As someone who went to university right after high school, I know it can be an intimidating transition. High school and university are very different, but these changes aren’t as scary as they seem. In university, there are many new things and places to discover, students have more freedom, and there are so many people to meet. Personally, I prefer university over high school any day! 

I started university in 2019 when I was 17 years old, and I was extremely nervous. I went to the orientation for first years, and I thought the campus was massive. In my first couple of weeks of school, I quickly discovered this wasn’t the case. Not only is the campus small, it’s also super easy to get around due to all the pathways all over campus. Also, people are very helpful and willing to point you in the right direction. I took the time to explore the campus on my own as well and found many great places! 

The change that took adjusting for me was the difference in schoolwork and classes. All your assignments and homework must be completed in your own time. Most professors don’t give you class time to complete work, which may seem intimidating at first, but it just takes some time to get used to, along with learning effective time management. Luckily, instead of being at school for 7 hours like in high school, you now have your own course schedule with breaks in between classes, depending on how you design your course timetable. This means you have plenty of time to do your schoolwork, while still enjoying your university experience. The coolest aspect for me was how the professors treat you like an adult – this gave me more confidence to be responsible for myself, which I liked! 

One of the biggest stresses of just starting university is meeting people. Even though I’m from Kamloops, I didn’t know anyone else in my program. I was so nervous on my first day of class to meet new people; it felt impossible to talk to others and to try to make friends. I put myself out there as much as I could, and I met tons of people. Unlike high school, the people you meet in class usually have similar interests to you, since you all chose the same program after all. I introduced myself to lots of people, which was scary, but other people introduced themselves to me as well. Some professors like to start out first-year courses with icebreakers, which forces you to get to know others! On my first day I met tons of awesome people, and the first person I met is still one of my closest friends to this day! Although I’m in my fourth year, I am still meeting new people and friends. 

Overall, university can seem scary, but it has easily been the best time of my life so far. I look forward to September every summer to get back to school, which is something I never did when I was in high school. TRU is super accepting of everyone and has something cool for everyone to discover.

Future Student Ambassador, Taryn – Bachelor of Business Administration. “Transitioning from High School to University”, 8 Nov. 2022

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