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Transition Stories

several individuals grasping hands together

The stories included here in the Transition Resource Guide are from students, parents, and post-secondary staff from across Ontario.  Their messages are shared to let you know that you are not alone in this journey. There are a lot of people out there who have been through this process before and want to pass on their tips, advice, and encouragement with you, and share a little bit from their own experiences in transition.

Do you have a Transition Story you’d like to share? Send it to us through our Contact page.

Photo of Aaron Bailey

Aaron, College and University graduate

"I first chose college because I knew it would be more of a hands-on learning environment, which is how I learn best. I also chose College because of the smaller classroom sizes, and the ability to get to know my professors.  I later decided to attend university, because I always wanted more 

image of Alison parker

Alison, Transition Program Coordinator

Transitioning to college and university is a big change for most students.  It’s a new campus, new professors, different type of classes and schedule, an increased workload and expectations - a lot of change in a short time!

image of Ben Sadlowski

Ben, University Graduate

"For me deciding what I wanted to do for a living was pretty easy. I was good at programming and I had a love for video games. When it came to post secondary school though, that was a little more challenging. It was a toss up between a college that was more hands-on and focused, or a university that would give me a more well-rounded education.

image of Candice Daiken

Candice, University Graduate

"As a student with a learning disability, each year I registered with my school’s accessibility services and I met with a Learning Disabilities Strategist to discuss my goals, academic concerns and accommodations. She worked with me to help me receive the accommodations that were suggested from my updated psychoeducational assessment.

image of Celeste Suart

Celeste, University student

"The choice of whether or not to disclose to friends can be a tricky one, and it’s understandable not want to tell every person you meet or work on a project with. For long-term friends, however, it can be worth considering.

image of Chelsea Williams

Chelsea, University student

"When I first got to University I was definitely nervous about what was up ahead. The same type of fears from High school: what if I get lost/ what if I don't make any friends, etc. But the second I moved into residence I was greeted with a huge amount of excitement from everyone around me. What really surprised me was how much support everyone gave to each other.

image of Dayna Neville

Dayna, University Graduate

"When I transitioned from high school to university, I focused on whether or not my roommates and I would get along. I should have focused on whether or not I was ready to handle the academic changes. Spoiler Alert! I was definitely not ready for those changes."

image of Devin Cleary

Devin, University graduate

“When I began researching potential universities, I took special interest in the Accessibility Services Office and the Financial Services Office on each campus and what they had to offer for students.

image of Emma Hawley-Yan

Emma, University student

"As I was preparing for my first year of university, I decided that I was going to live off-campus. University residences were much more expensive and I thought that living off-campus would be a good way to save money.

image of Heather Parker

Heather, Library staff

"My job is to help students with disabilities use the library services by making sure our services are designed to serve the needs of our diverse student body. The library is essential to student success, and so we work hard to ensure that our physical and online environments are easy to navigate.

image of Jeremy Gooden

Jeremy, University student

"Going into university, I put a lot of emphasis on the academic transition. However, I found the adjustment to university life quite challenging to balance academics with physical health, mental health, and social involvement. Once I acknowledged this, I sought help from various on-campus resources and actively worked on these areas.

Kailha, College and University Graduate

I was diagnosed with a learning disability in grade 2. My diagnosis was in reading, writing, memory, math, and attention (all areas you need in school). I am now 33 years old, have completed my High School Diploma, graduated from St. Lawrence College, completed 3 years at Queen’s university,

path through trees in a park

Kim, parent

"Last year when my son, Jordan, was applying to post-secondary institutions, the Transition Resource Guide for Students with Disabilities was invaluable.  Jordan was entering post-secondary with a medical disability and we were in the process of getting him assessed for other learning issues.

Lisa, Principal

"As a principal, I have seen firsthand the challenges that students can face when transitioning to post-secondary education. A consistent problem I've seen over the years is students who head to post-secondary often don't make the arrangements to get the support for their learning needs in place at their new institution.

Marie, Former Special Education Resource Teacher

In my role as special education resource teacher, I found the Transition Resource Guide to be an invaluable tool to prepare senior students for their transition to post-secondary.

high school building

Patrick, Special Education Department Head

"The Transition Resource Guide is my go to for high school students and parents asking questions about how to access accommodations in post-secondary.  It’s informative, comprehensive and very easy to navigate.

Rina, Clinical Psychologist

"My role as a clinical psychologist is to help young people have reasonable expectations of the post-secondary school experience and to prepare them for what’s to come. Depending on the student, skills that I help them work on include building their confidence and self-esteem, teaching them how

Exterior of a school building

Shauna, Accessibility Advisor

"The Transition Resource Guide (TRG) has transformed how vital information is shared with students, families, and educators. In one centralized place, students can learn about what to expect as they transition to the post-secondary level. 

exterior of a building

Stephen, College Graduate

I found that one of the biggest issues when I switched from high school to college was a difference in the services. High schools use different platforms, such as Google Docs, to do their work on and hand in, whereas my college used Word.

Photo of Zach Ball

Zach, College Graduate

“After I graduated high school, I decided to stay for one more year before I started college.  I enrolled in a high school cooking program that let me learn and practice my skills before I started college.  It was a fantastic program – not only did it let me test out my area of interest, we actually visited the college I was going to the next year and met with many of my future teachers.  The e