This past Sunday marked exactly one year from the day that I left Ottawa for school in Toronto. Had you told me at that point that I would not be returning this year (or even for second semester last winter), I probably wouldn’t have believed you. Considering that it has been 365 days from my first go at post-secondary education, I thought I would take the time to look back on my first year after high school and how my life has changed since August 28, 2010.
I had the opportunity to experience what every teenager desires: freedom. I was the first child to leave home. It was a scary and exciting chance to prove that my parents had raised a responsible young adult capable of a more mature lifestyle than eating pizza for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Looking back now, if I could have maintained one aspect of my great transition, it would have been the freedom. Don’t get me wrong, I love my family, but the idea of managing my life in my own way—my time, finances, food, everything—had to be the most appealing part of attending school away from home. Now going to a university much closer to “The Nest,” I’ve foregone some of that independence; however, that doesn’t mean it’s gone, it’s just going to be found in different ways.
I had the opportunity to make mistakes, to change my mind. I know, I’ve written about this ad nauseum, but, if you’ve been reading for long enough, you know how I like to hit the point home. Music was my passion, but it was also the only thing I had really known during my high school years. I didn’t really take the opportunity to explore other avenues, and that created a bit of “tunnel-vision.” Music appeared to be the only path for me, and I applied to music programs straight out of grade 12. Luckily, I was wrong. College allowed me to explore, both literally and figuratively, and opened my eyes to endless possibilities (how corny is that?). While journalism may be the path that I am on now, I do still have the option to follow my original goal. In fact, I’m nearly halfway to a minor in music.
In the spirit of doing new things, I had the opportunity to be a contributing member of society. Up until this year, I had never had a regular part-time job. This was a bit of a regret for me and something that I wanted to remedy in my time off. I’ve found that work, in relation to school, has forced me to pick up a few new social skills. Never having been too comfortable talking to people I don’t know, I was pushed out of my comfort zone and into interaction with the public. Which, I learned, is a skill you can take to the bank (at least in journalism).
Had you told me that I wouldn’t be returning to Humber this fall, I would have told you that you were nuts. If you were to ask me if I regret my decision to leave, I’d probably have two answers for you: yes and no. As you can see, I’ve benefited from both going to school in the first place and then changing my mind about it. The only thing I truly regret is that fact that the relationships I formed while at school are now long-distance, and that the city I fell in love with is now 6 hours away (on a good day). But I guess that’s what trains are for, right?
Now going into my second attempt at post-secondary, I’ve started pumping myself up. Instead of dwelling on the past, I am looking at the opportunities this new transition is offering. Frosh begins Sunday (never thought I’d be going through that again) and I can’t wait to find out what’ll happen with the year.
To keep me in check during frosh (I’m legal this year!), you can follow me here!