Getting ready for university or college

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Teen boy wearing backpack with other teens studying in background

At the end of high school, some students know exactly what they want to do with their lives, but many others don’t. There are also those who know what they want to do but just don’t know where to begin. There are many choices for you to consider. This is the time to think about your options.

Adapting to post-secondary education

College and university are very different from high school. Often students don’t realize how responsible they have to be for their own learning until their first set of exams.

When you move from high school to a post-secondary school, you will be expected to be more independent (like when you go from paediatric to adult healthcare!). Help is available, but you are the only one who can do your own reading, complete your assignments and study for tests.

The environment is different too: classes will generally be much larger than you are used to, although you may also have some smaller seminars. Contact with your instructors or professors may also be different. You may be able to communicate with instructors through email, scheduled appointments or by telephone. Policies and procedures are also different, so take some time to learn them at the school you choose.

Registering with the office for students with disabilities

Students with health conditions are entitled by federal law to have reasonable changes made to classroom settings and to test or exam formats and receive any other aids that will make learning possible. These are called accommodations. They are set up through the office for students with disabilities on your campus.

Most people with transplants don’t need accommodations, but it is a good idea to be proactive in this area. Register with the office for students with disabilities as early as possible after you confirm which university or college you are attending. This is because setting up accommodations can take time.

When registering with the office, you will be asked to fill in some paperwork, including a form that one of your doctors must sign. Of course, all the information you give the office is confidential, just like at the hospital.

Even if your transplant does not cause you any health problems when you start university or college, it is still worth registering with the disabilities office. If you run into an issue, staff at the office can jump in and get someone to take notes for you, rearrange exam schedules or help in other ways. But they can only do this if they know in advance that you might need support at some stage.​​

Last updated: November 30th 2017