Dealing with your program can be stressful. Choosing your degree can be hardest. This question can be easy for some people, but asking yourself what degree you want can force you to ask bigger questions as well. For me, choosing my degree was a long process and was transformational as well.
At the beginning of my second year, I declared my Public Policy major after much deliberation with minors in Political Science and Philosophy. I also took a Russian Language credit and loved it. Long story short, philosophy wasn’t right for me and the Political Science minor was redundant. So what do you do when you realize you want to switch POSts?
Don’t worry, it’s easy. For me, the Russian Language minor was a no-brainer and I had always known in my heart I should be in Aboriginal Studies once I had the courage. So I changed my minor POSts the summer after second year, took an ABS summer credit to catch up and voila! A personalized degree path suited to my interests. You have to do what interests you or you’ll never get the most of your program. So think hard and ask those tough questions: Are you really doing what you love?
So what about grad school? Wow, tough question. The earlier you start asking yourself, the better. And whatever you do, don’t lose hope. There are many reasons not to enter grad school but even more reasons to go for it.
Disclaimer: I am still undecided on where, when and what my further education will be. The how is always a tough question with no real answer. But the why? Well, here’s how I think of it: why not?
I have a few findings to share. ULife has a career mentorship program to get you connected with someone who can answer your questions. First Nations House has Aboriginal Law Mentorship services for undergrads interested in law school. The FNH staff can offer excellent guidance.
Unfortunately, U of T has no graduate Aboriginal Studies program so if ABS is your direction, you may wish to look at other schools like Trent or York. However, Indigenous students in grad school at U of T still have the support of SAGE to keep connected. Also, The Aboriginal Studies Department has a unique Collaborative Program in Aboriginal Health which is definitely worth exploring.
Now back to law. U of T’s law program is very interesting. There’s a welcoming pathway for Indigenous students, status or non-status, through the Aboriginal Law Program which can include a Certificate in Aboriginal Legal Studies. There’s a huge array of scholarships, bursaries, and grants, and the faculty began offering a free LSAT course for students with financial need in recent years.
It may seem overwhelming early on but that’s all part of the process. All you need to know is there are many good options out there and many supports to help you achieve your goals.
What different degrees have you considered?
Does the path you are on allow you to do what you love?