When Ben and I graduated from high school, we both went on directly to post-secondary studies simply because were expected to and didn’t know what else to do. We had decent grades and the ambition to do something and university was just the next step—end of story. Ben earned a degree in business from the University of Calgary; I, a degree in jazz studies from Capilano College University.
It was well into our educations, and in Ben’s case his career, before we realized that we didn’t want to be what we were trained to be. We had learned a ton in university that we were able to apply to different career paths than originally planned: I became editor of my school newspaper, was able to apply my music studies to writing, and am now a professional journalist; Ben’s business knowledge led him to a few years as a property tax consultant, his curiosity turned into a serious philosophy reading habit, and now he is also a writer.
While we’re both grateful for our university educations and where they have brought us, in retrospect we realize that there is a lot we wish we knew before enrolling in post-secondary as 18 year-olds. And that is why we are writing this blog, which is based on research we are compiling for an advice book for university students called The Straight Up Guide: to going to college and university in Canada.
If you’ve already read our first column (on how the changes to the Canada Student Grant Program and federal student loans will affect you) you’ll have an idea of what you can expect to find on our blog. We don’t claim to be experts on anything; we only have one bachelor’s degree each after all! Instead, we will go to the real experts, from professors to financial advisors to nutritionists, to get the straight up goods on everything students need to know. We intend to provide you with inside information unique to Canada, about our programs and our schools, that you can’t get anywhere else. Our articles will include information your university will not tell you, in a no-nonsense manner, while acknowledging that life rarely goes according to plan. We’ll also be commenting on what we’re reading regarding our country’s schools.
The point of including our stories in this introductory blog entry is this: the philosophy behind our research and writing is that we believe there are many different ways to accomplish your goals at university. We won’t preach one route to success at school, since we believe everyone has good and varying reasons for being there (even if that’s just having a good time) and, if you’re anything like we were, you don’t know where you’ll end up anyways. Instead, we’ll try to provide the information you need to move towards your goal if you have one and remain flexible, so you’re able to grab on to that next thing when it comes along.
The best way for us to accomplish delivering the information that you really want is if we hear directly from you. We want to know what you need to know so we can track down the people who can speak to your needs. So email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we promise to get back to you.