I graduated! Now what?

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What do the majority of students do after they graduate from high school here in Canada?

By Sofia Matulis

The majority apply to universities and/or colleges! But first of all, what’s the difference?

Universities are more academic and theoretical while colleges are more practical. Some examples of universities in Canada: University of Toronto, Ryerson, York, Waterloo, Guelph and Western among others. Some examples of colleges are, Seneca, Humber and Sheridan among others.

During grade 12, being the fourth year of high school, you begin choosing your courses of interest in each university. After, you have to send your application in December for the school year that begins the following September and runs until June.

Depending on the university/college and the chosen courses, the pre-requisites may vary, according to the specific subjects and minimum grades. After applying, it is important to keep your grades up, do a literacy test (to see if you can read and write in English) and have at least 40 hours of volunteer work. Lastly, if you are an international student or have been in Canada for less than three years, you will have to take another test: IELTS or TOEFL.

I applied to York University and chose Film Production. In my case, after being accepted in the first phase as the university evaluated my grades, I had to create a portfolio with a résumé, reference letters and a one-minute film. If you pass this phase, you will receive a letter and be invited to an interview where teachers and students will ask you some questions in your area of interest (in my case, film) and ask you why you chose this area.  I was lucky to have been accepted right after my interview, around the month of March. But many universities/ institutions wait to see the mid-term grades (exams that take place in April) and then decide to accept or reject, depending on these results.

Once accepted just concentrate on keeping your grades up and enjoy the end of high school! If your grades are excellent, you may even receive a scholarship, the value of which varies in accordance with your grades. So, keep up the good grades! The long-awaited prom is on the way!