Sometimes, in order to discover your path in life, you need to experience it from many different perspectives.

In my case, I have lived as both a university student, and as a college student.

While attending high school, I was under the impression that the smart kids went to university, while those who weren’t as smart attended college.

Naturally, my affinity for academics led me to choose the university-level classes, where I excelled with high marks.

After graduation, I went into the accounting program at the University of Ottawa. I had excellent grades in both math and English, but I figured I could be more successful with a math-based program. At first, I was filled with excitement to be on my own, having thought I was walking the right path.

Unfortunately, on my first day of classes, I discovered a harrowing truth. Most classes consisted of me sitting with over 200 other students in a lecture hall, with a professor belching out content for hours on end. The teachers seemed very disconnected with the students.

The marks for each course consisted of a midterm, final exam and sometimes a project. Other than those, none of the other work I did counted.

After a few months of this regime, I felt bored with it all. Half of the material went over my head, I didn’t feel smart, and my grades suffered for it.

I wanted to get out, but I didn’t want to seem like a failure to my friends and family. I realized I should have studied the program more before rashly applying. I continued, hoping to find even a speck of enjoyment in this.

After two years in the program, I dropped out, deciding that these courses and the school itself wasn’t for me.

I took a year off to try and rediscover myself where my passion for writing returned to me, and this is when I decided to try college, choosing the journalism program at Algonquin.

Here, I found that my professors were more relatable, the classes were more practical, and my marks weren’t solely based on two huge exams.

This, coupled with the smaller class size, showed me how much college suited my needs. I made more personal connections with both my teachers and peers.

Looking back, I’m glad I got to experience university first, since it led me to college and the path I was destined for.

The moral of the story is make an informed decision, or else you’ll find yourself rushing into a loveless relationship with an incompatible program.