On Campus

When a university doesn’t want you

If you don’t get into your first-choice school, what should you do next?

Right now, thousands of grade 12 students are making one of their biggest academic decisions so far. Most prospective university students have received all the offers of admission they’re going to get. And it’s decision time.

“Where am I going to go?”

Some students receive offers from everywhere, including their first, second, and third-choice universities.  This means they’ll have to agonize over which school to choose. Poor them.

Of course, some haven’t been accepted anywhere. But other students have an arguably tougher decision to make. The most important offer is missing: their top choice. Suddenly the program, which seemed liked a perfect fit,  isn’t possible anymore. They don’t want you.

“Now what?”

I was really upset when I didn’t get accepted into my first-choice program.

Being accepted into my second, third, and fourth choice-schools was poor consolation. It felt as if some huge dream had been shattered, that I would be settling for my second choice. The program I got into wasn’t even at the “right” university.

But as I quickly learned, the reality of university is far different from the dream.

I’ve just completed my first year at the University of Waterloo. I couldn’t be happier with my compromise. My program is a perfect fit, and it now seems obvious that Waterloo is exactly where I was meant to be. How could I have ever had a doubt?

Of course, that’s what’s great about hindsight. But I’ll just chalk it up to second-year wisdom.

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