Daniela (Year 6)
What made you choose this institution over all others? Did the university exceed your expectations?
The program (Concurrent Education) enables me to study my undergrad program at the same time as Teachers College.
Do you have any lingering thoughts or regrets in your year as a whole (ex; application process, mistakes going into first year). If so, describe them.
Most of my courses were scheduled back-to-back, so I wonder how it would have like in first year if I went to the college room during breaks (i.e. maybe I would have met more people from different programs, be involved in different activities, etc)
Briefly describe the academic rigour of your program (in terms of competitiveness, courses, professors, etc.)
Every course in my undergrad program involved weekly readings. During years 1-2, many of my courses consisted of two exams (a midterm and final). In the higher years (i.e .years 3-4), the classes became smaller, and participation, group assignments, and exams became more common. Most of my professors (no matter how big or small they were) encouraged participation in the lecture halls, which enables students to ask questions and learn from a variety of perspectives.
Describe the social life at your campus based on your own experiences (making friends, clubs + extracurriculars, party culture etc.)
I believe that it is important to balance academics and social activities. Therefore, I try to be involved on campus as much as I can. I have participated in both academic and social clubs at school. For instance, I am a member of the "Italian Club" . This is a social group where there are dinners every few months that enable students to meet a variety of different students in a fun environment. I also volunteered as a Peer Mentee with a Business program group when I was in first year. I was paired with an upper-year (third-year) student in the same program as me. She gave me advice about the program and answered my questions regarding courses and career paths. I also volunteered as a Peer Tutor for a course when I was in second-year. I helped answer students' questions regarding the particular course that I was a tutor for.
What are some of the best and worst parts of your university experience so far?
I enjoy meeting new people and learning about new concepts in my courses. I also enjoyed attending Frosh Week because the events helped me become more familiar with the campus. It also enabled me to become close to the Frosh leaders, who kept in touch with me throughout the year and gave me advice for university-level courses. I found the grading and structure of courses (i.e. three-hour lectures, normal distribution, large lecture halls, many readings, grades consisting of just two exams in some courses) different from what I was used to from high school, so that made it challenging for me to adjust to.
List three effective study techniques and/or habits:
Guidance/advice from upper-year students (i.e. frosh leaders)
Asking questions to the professor
Keeping up with weekly coursework/readings
List three pieces of advice for first-year students:
Organize a "study schedule" to help you keep on-top of due dates/classes, etc.
Keep up-to-date with weekly readings/coursework
Get involved in different activities/clubs on campus
A big difference from high school to post-secondary is the independence that is provided to students in post-secondary. Classes (especially in first-year) can be filled with hundreds of students in a lecture hall...attendance is not taken, there are no weekly reminders of when evaluations are due, professors do not know your names, etc. Therefore, it is important for students to be independent and responsible for their own learning. Keeping up with coursework and attending classes is important. In addition, maintaining a balance among academics, work, and social life is helpful....getting involved in extracurricular activities and attending Frosh Week can help make your university experience more enjoyable and comfortable. Best of luck in your future studies...with a determined, hard-working, and positive attitude, be ready to encounter many new experiences, fun, learning, and growth :)