By Lauren | January 12, 2015 | 0 Comment
It’s one of the hardest decisions you’ll make and may just be one of the most important. The worst part is, you’re forced to make it so early on in life, when you can’t even see beyond tomorrow, let alone years from now. Do you go down the college stream or university?
Unfortunately our education system is skewed to one direction. We grow up in an education system that basically trains you to believe that if you want to be successful, you have to go to university. Although for some professions this is entirely true, for a lot of professions and people it’s not. I know a handful of people who went to college from high school that are now in stable careers, and a handful that went to university that are in the exact same position. I also know some that went on to do nothing from both university and college, so it really comes down to what’s best for YOU.
First off it’s important to think about what interests you? What are you good at? If you aspire to be a Doctor, Pharmacist, Surgeon or something that demands you to have a university degree in order to really get anywhere, then your answer is pretty obvious. But unfortunately most people don’t want to be these things which make their decision even harder.
Look at what you excelled in while in high school. Were you an A+ math or science student? Did you thrive in university English classes? Then it’s probably pretty easy for you to get into university since those are usually some of the pre-requisites they ask for. Did you struggle through these courses and excelled in the arts, or other similar classes that involved you doing hands-on things outside of learning from a textbook? It’s more than likely you’ll exceed in a college environment.
Now remember, I’m no expert and people that excelled in the university driven classes can still excel in college and vice-versa but it really comes down to what type of learning you’d prefer. University is an environment that consists of a lot of textbook
reading, essay writing, and learning through those means. College is an environment that consists of a lot of hands-on, project based learning. What do you think is best cut out for you?
Also keep in mind the career path at the end of your education when choosing college or university. If you plan on only going to school for 4 years, and getting your degree in something that doesn’t result in an immediate job, like say, history or art, then you may want to step back and really look at where you see yourself ending up. Whether in the college stream or university stream there are a lot of programs that won’t get you very far on their own.
For example: A social work diploma can only allow you to get so far as a social worker, whereas when you complete your degree, or better yet, master’s degree you’ll find yourself in the higher, senior level social work positions. Another example of this is a degree in English may not directly get you a direct job, but complimenting it with a college certificate in corporate communications will open up many more doors for you.
At the end of the day, both college and university can nicely complement one another. Luckily in the industry that surrounds us now, we are seeing much less requirements to have a degree in order to apply or get a career. You should never hold yourself back from doing one or the other, or give into going to university just because your teachers or school have built it up
to be the “better” option.
What I suggest for those that are bouncing between the two is to do research on both, and don’t rule out one or the other. Visit the campuses of colleges and universities and see what feels better, and what would be a better fit! Even if you are leaning towards one option over the other, take time to research and visit both. You never really know till you see for yourself. My dream school when I was in high school was Humber College, until I went there and saw the campus, etc. and realized it wasn’t for me.
So as the university application deadline creeps near, consider all your options, and don’t let the stereotypes and society make the decision for you!