• InstituteMacEwan University
  • ProgramPsychology
  • RegionEdmonton

I was a high school underachiever who did more socializing than schoolwork and lacked direction, until I found the right tools.

Living in Edmonton is still new to me, having only moved here in January of 2013. I was born in Fredericton, New Brunswick – about as far away from Edmonton as you can get without swimming across the ocean. Like many others, my parents always taught me about the importance of post-secondary education, and my dad is a perfect example of how it’s never too late to start school. He went back to school when he was 50!

Did I mention I’m the youngest of 6 kids? Can you imagine the amount of work it took to balance an education, a career, and such a large family simultaneously? My dad is a champ.

Like I said, I knew education was important. My parents always said I could be whatever I wanted to be. Do whatever I wanted to do. The problem was, I wanted to do everything – and yet, do nothing. I had huge dreams in mind for my future, but I was a severe underachiever. I never pushed myself, instead settling for the easy path.

I loved high school for the social aspect, and was involved in football, basketball, band, drama, etc. But I would’ve given my left arm to avoid studying. I wanted to go to post-secondary to improve my future prospects, but I was terrified of the commitment. Plus, I had no idea what career I wanted.

So how did I decide? 2 ways. First, I mapped out the kind of things I wanted in a career. I knew I wanted to work with people and not sit behind a desk all day. Family time is important to me – so that ruled out my plans of becoming a chef or an EMT. I knew I didn’t love the idea of poking people with needles or staring down their mouths all day, so doctor and dentist were out.

Then, after doing this for a few weeks I took an online quiz on the alis website that helped me figure out which careers fit my passions. The same website then gave me great resources about the careers – including their level of demand, rate of pay, and education requirements. I did some reading, and eventually found the path I wanted to take. These tools helped me to feel ready for post-secondary.

Going into my 5th year, university has been an amazing opportunity. I love it way more than I thought I would. The professors I’ve met are incredible, and the supports for students are a great help. I joined a video game club—something I never thought would exist at a university. Student clubs help me feel a sense of belonging and community that goes deeper than simply being a student who pays tuition and finishes their degree.

The best part about post-secondary is that I’ve found so many passions I never knew I had. I originally went to school because I thought I wanted to be a physiotherapist. Within my first year, however, I discovered my love for psychology. So, no, I don’t know exactly what I want to be when I grow up, but that’s okay! The most important thing is that I know what I do and don’t want in life. The future is an exciting place, and I know I have the tools necessary to get wherever I want to go successfully.