Choosing a university was one of the most stressful decisions I’ve had to make in my life. However, it was also an experience that taught me a lot about myself and what I value in life, something that every worthwhile experience tends to do.
My final decision? York University, Glendon Campus. (Une campus bilingue!)
But how did I choose?
First of all, Canada has a ton of great universities so finding the right one is a challenge. I’m incredibly indecisive and kind of a worrier, so I was already researching schools and programs the summer before I started highschool. Starting that early is wholly unnecessary, though people aren’t lying when they say highschool flies by and that infamous senior slump WILL get you, so maybe don’t wait until your last year either.
At first I looked at schools closer to my home, mostly to please my parents, but then I realised that staying at home simply wasn’t a priority for me, in fact as someone who is a bit sheltered, moving out seemed the best choice to grip the challenge of adulthood by the horns.
And I knew, had always known really, that Toronto was the city where I wanted to be. How lucky for me then that I had a friend who had just started at a university in Toronto…and yep, you guessed it; she was happily getting settled at Glendon. I asked her to keep me updated on her experiences and she dutifully did, and still does. The good, the bad, the wonderful, the mildly irritating, I wanted to know it all. She’s dealt with my constant pestering questions about her life on campus for two years now. Through her eyes, and through the school’s many websites and social media accounts, I found myself falling in love with everything Glendon, something that never happened to me with the other schools I looked into.
So Glendon was my goal for ages but when it came down to it I still needed at least two more schools to apply to. I’m not going to name the schools, because I declined the offers to both and they’re no longer important in this story, but I will say that one of them almost swayed me from my GL dreams. With a GREAT reputation and program that was unique to the school and seemed tailor-made for my interests, how could I not choose that path? For a few months right before the deadline to accept an offer, I had actually decided to attend that school. Only the more I looked into the school the less I felt like it was the place for me, not because of any fault of it’s own, but because I kept looking for the things I liked about Glendon and not finding them.
After writing pros and cons lists for both schools so long they’d make your wrist sore just looking at them, and several after midnight talk sessions with my mom where I relentlessly went over those lists until we were both falling asleep, I chose Glendon’s uniqueness. I’ve only grown more and more confident that I made the right decision for me. I’m not actually on campus yet, (two more weeks!) but I just know that Glendon is a special sort of school.
So how did I choose? Basically, I followed my gut. That may seem silly, but I tried the logical way and ended up crying and stressing because no matter how many minuscule details I compared, there was no logically better choice.
In summary, my method of madness is; narrow your choice down using statistics and hard facts, but the final decision must be an emotional one.
Good luck to anyone heading down that university-search path! I know you’ll figure everything out. Take a deep breath and trust yourself.
(featured image credit: https://instagram.com/p/2Wg_EDH6OO/?taken-by=glendoncampus)