Michael Bautista, Staff Writer
The much-anticipated diploma marks have made their way into your mailbox (or at least we hope so by now. Thanks, Canada Post). Some marks turned out to be stellar, others…you’d rather not talk about. These heavily-weighted exams are the determining factor for gaining entrance into your top-choice universities, so what happens if your marks don’t exactly measure up?
Unfortunately, a lot of people find themselves in this position. Their dreams of getting into a “reputable university” (the meaning of the phrase changes for every person) may seem to be unreachable at this point, but remember—there are still four months of school to go; it’s not over yet! Think about how much effort you put into your studies last semester and use that to figure out how you can improve your study methods this semester to gain the marks you want. How badly do you want to get into your preferred school? It’s not all about smarts; it’s about dedication and hard work, too.
On the other hand, always keep in the back of your head that your marks do not determine your entire worth, as we are all multi-faceted and talented individuals. If you do want to improve your marks for application purposes, you have a lot of options. Retake the diplomas, go to summer school, upgrade—there are tons of different courses and alternative paths for those who are willing to put in the effort. Keep in mind, too, that your top choice isn’t the be all and end all of everything. For instance, for those applying to the U of A: if you don’t get into your desired faculty, there’s absolutely no shame in going to MacEwan University, NAIT, or some other post-secondary institution. You can also always transfer later if you so choose. Besides, you’ll be saving money if you do a few semesters out of U of A anyway and gain a much more hands-on and personal experience. Do not let something as petty as reputation make you close your doors to other post-secondary institutions out there. Remember that there is no one path to success, and little bumps here and there should not detract us from reaching our goals. Success isn’t solely determined by how well we do, but by how we can pick ourselves up when we stumble.
Editors’ Note: We can all agree that pursuing post-secondary education is not the One True Path to success, either. It’s all up to the individual, and you know what’s best for you more so than anyone else. But if you do happen to be considering university or a trades education after high school, we think the above article contains useful advice.