University Not For Everyone, Part 3/8: Rethinking Expectations

I attended MUN for two semesters; after failing every class in the first semester, I retook them in the second and dropped out halfway through. I wasn’t ready to go to university. I had no idea what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. The courses all seemed pretty pointless to me at the time, without an end goal.

There was a huge expectation that I would attend university. When I mentioned wanting to take time off, my parents berated me for even considering it. They had the “you must go to university if you want to go anywhere in life” mentality. Eventually I found a program I was passionate about at a smaller university in Alberta, but I also dropped out of that school despite doing well.

Universities need to offer different types of classes for different learners. I found attending a class with over 200 students made it incredibly hard to concentrate on lectures. Further, given that most of my professors just read from slides that were posted online, I also tended to think, “Hey, I could just do this at home.” I’ve since decided this is not true.

I know it’s difficult to facilitate smaller class sizes, especially in 1000 and 2000 level classes, but it would help a lot of people if there weren’t hundreds of other students competing for a professor’s attention during office hours or waiting for a response to an email sent over a week ago.

Moreover, students are often unaware of the additional supports available to them within the university, for example through the Blundon Center, the Counselling Center or the various help centers for writing, math, physics and chemistry. When I was a student at MUN, I didn’t know how to find the help I needed. This is something that the university should address, to ensure that the message gets out to students who need support.

I’ve since gone to trade school and graduated, though I’ve had no luck finding work in my field. Instead I am making a living through my artwork and I am loving it. I am awaiting my first child now and doing really well in life in spite of not graduating from a university.