COLUMN: Prepare for the shorter school year

Senior students should take time to fully engage with their studies during the final phase of their high school journey.

As students return to school this week after missing two weeks at the beginning of the new school year, many students – especially those in senior high school years – might be worried about post-secondary applications and the studies that they will have to fit into a slightly shorter school year.

However, despite the unusual start, students should enter the academic year with an optimistic attitude, while being committed to getting involved and focusing on their studies.

For students who plan to enter college or university following their high school education, not only should they focus on which program they wish to enter, but should also do thorough research on finding the program that best fits their needs and goals.

For instance, students would be well-advised to research institutions which have the type of study majors they would like to enrol in, as well as the type of cooperative education programs offered.

Furthermore, students should try to visit universities they would like to possibly apply to and speak to current students so they can see if the campus culture fits well with their personality. Many universities offer the opportunity for prospective students to tour the campus and this can be arranged by contacting them.

In addition to offering the classroom experience, the educational years are also a time to learn outside of the class and get involved. The university environment plays a crucial role in one’s educational path and learning about this before committing yourself to an apprenticeship, diploma, or degree program at any institution is important.

In addition to researching post-secondary options, students should find out about financial aid and which different options are available to them for financing their studies. It is very important that students apply for scholarships and bursaries. It has been estimated that millions of dollars in scholarships are not claimed by students.

A variety of different financial awards are available based on different types of criteria and students should search for these by speaking to their career counsellors at school as well as applying through credible and trustworthy online sites.

As you begin to settle into your studies, the time will fly by very quickly. Hence, it is vital you make a timeline of when you will be applying to various different educational institutions and scholarships/bursaries. Creating a timetable that lists deadlines and giving yourself enough time to complete the applications will be of utmost importance.

While this school year will be a busy one for senior students, take time to enjoy and fully engage with your studies and other activities during the final phase of your high school journey.

Japreet Lehal is a student at Simon Fraser University. He writes regularly for The Leader.


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