Lauren Keller, a Peter Skene Ogden student, is doing her Capstone project with the Free Press. (Photo submitted).

Change is exciting, but stressful, for PSO grad

Lauren Keller’s Student Life column

In a few short months, life won’t be the same.

In September, I will be starting school at Thompson Rivers University, and although it is incredibly exciting, there are also many worries and anxieties that come with such a huge change.

Luckily for me, I have somewhat of an idea as to what I want to do. My plan is to take courses for a Bachelor of Arts degree, and eventually pursue a Professional Development Program to become a high school teacher. I cannot help but wonder, though, like many grads, am I making the right decision?

There are many variables when it comes to choosing where you want to go after school. I chose TRU because it’s close to home, and has an excellent Arts program. As someone who has never lived anywhere but 108 Mile Ranch, it’s scary to think of being away from my family, especially in a city where I don’t know anyone.

One of my biggest concerns is whether or not I will fit in at TRU because I’ve never seen the campus in real life. I can’t help but question whether or not I would be better off somewhere else with music or dance programs, so I could continue to pursue those passions. In a way, it is comforting to know I am not alone in questioning whether I made the best decision for my future. Many of my friends still aren’t sure or have even turned down other opportunities to go to a school that will supposedly live up to their expectations and allow them to pursue their dreams.

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Another aspect of university stress is the question of where I will live. It was recently decided that universities will be back to in-person learning in the fall, so many of us now have to worry about finding a place to live near campus. I hope to be staying in a dorm on campus in the fall, but even that is not certain, leaving me to wonder if it’s worth it to stay with complete strangers or find another option.

But it is exciting to think about experiencing something new, even if it means taking risks that may not pan out the way you expect.

Over the past few months, I’ve also applied for many scholarships. It’s a lot of work writing numerous applications and essays; however, it’s exciting to think about what kind of opportunities winning a scholarship could give you.

Everything that comes with moving on to university can bring a lot of stress, but I know my friends and family will support me. Whenever I’m feeling nervous, I remember the advice of my uncle, Richard Kobayashi, who said “you’re not the only person who experiences this.” So many other students will go to a huge, new campus, and get through that experience, so why can’t you? You have to step out of your comfort zone in order to excel.

Am I ready for the enormous changes that come with graduating high school? I don’t know, but there is one thing I know for sure – change is necessary for us to grow. Although this will be a big step, it’s sure to be filled with much excitement and hope.

Lauren Keller is a Peter Skene Ogden student who is doing her Capstone project with the 100 Mile Free Press.

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