Dear Ethan: OUF and Ice Cream

Veuillez noter: New Series Alert! 

My younger brother, Ethan, is in gr. 12 this year which means he is going through the stressful process of choosing a University. Luckily for him he has me, his smart, helpful, beautiful, older sister to lead the way. Unfortunately my brother thinks I’m pretty lame and who knows if he will actually take any of this advice, so I am sharing it  to the interwebs to make sure none of it goes to waste! Enjoy! 

Dear Ethan, 

What’s up bro? How’s it hanging?

From what I can tell you seem to be enjoying Grade 12 thus far (though I can’t know for sure because you refuse to talk to me in full sentences, unless it is to criticize one of my political viewpoints, or my Instagram feed.)  You are doing all the proper Grade 12 things such as staying out too late with your friends, driving mom and dad crazy, and complaining about being “over high school”. You are reveling in the fact that after three grueling years, you are finally at the top of the food chain, and it feels good.

However if you are anything like me (and I hate to break it to you, but you are) the big scary “unknown” of next year is floating around in that head of yours. 

You probably aren’t too concerned about making a University decision just yet, since there are senior pranks, and grad trips, and prom (and after-prom) to discuss, so part of you is hoping that it will all just figure itself out.

Look, I know you aren’t the biggest fan of me telling you what to do. 

I know this because one time when you were three and I was six I took away your Hot Wheels cars and then you proceeded to tackle me to the floor (in my defense you were throwing them at my head). That being said I am still your nosy older sister and I’m still gonna share all my opinions, whether you want to hear them or not. 

I overheard you talking to your friends about hitting up the Ontario University Fair (running at the Toronto Metro Convention Centre from Sept 22-24). You kinda know what to expect since  I dragged you there 3 years ago (and made you carry my multiple tote bags filled with view books galore). That being said, it does feel different when you are the one being bombarded with information and hand shakes. Luckily I have some insight to help get you through the day.

The most important thing to keep in mind is that OUF is hella overwhelming.

There’s no sugar coating it, with all 21 Ontario Universities represented and an estimated 100 000 visitors coming through the doors (not to mention the bazillion escalators you have to take just to get into the event), you are likely to come out of it more confused than before. 

I don’t say this to scare you, but rather just to help you adjust your expectations.

I remember going into OUF positive that I would come out of it with my whole future lined up. I ended up spending the following evening crying while manically flipping through program descriptions.

All of this is to say that it is totally cool to go into OUF and come out of OUF having absolutely no clue what you want to do or where you want to go, because Universities are like ice cream. 

Stick with me here…

Let’s imagine that you have been tasked with ordering a scoop of ice cream, a very expensive scoop of ice cream that you will supposedly be eating over the next 4ish years, but a scoop of ice cream none the less. All OUF is, is a very elaborate ice cream parlour and your main job is to walk in and look at the display. You don’t even need to commit to tasting any flavours yet (that’s more of an Open House thing), all you are doing is reading the flavour descriptions to see which ones sound delicious to you (and which ones are the sugar-free sherbets  which should be avoided like the plague). 

Now it would be nice if you could go into the ice cream parlour with a general idea of what type of ice cream you are looking for. Maybe you want an ice cream with a PoliSci ripple, or an ice cream with killer scholarship sprinkles, or an ice cream with an internship cherry on top. Having a couple key factors that you know you are looking for can help narrow down the search. That being said, remember you aren’t committing to anything yet, so if there is a flavour that interest you there is no harm in looking into it, even if it wasn’t what you originally had in mind (shout to the person who spoke to me about Glendon BEd even when I was dead set on never coming a teacher).

All metaphors aside, if you go into OUF with some key questions, comfortable shoes, and an open-minded attitude, you’ll be fine (even if it feels like you are slowly being crushed by an ice-cream truck of overwhelm). Just take in all the information you possibly can  and know you can decipher it all through out the application process (also leave your email with everyone, you can unsubscribe later). 

I know that deciding on a post secondary path can feel lonely sometimes since it is one of the first big decision you have to make all by yourself. But E, I hope you know I will be cheering (and nagging) you on every step of the way. It will all work out in the end. 

Love,

Your bossy older sister

Rebecca

PS: My friend Jasmin just wrote a post with many more practical OUF tips. Send her my love!

Twitter: @RebeccaKGL

Instagram: @RebeccaKazdan

Follow the new eAmbassador Instagram: @gl_eambassadors

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