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Arts and Science at McMaster University

Anonymous (Year 2)

What did you wish you knew before going to your university? What made you choose this institution over all others? What are advantages and disadvantages of your institution or campus? List any advice for incoming first-year students about your university.

University is what you make of it. The quality of your education, friendships, and extracurriculars can only be determined by you. In retrospect, I would have liked to be reminded of how significantly independence and initiative can change your first-year experience. My institution offered various events, clubs, and opportunities at the beginning of the year, but these often have specific dates or deadlines. Once you miss them, further opportunities are sparse throughout the year. For first-year students: It is so important to interact and network in the beginning as much as possible. If there is an opportunity, don’t delay!

What did you wish you knew before choosing your specific program? What are the advantages and disadvantages of your program? List any advice for incoming first-year students about your program of study.

My specific program is designed to be smaller in size. This offers an amazing opportunity to get to know your peers, create long lasting friendships, and communicate more directly with professors. That being said, a smaller program also means that many of your courses are program specific. In some ways, your interactions with the rest of the campus and population in first year are limited to your small community of people. Make sure you socialize and get to know others outside your program as well.

What was your favourite university experience?

It was great to take advantage of the green space in and around the campus and community. Oftentimes, groups would lead hikes and day trips to various cool pockets of the city. In a new environment, this is the best way to learn your way around and to get to know people.

What was your least favourite university experience?

The scheduled times for classes is something that I had to adjust to. Running late to an early morning lab with a small amount of sleep can make for a rough start to the day.

What is the hardest part about your program and what were the steps that you took to overcome any difficulties?

This program requires you to communicate effectively. This includes verbal and written communication. I had always been comfortable and confident in my writing skills, but contributing verbally and having my answers critically examined in front of peers was something I had to become familiar with.

If you were able to take electives, what was your favourite elective? If you were not able to take electives, what was your favourite course and why?

I enjoyed my math course in first year. The professor followed the planned schedule and remained consistent in how lectures and evaluations were done.

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