Jazmaine (Year 1)
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.
One of the main reasons why I chose UW was because of the campus. I love how the campus is not scattered like UofT and is convenient to travel around. One thing I was not particularly aware of was the housing environment. After my 1st year, I learned that compared to other universities (Western and Mac), Waterloo student housing is mostly apartments rather than houses, and the rent is also more expensive compared to other universities.
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.
I wish I knew that I did not need physics for my desired post-graduate program. Physics is one of the mandatory courses for my program and I was never really good at it. I encourage incoming first-years to check the course requirements for their desired post-graduate programs before considering which course to take or which specialization to pursue. I like that my program is very flexible and that we are allowed to choose many electives in order to meet the course requirements of post-grad programs or to take courses that interest you.
What was your favourite university experience?
I love spending time with my friends at University. University may be stressful but don't forget to spend time with your friends!
What was your least favourite university experience?
Residence life, but you will get through it. Residence is temporary, you will not live there forever.
What is the hardest part about your program and what were the steps that you took to overcome any difficulties?
I think one of the hardest parts of my program is learning how to digest information effectively. I encourage students to find their best learning strategy. For example, one of my chem courses had difficult and mundane lectures and they put me to sleep every time I attended them. It was hard for me to learn the content in class because I felt like I was already behind after 15 minutes. To overcome this, I read over the lectures the day before my chem class. By doing so, I am reinforcing my knowledge rather than trying to absorb the content in class for the first time.
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?
My favourite course was PSYCH101, introductory psychology. I took it as my first year elective with Dr Dennison and it was super enjoyable! This encouragement stimulated my passion for programming, and I hope I can get more into the software part of my program.