The transition from high school to university is a big leap

Fall 2012

William Kwan

Schulich Leader at University of Toronto

The transition from high school to university is a big leap, but a leap that many young adults take. When I was little, I looked up to the big college students with a slight awe, imagining all the painstaking tribulations they must’ve endured. Today, as I watch the thousands of students around my age strolling around, I think to myself, “Gee, have we really grown up that fast? I guess it wasn’t that hard after all.”

But that would be unfair. There are people here doing amazing things, overcoming incredible obstacles, and much of that is because we’re older and more mature. We’ve lived long enough to realize that only we can turn our ideas into reality, and it’s up to us to solve the problems we encounter. Armed with the university’s bountiful resources, the result is a constant barrage of the student-driven initiatives. You can’t walk for five minutes around campus without noticing a poster for a new club or venture, and it’s this willingness to take action that has impressed me most about U of T students.

My immediate challenge was deciding how I should split up my time among the diverse array activities going on. During my first month-and-a-half, I tread into unexplored territory, dabbling into origami, video-game design, and artificial intelligence, while also maintaining past interests such as tennis and biotechnology. Course-wise, I’m also in experimental phase, taking five courses in five different fields. I’m very happy with the freedom and support that I have, and I’m excited to build new skills and start new projects.

Still, it’s a bit intimidating. With over sixty thousand undergraduates at U of T, I do feel a bit nostalgic for the close-knit community of high school. It’s comforting to be part of smaller groups, and I’m especially proud to call myself a member of the Schulich Leaders Network.