Victoria Ivakitch February’21

The Grade 12’s Guide To: Surviving Online School

By Victoria Ivakitch

With the deadline passing for grade 12s to apply to university/college, students are feeling overwhelmed with questions about the near future. Some may be doubting if they’ve chosen the right program, some worry they didn’t apply to the school best suited for them, but one primary question seems to arise in most grade 12s: are students really supposed to decide what they want to do for the rest of their lives when they are only 17? The answer is “no.” It is a common misconception that I’ve learned many of my classmates believe is true. Luckily, no matter the program you attend, your first year will be filled with opportunities to discover your true potential, to take classes that interest you, and find what you like and don’t like. If the program you attend in your first year is not what you wished it to be, don’t worry. You will always have the option to drop the program and apply to a new one. Some credits you earn in the previous year could potentially be used for the new program.

Students are also concerned about their performance in online classes (i.e., final grades) and how it may affect their entries to school. Keep in mind that post-secondary institutions are more lenient given the world’s current situation. Switching from in-person to virtual learning has been extremely challenging, as students and teachers are still deciphering how to navigate around it. If you’re truly struggling with your high school courses, an effective way to learn (and personally my favourite method) is through Khan Academy. It is a “non-profit educational organization” that offers help for almost all subjects.

The pandemic has stripped students of opportunities, especially grade 12s. Many

students were hoping to schedule tours of campuses or attend the annual university fair at their high school. Luckily, post-secondary schools are now offering virtual tours of

campuses and zoom calls with admissions teams wherein students can ask any educational questions they may have. This information can be found by searching “grade 12 university tours & events” on Google.

There has been a lot of worry about having to do your first year of university/college online. A good friend of mine, Olivia Defreitas, has just finished her first semester online and would like to share her experience. She states “The pandemic allowed for an easy transition into my first year. Although I’d prefer to be on campus right at the start, and meet classmates with similar interests, there were other opportunities to make

connections with people who are involved in the same program as me. It was definitely helpful to have group chats and social media outlets to get in touch with other students, but I feel that it is really difficult to form those connections that are so vital for first-year students when doing online school. It’s important to find easy and creative ways to connect and communicate with your peers.”

University/college is an opportunity for young adults to discover their passions alongside like-minded students filled with the same aspiration to learn and succeed. Universities and colleges have courses to fit the interests of each student. You’ll be able to go from attending a school with around 1000 students to a campus with an average of 28,000 students. The relationships you create will be memorable for the rest of your life. Be open to a new beginning and step out of your comfort zone. You will finally be able to discover yourself in a non-judgmental and inspiring environment.