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Old 07-24-2013, 07:58 PM
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Cali Mae Cali Mae is offline
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Default Leaving home for university - questions

I am going to be graduating next year, and frankly, it terrifies me. My mom is piling on the pressure to start looking at universities, and I have, but unfortunately, my province doesn't have too much to offer. As a result, I want to go to university out of province, but there's cons to that as well.

The pros to going to university in my province are that I'd be able to come home for holidays/long weekends, and that it would be easier to manage Cali. The cons are that the universities come across as generic to me, and I want to get out of New Brunswick... not stay in it.

The pros to going to university in Ontario are the new opportunities/people/friends and that the universities have higher rated psychology programs. The cons are that I'd be lucky to get home for Christmas and that bringing Cali with me would be up in the air.

I want to ask my aunt if I'd be able to live with her, and possibly bring Cali with me. She has an ACD mix who she does agility with, so I would potentially be worried about their interactions. I think that Cali would really enjoy city life, and there'd be so much more to do in my free time with her. I'm going to ask my dad as well if he could take me there at one point this year for a week so that I could possibly get a taste of what it might be like.

I'm just curious as to how everyone else handled leaving home for university/college and what their own situation was. If I didn't have Cali to worry about, I'd be gung ho for going to Ontario, but she is my one concern. I'm not one to get homesick so that isn't too big of a worry.

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Old 07-24-2013, 08:15 PM
JessLough JessLough is online now
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Honestly, I'd probably take at least a semester anyway, if you were to go to Ontario, without Cali. It'll suck, but it'll be good to only have yourself to focus on making that transition. Especially if you're living alone. If you love with family, it's obviously easier.
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Old 07-24-2013, 09:08 PM
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Have you thought about a different province? University of Alberta and Y of Calgary have a lot of great courses and good reputations as well as we have NAIT, SAIT, and other great schools. Have you looked at the ALIS website to see what other school options there are?

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Old 07-24-2013, 09:29 PM
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Hey, I didn't know you were in New Brunswick. I'm in Cape Breton.

Go on the adventure. UNB isn't too bad though ..I have a bunch of friends who went there or STU! They all seemed to have really, really enjoyed their time there& gone on to very successful post-grad things A few from there are lawyers, CAs, two in med school, etc
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Old 07-24-2013, 09:44 PM
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Lizmo Lizmo is offline
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Originally Posted by JessLough View Post
Honestly, I'd probably take at least a semester anyway, if you were to go to Ontario, without Cali. It'll suck, but it'll be good to only have yourself to focus on making that transition. Especially if you're living alone. If you live with family, it's obviously easier.
I disagree.

I just moved away from home last semester to go to college a little over an hour away. I'm living right off campus (about a mile off) in a studio apartment by myself. However, I took Blaze with me. I would not have lived alone if I didn't have my dog with me. Holy smokes no. Adjusting to life away from seeing family 24/7 at your house is hard enough. Then to come home to your new apartment empty each day after classes? That would be brutal. I would NOT recommend living alone without having Cali with you.

I've been very fortunate so far. My classes have all been such that I can run home to let Blaze out if I have a full day (and so far that's only happened on one day out of the week). Then we go walk/jog on campus each evening. For me personally, adjusting to life was a challenge, but my dog helped SO much. He made me get out each day after class no matter how tired I was and relax and ENJOY the campus. He was there in those moments when I missed home. Having a dog even opened up new friendships to be made.

It can be done. I think my situation was helped, too, because I *wanted* him with me. You definitely have to decide whether or not you want Cali with you. Because it does take work. But it can be done and you still enjoy your time at college.

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Old 07-24-2013, 09:58 PM
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Tortilla Tortilla is offline
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I have nothing else to offer this thread other than I go to the University of Toronto (and LOVE it), and if you have any questions or concerns about the school feel free to ask away.

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Old 07-25-2013, 07:48 AM
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I left for my University about 3 years ago and no, I did not take Boo with me. It might be a slightly different situation, as I'm in the states and Boo is more of a family dog; however I can tell you my situation and you can take it as you will.

My school is about 4 hours away from home. I knew before going that I didn't want to go to a school right in my backyard. Yet at the same time, I didn't want to be limited to only coming home for Christmas and summers. Four hours seemed like a good number in my head. Let me tell you what - I LOVE my school and am thrilled I picked it, but I really didn't need to be a full four hours away to "get away" if you know what I mean. Since I don't have helicopter parents, an hour or so probably would have been enough to feel like I was living on my own. It's far enough to inhibit constant visits (from either me going home or my parents visiting), but close enough to visit relatively regularly if you want. That said, I say all this with the condition that I be living in a dorm.

Honestly, I didn't like dorm living, but I feel it was an integral part of my Freshman experience and would recommend it to anyone for whom it is a possible option. No, you won't be able to bring your dog, however it will immerse you in the college culture and so you will feel like you are living away even if you end up going to a school that's not especially far from home. It's the best way for freshmen to connect in my experience and while living in a dorm, you are kept up-to-date (just by close association with the campus) with what is happening around campus at any given time. Concerts, free food, festivals, etc... I was always up to date while living on campus. Once you move off campus, you'll need to take the initiative to figure all this out on your own. You won't necessarily hear it through the grapevine or see fliers on the dorm walls, etc.

I moved off campus for my sophomore year. Still no dog and I plan to keep it that way until I graduate. I don't love it at times, but I like being able to pick up and leave with no concerns about what to do with the dog, have late nights and sleepovers without the concern, and otherwise just be young for a little while with myself as my sole responsibility. TBH - you'll probably find that you yourself are more responsibility than you thought. Once you start having to get yourself food, do your own laundry, deal with any car and/or housing issues on your own, figure out your own wake up schedule and stick with it, manage your time, etc, you might be just a bit surprised. Of course, if you really want to have your dog with you, I'd maybe wait a year until you have done the dorm life, met new people, and gotten acquainted with the practice of fully taking care of yourself and your classes before bringing the dog down.

Just my opinion, FWIW.

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Old 07-26-2013, 07:16 AM
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Saintgirl Saintgirl is offline
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Although I am more of a lurker, thought I'd throw my two cents in here. What about Halifax? Lots of universities to choose from and you are still far enough away from home that you won't get any surprise visits but close enough that with planning you could go home. Also, you could bring Cali and try it out because if all else fails then she could go back home. Halifax is pretty dog friendly, although rentals can be tricky but not unheard of! I rented in Halifax for years having a Saint Bernard and a mu HuskyX. Tons of parks and dog things to do too!

The other thing to take into consideration is that you are looking for a school to do your undergrad in. Right now it is more important to find a good school that is noted for being a good school overall vs. having a good undergrad program in psychology. You will need a masters to do anything in the psych world and that is when it is REALLY important to have a good school noted for their programs in psychology. Also, make sure you take some interesting electives. I went to uni with one plan and ended up in an entirely different direction. I don't regret one minute of taking all of the different classes because in the end it only broadened my horizens. I even took a drama class and I am not even the tiniest bit interested in acting but I sure did enjoy that class!
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Old 07-26-2013, 09:26 AM
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DJEtzel DJEtzel is offline
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Here's new spin on this... have you thought about Michigan, USA? Just sayin'... for schools and dogs it's pretty awesome! Lots of options!

I moved out of my parent's house 3 years ago now, moved an hour away to a large public university into a two bedroom condo in the city with my high school boyfriend, best friend, and Frag. I tried bringing my family Beagle at the time as well, but she had a ton of anxiety and was just happier living at home with my parents and their pit bull.

Anyway, huge change! I would have never moved without Frag though, that was a sure thing. He adapted to city life (the dog that had never been on a walk before!) super quick and was able to play fetch off leash on campus regularly. Joined a dog park and was able to take training classes and get into Rally, Nosework, and Agility right away!

I was able to go home for holidays or day trips/long weekends, but I rarely went home- only for some holidays. Once I moved out I really had no intention/desire of every going back.

It was a great experience for me. I did fine my first year at school and then dropped out because I felt like I was wasting money and didn't want a degree. During that first year I raised a 3day old kitten to maturity, fostered 2 or 3 dogs including one I had to crate and rotate, adopted a dog, and was working 2 part time jobs. I think it's only as hard as you want to make it, really.

Good luck!
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