The Wolfington Post checked in with three WPGA alum. Hear what they have to say about life after high school!
Finn Price (graduated 2018)
As I have returned home for the first time since embarking on my journey in August, a recurring question I have been asked is: “was it hard to make new friends?” To all those that ask me, I give them the same answer; when you break it down, it’s not hard to make friends. My philosophy going into frosh week was simple yet effective. I asked myself a question: what scares me most about talking to someone I haven’t met? No matter how I phrased the question, my answer was always the same: rejection. As a teenager, I am plagued with fears and insecurities, but none seem to rival the fear of flat out rejection. However, if I approached the problem logically rather than letting my fears make decisions, it became clear that I needed to get over my fear of rejection. In reality, everyone is trying to make friends in the first week and is therefore in the same position. If you approach someone during the first week, the person won’t only engage in a conversation, but they might also be grateful that they get to talk to someone without having to initiate the conversation. Breaking down the process of making new friends makes it seem much less intimidating, and really helped me in my transition to university.
Rachel Yen (graduated 2017)
What I wish I knew when leaving Grade 12 is that there is so much time to figure out what you want to do in the future. I feel like there is a lot of pressure to find the perfect post-secondary program and stick with it, even though you haven’t had the opportunity to explore everything available to you. There are so many interesting courses and programs out there that you probably don’t even know exist. Take the time to try new courses and experiences that interest you, even if they aren’t related to your degree or the industry you want to go into. Meeting people in different stages of their lives and academic careers at university taught me that it is totally okay to take your time and change your mind – nothing is set in stone. Trust yourself and what you’re comfortable with and things will fall into place.
Colin Blackadar (graduated 2017)
Life has been pretty crazy since leaving WPGA. Although UBC is only a few kilometers away from the school, I can barely begin to explain how different and exciting things are. For starters, classes are much larger and much harder. At the same time, they allow you to explore some of the most complex and intriguing things known to humanity, and you get to be taught by some of the smartest people in the world. Also, on a campus with 60,000 students, you get to be exposed to some of the strangest, coolest, and craziest people that you would never have expected to meet in your life. University is a fantastic place to take advantage of all of these amazing things, but it’s sometimes too easy to forget that such great opportunities exist. Take it from me. As a somewhat awkward and confused first-year arts student, I almost fell into the trap of following a path I just assumed I was destined to follow without branching out. But now, because I escaped my comfort zone, I found a passion in biochemistry, made some fantastic friends, got a research position in only my second year, and found ways to make these 4 years the best they can be. University is a time to explore and discover, so make the best of it!