So, you are planning to graduate....
The final year of high school can be exciting and stressful at the same time. There are a few keys to staying on top of the challenges of your final year at Thornlea:
1. Stay Connected! Let's face it...you're busy, you may not have a full timetable and you may be juggling extra demands like a part-time job. You may not even have a period one homeroom class. Your best bet for not missing out on any important grad info is to join our e-info service called P@TH. Once you have joined you will receive regular (usually weekly) emails with information on upcoming deadlines, application procedures, scholarships, and liaison visits. Anyone can join, even parents! Just send an email to email@example.com and tell him to "add me to the P@TH". Its the best way to find out the really important things you need to know!
2. Keep Your Focus! There are lots of things that can distract you from your goal of graduating. Remember, you are almost there. If you really give it all you've got, you won't ever have regrets about what would have only happened if you had. If the stress of grade 12 is getting to you, find healthy stress busters. Talk to someone who is a good listener, like a parent or friend, and remember you have a Guidance counsellor at Thornlea! We might just help you realize another option you may have not even considered. If it helps, place a picture of your post-secondary destination on your locker or bedroom door to remind you why you are putting in all the effort!
3. Research Your Options! Remember to keep your mind open to more than one possibility...life has a way of not always running the way we plan. There is nothing wrong with planning for multiple options and then making a choice only when you need to. This way, you aren't faced with making poor second choices or last minute decisions you might regret later. The smart people have a plan A, B, and C! Here are the most common options that people consider:
Staying for another year... who says you have to leave before you are ready? Post-secondary institutions do not care if you decide to attend a year later. About one in every three of our Thornlea students return to complete an extra semester or year. This is a wise choice for students who want to upgrade, try co-op, or just don't feel they are ready to go on to the next phase of their lives. Maybe you are considering two different directions and want to spend more time experiencing which is the best one for you.
Taking A GAP year... some people benefit from doing something completely different for the year after they graduate. Maybe you would like to travel, work, or be involved in an exchange in another part of Canada or the world. Programs like SEVEC and Katimavik might be the experience you are looking for. Speak to your Guidance Counsellor to find out more about these or other programs.
Joining the workforce... this might be the right choice for you. If you feel that you would like to start working right after graduation, make an appointment with your Guidance Counsellor to start you off on the best foot. There are many important things you need to know about before you attempt to land your first full-time job. Your counsellor can help you polish up your resume and get ready for the nerve-wracking interview process.
Starting an Apprenticeship... certain careers can only be accessed through apprenticeship programs. This type of certification emphasizes hands-on learning under the mentorship of someone already working in that skilled trade. You are usually paid for your work, and will be required to complete a certain number of hours to be certified. To find out which careers are accessed through apprenticeship, check out www.skillsontario.com, or see your Guidance counsellor. If you would like to start on an apprenticeship before you graduate, check out www.yrdsb.edu.on.ca/oyap, or see a teacher in the Co-op office.
Earning a diploma...diplomas can be earned in either 2 or 3 years by attending College. There are many, many different diploma programs offered in 28 colleges across Ontario. To find out more about these programs, check out www.ontariocolleges.ca , or make an appointment with your Guidance counsellor. Some of the Colleges visit Thornlea. See the sidebar "Schedule of College & University Visits" for this year's calendar.
Earning a degree...degrees are usually earned in 4 years by attending either College or University or both! There are over 20 Universities and almost 30 Colleges in Ontario to choose from. Where you will go will depend on what program you want to take. Some of the Universities visit Thornlea. See the sidebar "Schedule of College & University Visits" for this year's calendar. Check out the following links to find out more about degree programs: www.ouac.on.ca, www.ontariocolleges.ca, www.ocutg.on.ca, and for a listing of collaborative and applied degree programs, click here.
4. Do Your Paperwork! Make sure that you complete all the necessary forms to graduate. These can be accessed for download from the "Forms Related to Graduation" sidebar. There are also forms for students who are taking courses outside of Thornlea. If we don't know about them, we may think you are not graduating!
5. Apply by the Deadlines! All the necessary information about how, who, when, and where to apply to post-secondary options will be made available to you by joining the P@TH. If you don't join, you might not find out. See the directions above for joining the P@TH.
6. Attend Commencement... this is an evening of celebration for all graduates, friends and family! This is your opportunity to stand in front of everyone and say, "I really did it!". Commencement takes place at a banquet hall in York Region during an evening in the last week of June. Most students rent a graduation gown. When you join the P@TH, you will receive all the necessary information for placing your gown order, as well as the details of where and when.
7. Keep Your Ear Tuned to Other Announcements...there are other events/activities of interest to grads that are not organized through the Guidance department, such as Prom in May, and grad photos in October. Keep your ear tuned to morning announcements for more information on these events and their deadlines.