Life @ U of T

It’s Okay to be Uncertain

This blog post is written by guest blogger Edwin Park (he/him), a third-year Academic Success Peer Support student majoring in Criminology & Sociology.

In high school, I remember feeling suffocated by what I believed to be profound talks about post-secondary education. GPA was central to these talks, which according to some of my past classmates, were a factor that determined my entire future.

I remember my senior class fell into one of two groups. The first group contained my classmates who had their lives planned out from the moment they walked out of school: because they knew where they were going, they had a better sense of their life at university. The second group—the group I was in—was the complete opposite. But we all felt immense pressure to make a big life decision at only 17. 

A dark sky of a big cloud blocking the sun.
Credit: Flickr

Unable to decide, I treated my first year at U of T as a “survey year.” I took courses that piqued my interests and decided to pursue a major I thought was the most interesting. So, I made my first-year courses diverse in content. I had no plans to take philosophy before arriving at university, but I did—and ended up enjoying the course so much that I decided to pursue bioethics!

I don’t think we should force ourselves to make such profound decisions at a young age. The first year of undergrad is an opportunity for us to determine where our interests lie within the vast field of academia. High school barely scratches the surface of most, if any, subjects. And I also think we should not expect to know our major(s) or specialty with minimal understanding of the subject.

If you are reading this before arriving at U of T, or even when you are about to choose your program of study, the advice I’d give from my own experience would be this: take a breather and give yourself some time to decide. Try out new things, and follow your interests. You do not need your entire four years planned!

Edwin Park

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