There are so many great things about having the opportunity to go to university. First and foremost, you’re able to gain specialized skills in the career field of your choice–no more forced courses that high school makes you take (I’m lookin’ at you, Canadian Law class)! And then of course there’s the freedom that comes with going to university: you make your own hours, you manage your own day-to-day, and you more or less become one of society’s independently functioning members. I could go into endless detail about the life lessons and ridiculous experiences I had the pleasure of living through while at school, but these are things best learnt yourself through your own trials and tribulations. What I think would be far more helpful for us all is if someone put together a list of all of the other things we need to know when we leave the nest.
In the few years since I completed my undergraduate degree, I’ve found myself saying on more than one occasion “why the heck didn’t anybody tell me that?”. University teaches you a great many things about being a professional, finding success in your field, and hopefully how to get a job relevant to your degree… but what about the other stuff? What do you do once you’ve got that job? What about leaving it? What kind of expenses exist when my dad stops doing my taxes and paying my bills for me? Seriously, why doesn’t anybody have a class for this? I learned pretty much all I could learn (speaking from the standpoint of my mental state and desire to know) about mechanical engineering, but I’d have completely eaten up a course about life. What kind of things do I need to look for in a good apartment? How do I ensure that I’m getting paid what I deserve?
So over the next month or two (maybe longer), I’m going to try to answer some of these questions with what I’ve learned thus far. It will by no means be an exhaustive how-to, but maybe you, like 2-years-ago-Erica, haven’t even thought about these questions yet. Maybe you have and you don’t know where to start. Or maybe you’ve got your own answers to these questions! If this resource was available to me a few years ago, it would have made my little-lost-puppy of a life seem a bit more manageable. So until they create a Life 101 course for us at university, my little corner of the interwebs will have to do.