This summer, I’ve been talking to a lot of people about why I chose to move to Toronto and attend Glendon. These people include this year’s high school seniors who are juggling so many post-secondary options that it’s making their heads spin! I feel ya, friends. I feel ya.
So, in the hopes of helping them calm the heck down (and to share with the world why I love GL), I’m going to write about factors that helped me decide what I wanted to do with my life after I graduated from high school.
First of all, let me admit something: I was so overwhelmed with making this choice. I had been looking at schools and programs and opportunities for years (I really wish I was kidding, but picking a school was a practically a full-time job for me). Up until about a month ago, my book shelves were still lined with stacks upon stacks of university view books and pamphlets. I was a downright keener. If you are/were this type of person, HOLLA! If not? Also totally cool. Some of my friends over the years have been really relaxed about making post-secondary decisions, and that worked for them. So while this can seem like the biggest decision of your life so far, there is no such thing as caring too much or too little (but I do suggest caring a sufficient amount, it is the next 4 years of your life after all).Here are some details on why I believe Glendon College is the best fit for me…and maybe you, too!
For those of you who know me, you’ll label me as a “jack-of-all-trades”. For those who DON’T know me, I like to be super well-rounded and have a bunch of things on the go at once. I am interested in many different things, which I like to think makes me an eclectic and passionate person. So choosing ONE major, ONE topic to focus on, ONE path in life really bummed me out (to say the least).
At Glendon, I get to mix my love of languages (hellooooo polyglot!) with my love of all things international with my International Bilingual BA. My classes will be taught in different languages, and I have to go on exchange…as if I needed another excuse to travel! With my program choices being International Studies and Political Science, I get to A) look at many aspects of the world around me B) understand how that big world is governed.
I also love the flexibility offered at Glendon, and the support for the Liberal Arts. In a lot of other schools I considered, it was apparent that changing my program or faculty would be a huge hassle. Since Glendon is only a liberal arts school, a lot of my courses can crossover should I ever change my mind about my field of study. Also, there’s no hierarchy as to who’s the elite within the school, ie. Science students vs. Business Students vs. Arts Students vs. Engineering Students.
^It matters! As you giggle, picture this: In high school, I went to small school and was part of an even smaller stream called the International Baccalaureate Program. My classes were sometimes as small as 3 people, which means I had a lot of one-on-one interaction with my teachers. I found that the more involved I was in my close-knit class discussions, the more information I retained. While I was ready to be a bit more anonymous at university, I was NOT ready to be a number.
At Glendon, my average class size would be 25 people or less, compared to first year seminars at other schools that could be upwards of 500. When touring other universities, I felt like I’d be left to fend for myself in first year…but not at GL! Often, when I called in with questions, they were answered right away and I got to know a lot of the staff. The campus, while super-small compared with other schools, was still more than 4x the population of my high school.
My extended family all live in the GTA, and as a kid I always swore I would NEVER live in Toronto. I was worried that The Big Smoke would be too impersonal in comparison with my little town, where everyone knows everyone and even if you don’t know the person you are passing on the street, you still smile, wave, and say hello. HOWEVER, because of Glendon’s size, I was comforted by the fact that the city was big enough for all of the adventures I could dream of, and yet I could come back to my quiet little oasis away from the hustle and bustle.
Also, our campus is freaking gorgeous. When I showed my friend pictures, he dubbed it “The Fairy Garden” and promised to send me a pair of glittery wings to tote around campus.
For my first year of university, residence was the only way to go for me. I knew it would be where I made a lot of my friends, and how I would get quickly involved in campus life. 90% of residence rooms are single at Glendon, which was great for me. I’m a sociable person, but I need some alone time to recharge and collect my thoughts.
There were also great options in residence to customize my living experience- I could be on an all-girls floor, an environmentally-conscious floor, or a bilingual floor. I chose the bilingual option, to better immerse myself in French outside of the class.
I was the QUEEN of campus tours. I toured Glendon (get this) FOUR TIMES. Glendon was the first school at which I attended an open house, and it was love at first sight. But me being the educational cynic that I am, I had to kiss a few frogs, *er*, universities before I made my final decision.
I loved how everyone on Glendon’s campus was friendly, including fellow prospective students. Students and staff were involved in the life of campus in many different ways to show how much they cared about the school. “Coeur-de-Lion pride” was so evident, and I ate it right up! I got this gut-feeling every time I set foot on campus that I BELONGED there. It was comfortable and inviting and I never had to second-guess my instincts.
It’s the little things that take up the most room in your heart right? These extras really were the icing on the cake.
Glendon has awesome clubs and activities, including branches of Me to We and Free the Children; organizations I’ve been supporting for years. Political societies, dance teams, GC Student’s Union, and Glbt* are ones that really piqued my interest!
My mom went to Glendon (this really didn’t influence my choice until after I had hit the accept button). Sometimes, I wonder if the only thing my mom and I have in common is the way we sound on the phone…but now we have a tradition within our family, and I’m proud of that.
Glendon is only about 2 hours from my hometown, and if I ever get really homesick, my extended family is super close by.
Toronto has GREAT public transit. At home, I have to walk 25 minutes along the highway before I reach the nearest bus stop.
I really hope this entry gives you better insight into how I made what I saw as the most monumental decision of my life thus far, and that the decision I made reflects me as a whole person. If you’re a high school senior, there will be a post in a few weeks about some tips I have after my final year’s experience!
Comments and feedback always welcome! Next post will come on Monday!