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Caffeine Offline
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College, help? - May 24th 2012, 11:54 AM

Hey everyone!
I'm graduating highschool this year(hopefully) and am likely taking a year off to work, get some money, and just to really think about what I'm doing next.

I don't know what I'm doing next. O_o

I don't fully understand what college is.. How many classes do you have? What is it like? Do you live there? Like, no one ever explained anything to me.. I just know you go there and get more education, thus better job.. That's it. o.o

I'm hoping to get into the helping field, not exactly sure what though. I've thought of a few things over the years, but I really don't know where to get started... Rec therapy for youth is really interesting.. Or something similar? I don't know. I just want to help kids. :\

Last edited by Caffeine; May 24th 2012 at 03:44 PM.
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  (#2 (permalink)) Old
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Re: College, help? - May 24th 2012, 06:33 PM

Hey Ally, college can be a variety of different things for different people. Since you are in Canada, I don't think it is very different than the US. It's honestly a little late to be trying to find a college to enroll in. :/ Does your school have any type of help in regards to finding schools or programs that are appropriate for you?

"Ignore the ramblings of the ignorant, and step on or over their crumpled bodies as you make your way to the top of the mountain. Eat upon their flesh for fuel, and, through your determination and will, banish them to obscurity and a life of complacency and self righteousness that is the hell in which they live"

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Re: College, help? - May 24th 2012, 06:45 PM

I had so many questions when I was in high school. I think you're getting ahead of yourself, though, so let's take things one step at a time. Also, keep in mind that every university will be different - so my experience will not be representative of everyone else's experiences.

First, figure out what you want to do, or at least what field you would like to get in to. Knowing your desired career will help you decide which university you would like to attend. For example, I majored in psychology, so I wanted to find a university that had plenty of internship opportunities for psychology majors, professors who had published material and were reputable, interesting classes, etc. Figuring out what you would like to do is honestly the most important step, so take your time in exploring all your different career options. If you're interested in recreational therapy, look up some recreational therapists in your local directory and see if you could meet with them for lunch. In exchange for buying them lunch, you can pick their brains - find out what a "typical" day is like, what they had to do to get their jobs (ex. schooling and previous jobs that allowed them to work their way up the occupational ladder), what the average salary for their professional is, etc.

Once you have decided on a career, do some more research and find out which schools offer the best programs. For example, my undergraduate university was one of the top 50 in the nation; however, that didn't mean all of its programs were also in the top 50. They had great theater and biology programs, but many of their other programs were average, or even mediocre! Just because a university is well-known doesn't mean it will necessarily be the best fit for you based on your intended career path.

After you have selected several universities, look at the department websites and find out what the course requirements are. For me, I needed 180 units to graduate, a certain number of which needed to be upper-division psychology courses. I found out that a typical class was 4 units, meaning I could expect to take about 45 classes over the course of 4 years, which breaks down to about 11 classes per academic year. My university was on the quarter schedule, meaning that I had three terms each year (assuming I didn't take the summer quarter), meaning I would have to take 3-4 classes each quarter in order to graduate in 4 years as I had planned.

If you're feeling a bit overwhelmed at the moment, that's okay. Once you have selected your career and your top universities to apply for, your best option would probably be to go ahead and call the university's department office for your intended program, and asking them to start from the very beginning when it comes to academic requirements (I didn't even know what "units" or "upper-division" classes were when I was in high school!). As I said earlier, it really is going to be different for each university.

As far as housing is concerned, that will also vary for each university. At mine, I was allowed to live in dorm on-campus for the first two years. After that, I had to find an apartment off-campus. Some universities will have housing on-campus, some will have housing off-campus, and some will not offer housing at all (you'll have to find an apartment within commuting distance of the university).

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Re: College, help? - May 24th 2012, 06:58 PM

Hey Ally, college planning is intimidating when you know what you're doing so I can only imagine how overwhelming it is when no one has explained it to you!

What college is like depends on a lot of things. If you did okay in high school there won't be much of a difference in terms of difficulty of the work, but it's your job to learn the material and turn assignments in on time. In other words the professors won't sit on or nag you to get stuff in and most of them won't accept late work except in very rare extreme circumstances.

How many classes you have highly depends on your major, but every college has "core" or "general" courses that everyone needs no matter what and then you add your major credits on to that. You can take as many or as few as you're comfortable with at a time. Full time undergraduate students (earning a bachelors or 4 year degree) usually take between 12 and 18 credits so between 3 and 6 classes a semester depending on their workload tolerance and other commitments to work, family, etc.

Whether or not you live there depends on the school, how close you live to it and/or how much you're willing to pay for your education.

If you don't know what you want to do I would strongly suggest starting at a community college, you can get the general requirements out of the way without having to pay an arm and a leg at a 4 year school and then you can transfer somewhere that has a program that interests you. It will also keep you in school so you won't lose the rhythm of the school year and have to readjust. Also, community colleges will take applications even a few days past the start of the semester so you haven't run out of time just yet. Most people don't know exactly what they want to do so you're in good company there. Keep in mind that helping professions sometimes require master's degrees too, but don't let that intimidate you.

I hope this helped, if you have any more questions feel free to ask

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Re: College, help? - May 24th 2012, 07:42 PM

Well College is actually different in canada than it is in the united states.

Where USA's 'college' is essentially Canada's version of 'University'.

Our college is actually more of a hands-on while still learning some theory, and applying it in a work environment. Sometimes projects will be real-world problems (i.e. Software Engineers might be learning how to program in C, but they will also be programming for a cellphone or whatnot. Creating robots to solve problems, etc.) where as university would be pretty thoroughly algorithms and efficiency etc.

The best advice is to contact them, via phone or in person.
An example of a contact for a specific college would be:
Which is conestoga College.

For any college that you find,
Just ask if you can talk to someone who can give general information like general costs, what kind of programs are available. And from there you can probably get more detail about the course. If you go in person, they can even give you a pamphlet showing all of the courses in the college, and you can go further by getting a little pamphlet with a bit more detail about a specific course.

Ideas of what to ask:
"I find Rec therapy interesting, and i'm interested in helping little kids"
"What would the ideal courses be?"
"Could i get more information about x course"
"how much will tuition cost for x course, and what is the ballpark cost for students in this course?"

I would say a general ballpark cost is $10,000 and that is without living in residence (which will add on another like...8,000 or something ridiculous.)You don't HAVE to live in residence but some people find it accomodating to live really close to the college they go to. Some of us unfortunates can't afford that luxury.
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Re: College, help? - May 25th 2012, 03:13 PM

Alright, I might email/call the local community college sometime when I'm not stressing and freaking out and see what they would recomend me do.

Thanks for all of the replies, I'm totally freaking out its not even funny
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