As some of you may know, Journalism was not my first college program.
The first time was when I was fresh out of high school in the two-year General Arts and Sciences University Profile program at Sheridan from 2011 to 2013.
The second program was a brief time at Fanshawe’s Environmental Technology program in 2014, which was not a good experience for me.
The third program was from 2017 to 2019 in the two-year Journalism program at Sheridan.
My first steps towards weather as a career
In late 2010, when I started grade 12, I knew I wanted to go to college but was not entirely particular about what I wanted to do yet.
In early 2011, I decided to take the GAS program because I wanted to go into university to become a meteorologist eventually. Effective February 2011, I got accepted.
York offers meteorology and has a connection to the GAS program at Sheridan. This is what initially made me optimistic in the first place.
The first program mostly offered social sciences courses. This has nothing to do with meteorology, but it gave me hope that I would one day be eligible to go into university, as this is what the program prepares one for.
Because of my disabilities, I took essential and applied level classes in high school.
I realized that while it wasn’t impossible to be able to take a meteorology course in this scenario with me eventually being able to attend university, it might be relatively difficult to get accepted compared to my academic-stream peers. This is particularly true with those who took the Grade 12 University Earth Science course.
Brief Fanshawe experience
Fast forward to June 2013; my parents attended my cousin and her boyfriend’s (Now husband) 25th birthday party (Their birthdays are only a day apart).
My parents talked to my cousin-in-law’s brother, who was attending Fanshawe at the time. I don’t remember if he took this ET program or if he just knew about it, but he told my parents about it. This is a college program where one would eventually explore meteorology.
I decided to leave York behind at this point since I knew university would be difficult for me.
I was excited about the idea and applied to this program. Fanshawe accepted me in February 2014.
I spent the 2013-14 school year working at my dad’s workplace before attending Fanshawe from September to October 2014.
Coming from somebody who got good marks in math and science in high school, I thought that I would do well in the ET program at Fanshawe, but it only took me a couple of weeks for me to realize it wasn’t for me.
I was severely struggling with schoolwork more than I ever did in my lifetime. This is saying something because I was more motivated compared to elementary school where I needed frequent assistance to keep up with schoolwork and demands.
The turning point was when I severely failed my first math test. I dropped the class and initially decided to just get through the first semester with my other courses before moving on.
However, a few weeks later, I had a biology test the Wednesday after Thanksgiving which I studied at least 15 hours in total for. I got 50 per cent on it despite studying hard and putting forth my absolute best effort.
As if spending a lot of the Thanksgiving weekend studying for that test instead of socializing with my relatives wasn’t bad enough, this is what I got in return even with me studying.
I realize that maybe giving up just like that in mid-semester is not always a wise move, but to put things in perspective, if I was struggling to pass courses in the first year, imagine how much I would fight in the next few years (This program is about four years long by the way).
In addition, if I’m struggling with basic college math, think about what kind of anxiety and depression Calculus would put me through.
The professors were like “You need to spend more time in the Learning Centre and get tutoring for help.” I did exactly just that from day one. I spent nearly every day in that Learning Centre, and it still wasn’t enough help for me to get through.
Unfortunately, given that it was always busy in there, the teachers had very little time to help me achieve reasonable grades.
Finally, I said, “I’m done!” I left the program and moved back home.
I spent the next few years working at my dad’s place before going back to Sheridan and eventually, my grocery store job which I recently left.
Finally deciding my path
I spent two years not even being sure if I want to go back to college because of that two-month experience in 2014 which impacted my mental health.
Finally, in early 2017, I told my parents, I may not be able to be a meteorologist, but I can still be a journalist who writes and reports on the weather.
I decided to take Sheridan’s Journalism program, and they instantly accepted me after nailing the qualifications test.
Two years later, I find myself applying for internship journalism positions.
As I mentioned in my other blog, this two-year Journalism program has had so many unforgettable learning experiences that will hopefully stay with me when I am a wrinkled old man.
Virtually no studying (Other than for that one open book exam in the Journalism Fundamentals class) has undoubtedly put less stress on me as well.
So far, it looks as if things are going in the right direction after years of roadblocks.
I think I can conclude that I had a clear idea of what I wanted my career path to be by the time I was 23. I will be turning 26 in July, and I still love it.