Like many other grade twelve students, my mind is almost completely preoccupied with the inevitable – life after high school. And I, unlike the majority of my cohort, have realized that I am not ready for university.

 Sure, I’ve done well in high school, and have options for university, but I can’t imagine enjoying any of them. And for the amount of money it costs to go to university I better enjoy it. The idea of going to school and just sitting and listening and reading for another 4 years just doesn’t appeal to me. Yet. And unfortunately, when I applied to university, I only applied to programs that include a lot of that.

 I spent days in despair, realizing that I would be doing precisely what I have been doing for the previous 4 years all over again. Except this time around it would be harder and I won’t have nearly as much help. What I realized through all this is all I really want to do is move and create and work. And I don’t need higher education to do that. Yet.

So instead of wallowing (okay, I wallowed a little bit) in despair at the impending four years and the inevitability of my B.A., I said to myself, “Mari, you don’t have to go to university next year,”. Instead, I plan on working, travelling, and building skills that will get me where I want to go (as opposed to where I think I should go). Fortunately, I have supportive parents who trust me enough and understand my dilemma (I know many do not).

There will come a time when I will be ready for the rigors of academia, but I don’t see it happening in time for September. The things I want to do in life require experience, but also independence and a certain amount of self-knowledge, all of which I can almost guarantee I will not find in university next year. So, if you find yourself questioning your education, and your path through it, remember that you don’t have to do what you think is expected of you, just make sure you are doing what you expect of yourself.