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What am I even going to do in life? Pre-grade 12 stress.

A photo of Sudunno Sudunno
Just got midterm mark for summer school English and immediately dropped it, I got a 77.
I've always seen myself as above average in terms of intelligence, but ever since I hit grade 11 everything has been going down.

Can someone help me out with my future plans, I don't know where else to really go to for this type of help. The school's guidance department is near useless.

A couple questions is, what are the general rules for retaking a course, summer school, and private school? (Specifically for Western, Queens, UoT, McMaster?)

I have troubles with motivation and focus, I tend to try really hard for 2 weeks (getting 95%+) then slowly get into my comfort zone and begin to spiral down to 60%s, this cycle repeats and I end up with 80-85%. This can't happen in grade 12 where marks count towards the future, so any tips would be greatly appreciated.

Anyways, I'm good at Science, English, and Social Sciences. I've been trapped in the Chinese fallacy of "no doctor, no money". I'd like to make a comfortable living in the future without worrying about credit, debt, and saving up for vacations. Occupation wise, I'd like something that has human interaction, and reasonable working hours, and of course decent wage. This is probably not possible, but I'd take what I can get so suggestions are appreciated.

I've been thinking about psychology, biomedicine technology, researching, and pathology.
(What high school courses/marks/universities are recommended?)

Any further resources that I can access that'll help me with career choice, and university preparation would be appreciated. (already used career cruising)

tl;dr
I need help picking a career that comes to my requirements as close as possible, and I need pre-university prep help pertaining to the aforementioned career path.

Thanks! :)
(don't know if this as my first post is rude, sorry!)
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A photo of Viking21 Viking21
look up some careers at the Ontario job futures website <--- if you are from Ontario

it is extremely helpful

career cruising is ok but seems outdated (ask me if you don't have the password)

and for your lack of motivation issue...try to involve your self fun school activities which can balance out your feeling of boredom

I usually get good marks in the semester that I have alot of extra curricular activities...its not a coincidence, people tend to work better when dealing with less time.

Never take private school...our guidance counselor had a special assembly addressing the university application process...and she said that some universities (some programs) will not give you entrance scholarships if you repeated courses or taken them outside of normal day school. But she also said if there is a good reason why you took a courses in night school, private school, etc... then you are fine.

in terms of careers: think about biotechnology, engineering (especially nano, mechatronics, green, civil, and electrical/computer), also software but I don't like programing



***Advice: Even if your guidance counselors are useless...you should go there and build a good relationship with him/her... it will help you in scholarship applications.




good luck
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A photo of Anonymous Anonymous
Here's an idea. Look through job boards. Can be monster.ca, workopolis, or whatever. Pick out the jobs that interest you. They will typically list the sort of qualifications they're looking for in a candidate. This will give you a rough idea of what sort of jobs are in demand and what kind of academic and work background you need to get them. Keep in mind that different job boards cater to different professionals. You mentioned you're interested in research and science: google that and you'll find positions related to your current interests. They will sometimes list the salary they're offering too, so you can see if it's a "decent wage" by your standards. Once you get a sense of what you actually do in those jobs, you might change your mind or you might want to pursue it further.

I found my current career path by talking to people about their jobs (even complete strangers) and asking them the nitty gritty details of their jobs. What they like about them, what they hate, and even salary if I felt comfortable asking that. Just tell them you're a student, you're interested in knowing more about jobs out there, and they will usually help you out. Never underestimate human resources. People love talking about themselves, especially their jobs. Some have even helped me find opportunities to get into their field.

When you have a sense of direction career-wise, it is much easier to plan how to get there. The answers will come. You just have to keep looking for them.

Here are some links you can use too:

www.payscale.com
http://www.canadiancareers.com/careerinfo.html
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A photo of inthemaking inthemaking
Waterloo has a dual biotechnology/CA or biotechnology/econ degree. The programs are pretty selective though and require 90%+ admission average. But at the end of it you end up with co-op experience and the knowledge to pursue 2 fields.

If you want to go into research (I'm assuming science since you also mentioned an interest in pathology), any science degree (bio/chem/chem bio/biochem/health sci etc) will do and just work on getting a research assistant position during undergrad and continue on with a Masters/PhD afterwards. I'm a research assistant in a pathology and molecular medicine lab at Mac so feel free to PM me if you have any questions about that.

For psychology, you would obviously go into psych for undergrad (usually 1st year is life sci and then you major in psych/biopsych starting in 2nd year). Then you would have to go to grad school afterwards (or med school if you want to be a psychiatrist), so that would involve taking the GRE and having thesis/research experience with psych studies in undergrad.
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A photo of immaculatedx immaculatedx
"I need help picking a career that comes to my requirements as close as possible, and I need pre-university prep help pertaining to the aforementioned career path."

IMO, that's the dumbest thing a kid your age could say. Do what interests you and follow your intuition.
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A photo of Anonymous Anonymous

@immaculatedx wrote
"I need help picking a career that comes to my requirements as close as possible, and I need pre-university prep help pertaining to the aforementioned career path."

IMO, that's the dumbest thing a kid your age could say. Do what interests you and follow your intuition.



They're reasonable questions for someone at that age -- no need to be so harsh. Following your own interests is nice and all, but it's important to be able to pay your bills and put food on the table at the end of the day, which some careers just don't allow you to do.
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A photo of StudentAtStPats StudentAtStPats
OMG me too! I had a 90 average in grade 10... In summer school english I got 72 as midterm! I still havent dropped out but this is SO CONFUSING :/ Essays I used to get 4s for, now 2s.. what's happening?
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A photo of Sudunno Sudunno
If I really wanted to do what I liked, then I'd pursue graphic design. Been doing a lot of it as a hobby, and I was thinking about advertising. Obviously my parents won't approve, and it's barely above the poverty line, not to mention how hard it is to land a job.

I should also mention that I've saved up enough to do medical without applying for loans and scholarships. Which pressures me even more, to be honest haha :I

Can someone help me with what type of things I need to organize/set up for university?
Like the average I should be aiming for, the extracurriculars, reference letters, etc.

I've thinking about biomedical psychology pathology, what are the career opportunities like? Ideally I'd like something that starts off low, but eventually into the distant future be completely sustainable enough for a comfy living :$

Thanks for all the responses so far! :)

EDIT: Also how much do extracurricular matter, in the fields I'm thinking of? Are hobbies, volunteer, job experience all weighted the same? :$
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A photo of superstar2011 superstar2011
General rules for retaking a course: A few programs will only consider first attempts, and an example of that would be Rotman Commerce at UTSG. If the program does, though, it will specify. Otherwise, university programs will take either the higher of the two marks (more often), or the average of the two.

Summer school: I don't know any real rules on that, so it's probably not restrictive.

Private school: Some programs can refuse to give entrance scholarships, or may not consider your application as a whole. I'm not entirely sure of any specific programs on this, but presenters from U of T have warned my entire graduating class in my high school to avoid private school courses. Other programs may simply adjust your admission average if a private school course is included. But, of course, there are programs that don't really care.
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A photo of Anonymous Anonymous

@Sudunno wrote
If I really wanted to do what I liked, then I'd pursue graphic design. Been doing a lot of it as a hobby, and I was thinking about advertising. Obviously my parents won't approve, and it's barely above the poverty line, not to mention how hard it is to land a job.



Most graphic designers work on a freelance basis. If you go this route, you'd be self-employed. So you'd make however much money you can get for yourself. It's hard to get a satisfying job in most fields these days, not just in graphic design.


@Sudunno wrote
Ideally I'd like something that starts off low, but eventually into the distant future be completely sustainable enough for a comfy living.



Generally, the more work experience you acquire (in any field), the more money you will be able to earn. Do you even have an idea of how much money you need to earn annually to sustain the lifestyle you want?
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A photo of ForeverPi ForeverPi
Like you, i'm going into grade 12 this following school year :). one thing that helps me stay motivated is by having sticking notes/messages around my room reminding me what my goal is. maybe it'll help for you, too? haha.


@Sudunno wrote

EDIT: Also how much do extracurricular matter, in the fields I'm thinking of? Are hobbies, volunteer, job experience all weighted the same? :$



I don't know about the weigh factor, but ECs, volunteer, and job experiences can help boost you applications or just impressing a person/judge in general. for example, if you went to an interview and you only have marks to show how worthy of you to get this position, they won't be as impressed as compared to another person who has ECs. ECs, volunteer, and job experience can help show want kind of person you are.

if you're planning to go into a field that involves human interaction (i.e. psychology), then you should volunteer at a place that involves interacting with people such as in senior homes.

if you're a student of the TDSB, your school should have myblueprint. I'm not sure if other school boards also use it. Its a site that takes the courses you have taken or going to take in high school, and gathers a list of university/college programs that suit those courses. I prefer using myblueprint because it actually tells to you which universities can you go to if you want to pursue the blank program and doesn't suggest weird occupations...(i got truck driver once as a possible occupation lol?><;)

heres the link:
http://www.myblueprint.ca/

if you don't already have an existing account, then you'll have to use a free 15-day
trial at http://www.myblueprint.ca/education-planner/
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A photo of anpan anpan
Private school is not something I would really recommend unless you go to a school where you ABSOLUTELY NEED high marks but cannot get them - ex. my school had really intense math and it was generally fairly difficult and stressful to get 90's so a lot of people took private school for the numbers. But I still don't recommend it because a lot of them (from what I have heard from people) don't really give you the knowledge and skills that you'll need in university.

When it comes to motivation and focus, I can relate. In grade 11 I did pretty well (high 80's to 90's in almost everything) but in grade 12 I started getting high 70's to high 80's, and a 90 or two in a few other courses. So I was really discouraged by this - I started feeling really stupid, getting stressed out, beating myself up, etc. But it's really important not to let yourself get into this mindset because it does more harm than good.

Being aware of your motivation 'pattern' is a good start because now you know what to avoid doing. The issue seems to be when you get into your 'comfort zone', so I'd start there. Maybe think of it as running a race - you don't want to start out going full power from the start, because you'll very likely to burn out for sure. So set a good pace for yourself that still gets you good results - try hard, but don't overwork yourself. Maybe try to get into a routine so that you don't get too comfortable and/or lazy? I think it's a good idea to try and discipline yourself too, i.e. develop good work ethics and study habits that will help you both in grade 12 and university.

Some good study habits I've seen and developed:
- Review your notes every day (especially for sciences); making study notes also helps too
- Make notes for yourself in class outside of what's on the board (like examples the teacher says, or just things to help your own understanding)
- Keep a small notebook/paper/whatever to write down any questions you have as they come up
- Ask about those questions! Doesn't matter if it's a teacher, or a friend, or whoever!
- Write out and do practice questions for yourself before tests
- Do your homework (especially for sciences and math)
- Try and see the connections between units, if any

I dunno - I think that if you develop a good pace and good habits, you'll be fine. Just try not to rest on your laurels, so to speak - even if you're smart and good at certain subjects, it doesn't mean you don't have to try.

As for your career I unfortunately can't really offer you any new advice but keep in mind that it's not uncommon for people to switch majors in university. Though I think that biomed, psych and pathology are all good choices for the future. Try to talk to people who are in these fields and see. :>

In regards to setting up for university - I don't think you need to worry too much? I think your guidance counselors will probably guide you through it. When it comes to extracurriculars, reference letters, etc. I think that goes by your program and university. Generally the really competitive ones like to hear about your ECs so if you're thinking of one with a relatively low acceptance rate, try to join things pertaining to it that you could talk about in your supplementary application...

Wowww sorry long post, but I hope it helped somewhat.
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A photo of superstar2011 superstar2011
Overall, don't despair. You still have plenty of years before you actually start your career, believe it or not. People do switch majors in university, and you may eventually end up working in a job that does not exist today. And as for marks, you are far from alone from thinking everything is going downhill. I felt that way too. I've also heard from several people that summer school English is brutal and people are dropping, fast. Two of my close friends going to different schools have both dropped English in summer school along with about half their classes each (man, brutal teachers)! But it will be over soon. It's only a phase. You will feel better, I promise.
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