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Drop and wait a year, or tough it out?

Old 08-06-2013 at 01:29 PM   #16
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In my experience, I would say it depends on what program you're entering. Is it something that's pretty set in terms of core classes, like science or eng? If so, I'd say come and give it a try.

Now for the part I'm an expert in: if you are entering a humanities or soc sci program with no real idea of what you want to do, give yourself a year. I was in your shoes. I went. I took classes I thought I'd like because I liked them in high school. There was no structure, I felt like I was floating along with no real goals, I was unmotivated to do the work and it was too easy to skip class because I didn't really see the point in going (it also felt like I was learning stuff irrelevant to my life, but that's another rant and won't be the same for everyone). I think I would have felt different had there been some core classes in first year so I at least felt like I was working toward something.

I have seen quite a few friends fall into these patterns. Some have been kicked out, some have come close. Some screwed up their averages so badly in a year and a half that they've had trouble getting up to honours program level. I did okay after a year, when I changed my focus and settled in but I too wasted a year... a year of tuition, board and time I could have spent working and figuring out what I really wanted.

I'm not saying don't come. I'm saying, ask yourself if you really want to be here and why. If you don't know, or the reason is something along the lines of "I don't know what else to do" or "My parents want me to", then stay home, get to know yourself a bit better, figure out what you want and then give it a try.

If I'm completely misunderstanding you and you're just overwhelmed by Mac's bureaucracy, then don't worry. We have all unfortunately been there and lived to tell about it!
Hon. BA Economics '14... graduated, yo!
MA Economic Policy '16
Statistics Canada

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Old 08-06-2013 at 05:04 PM   #17
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what everyone has said it true! remember that welcome week is made to help students transition - so many people are in the same boat as you and feel overwhelmed with the whole university concept, but don't worry! during welcome week there will be tons of upper years to help you orientate yourself with everything mac has to offer. if youre walking around lost or confused, just ask someone for help, people are very friendly! before you come to uni, definitely check out the mcmaster website, join some facebook groups to see what people are talking about, and if its possible go to welcome day this friday to check out the campus (or if you cant go that day, feel free to just go to campus to walk around). also, you say youre the first in your immediate family to apply to university, so you would be considered a first generation student - check out their website, their goal is to help people like you with the transition http://www.firstgenerationst udents...ents-home-page
just remember that there are tons of people to help you succeed in whatever you choose to do. if you feel university isnt the right thing for you, then you can always decide to take a year off/do something different

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Old 08-06-2013 at 06:27 PM   #18
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Don't wait. Especially if all you're gonna do is work for a year. Only exception to not waiting is if you were going to do some travelling.

The most progress of a person gets made when they don't know what the heck they're doing. Most of us had no clue what was going on for the first semester, so don't worry...

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Old 08-06-2013 at 08:19 PM   #19
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Hey, thanks for all the support guys, i appreciate the help and advice. i'm thinking i might do what anime suggested and give it a couple weeks to see if i like it, and if i don't no harm done, i can drop or defer for a year. And after reading all the replies, i'm definitely more at ease about my situation and that i should definitely participate in welcome week, i was considering skipping it because i figured i'd just be the awkward guy standing in the corner, but maybe that wouldn't be the case

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Old 08-07-2013 at 04:28 PM   #20
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Definitely don't skip out on it, it's not as awkward as you think at all! There will be awesome reps and events to get you to meet people. Everyone is very open to meeting new people and making friends the first few weeks, so you'll meet people in no time!

PS- There's even a macinsiders social in September, so you'll surely meet some awesome people there !
Mary Keyes CA 2013-2014
Hons. Biology and Pharmacology V
Old 08-07-2013 at 09:14 PM   #21
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ALot of people feel the same way you do, university is not as bad as you might think.
Old 08-07-2013 at 11:14 PM   #22
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I agree with those who said that it might not be worth it if you're just going to work a low impact full time job, it's one thing to travel and get exposed to different cultures which might partially allow you to figure out what you want to do in life and whether your current faculty is appropriate for you.

I was on the same boat in 2008 where apart from being the first person in my family to go to a Modern University system, I was also coming back to live in Canada after a very long time. Similar to you I was also forced to be a SOCS since I only figured out I can't afford to go to the US and it was too late for residence. I won't lie when I say the first semester was one of the toughest times in my life, but somehow I managed to find my way out of that abyss.

The two things that helped me? Firstly, Will Power. I am a big believer in meditation and self reflection almost on a daily basis to put things in perspective and to set higher goals. I would always weigh the many potential alternatives to being alone and miserable in a random student house versus others and somehow the former still had more long term potential.

One thing that helped me was that I was in Social Sciences which I had chosen out of all the options I had because it allowed me to better understand and process my desire to make a positive impact in this world through policy and research tools. I was then able to use this interest to get involved with the McMaster Students Union, various clubs and so on.

Which goes into my earlier point that as a SOCS you won't naturally have the support net a residence student has by default, however I made up for it by getting involved with existing networks like the MSU, Faculty Society and Orientation repping etc.

The rest as they say is history and without bragging I guess I did manage to find my way out, get elected as the VP Education of the MSU, travel the entire country on fully paid for conferences and left behind a network of thousands of Mac students.

Keep Hope Alive.
Huzaifa Saeed
BA Hon, Political Science & Sociology, Class of 2013

MSU Vice President Education '12/13

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