Here’s what the research shows…
1.) 33% have changed their major at least once
According to this 2017 report, post-secondary students are conflicted with a substantial struggle to decide what degree option is best. In particular, math majors and other science, technology, and engineering programs have the highest changeover rates. If you’ve become a victim to the indecisive void of ever-changing majors, you are not alone.
2.) 50% owe debt for education
With UBC on a relentless mission to increase tuition each year, it is not surprising that Statistics Canada reported that half of Bachelor graduates are in debt. The average debt at time of graduation was found to be a whopping $20,500. Nobody likes debt, but it’s a serious reality for many students across Canada.
3.) 33% have never been in a relationship
Another 2017 survey revealed that one third of undergraduate students have never felt the joy (and pain) of a romantic partner. Based on University of Washington undergraduates, nearly 24% had never engaged in sexual intercourse. When you’re stuck at home watching Titanic and eating ice cream, just remember that over 2000 other students at UBC Okanagan are in the same boat.
4.) 26% have children
Based on a 2012 study in the USA, approximately a quarter of undergraduate students have children. Although these results may differ in Canada, there is still a significant portion of UBC students who manage to balance education with the demands of parenting. While we struggle to complete assignments on time and pack a healthy lunch, it’s pretty impressive to realize the additional hard work that some students put in.
5.) 70% battle loneliness during the school year
According to a nation-wide study of Canadians, a vast majority of university students face significant loneliness while pursuing higher education. When trapped in an endless cycle of exams and essays, it becomes fairly easy to miss out on social opportunities. Although our campus is smaller than UBC Vancouver, it can be advantageous to gain personal connections between fellow students and faculty.
6.) 40.5% have used cannabis
Survey results from various Canadian universities placed UBC 20th (out of 49) for overall cannabis consumption. Breaking it down into programs, the highest rates of cannabis use were found in Drama, Journalism, Environmental Science, and Sociology, whereas French, Pharmacy, Medicine, and Math showed lower rates. Perhaps a little cannabis would make calculus less stressful?
7.) 27% of students use public transit
According to the UBC Okanagan Transportation Status Report from 2015, approximately 27% of all trips to campus utilized the bus system. While 47% of students drove in single occupancy vehicles, a large portion found other methods to travel to class. With vehicles being so expensive, the popularity of transit, in terms of cost and benefit to the environment, is greatly underappreciated – plus there’s no fighting for a parking spot.
8.) 23.1% of females and 5.4% of men have experienced sexual assault
Based on an extensive American university survey, nearly one quarter of females and a small but significant proportion of males have encountered sexual assault through physical force, violence, or incapacitation. While these results are shockingly high, they are specific to undergraduate students only, suggesting that actual rates are likely even greater. On campus, UBC Okanagan's Sexual Assault and Rape Awareness Campaign and the Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Office can provide resources and help for any students in need.
9.) 69% have used alcohol within 30 days
With the popularity of drinking, it’s not surprising that the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction found that 69.3% of post-secondary students had consumed alcohol within the past 30 days preceding the survey. In particular, females showed a slightly higher rate than males with a 2.1% difference. University life can often idealize drinking culture, however it’s important to remember that there are many students who prefer to have fun without picking up the bottle.
10.) 25% have a mental health condition
According to data from the National Alliance on Mental Illness in the USA, an estimated one quarter of post-secondary students have been diagnosed or treated by a professional for a mental health condition within the past year. This equates to roughly 2300 UBC Okanagan students. While struggles with mental health can feel absolutely debilitating, knowing that you are not alone in this battle is essential.