fredericton, NB

I am a 17-year-old girl with a major decision to make. My decision could change the rest of my life. I need to decide what I am going to do next year. After the Prom, the Graduation ceremony, and Safe Grad party, after the band plays its final song and all my friends say goodbye, that's when I have to know what I will be doing next year.

This is the time in a teenager's life that some look forward to but many dread. We dread it because it is a time of stress and wondering if dreams can come true.

Some of my closest friends know exactly what they want to do next year. My best friend is moving away to another province to further his music career. A talented friend of mine will be moving to Moncton to study to become an ethestician. But, many of my friends don't have any idea what they want to do for a career, or for the rest of their lives. I am definitely one of this ever growing group of undecided students.

I do know that I want to go to University; I always have. Only a few members of my family have gone to University and I want to prove to everyone that I can make it. I want every person who has said I won't be able to succeed in life to see me make something important of myself.

I have become so frustrated by the so-called advice of people in "authority". When I go to the school's guidance office lately, I am being told now that I have plenty of time to decide what I want to do next year in University. Well then, why have I had the message of "hurry up and decide" driven into my head for the past twelve years? It is such an annoyance to hear someone say I will have plenty of time to decide on a major to study, after I am enrolled in University. Well, I have a news flash for these people. When I have to pay for my education myself and I can't afford one year's tuition, I don t have any money to waste trying to figure out what I want after I am already attending University.

It bothers me that some scholarships won't let you receive them and then take a year off to discover yourself. I believe this is a very valuable part of life and it will ensure that the scholarship isn t being wasted. Instead the scholarships are promoting rash decisions. I would love to take a year off to work and raise a few thousand dollars but on the other hand I am also afraid of ending up dependent on my parents or stuck in a future-less job instead of a meaningful career.

In grade nine we had the opportunity to spend a day at someone's job, in the "Take Your kids to Work" program. Wouldn't it make sense for the grade 12's to do this too, since in grade nine you don't know what you want and it's okay, then. There should be a Career day where the teachers and guidance counselors help students find someone to go to work with in the field the students are interested in, instead of sending them with their parents when most students have no interest in becoming what their parents are.

If I don't end up going to University but I do find my dream career than I will be satisfied. I just want to be happy. I had no idea that it was possible to end up so close to graduation without knowing what I want to do. At least I know I am not alone. This is the opinion of many of my fellow class mates.

I guess the reason for my writing this is to let other people know that they are not alone in not being sure what to do after graduation. My conclusion is to do whatever makes you happy. This will not help in making my decision but I know that I must be true to myself.


Check out Fredericton High's College Fair where universities talk with students about post-secondary education


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