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Human Kinetics at University of Ottawa

Curtis (Year 4)


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. 

I wish that I knew how important the social aspect is of University. Quality education can be acquired anywhere (purchasing textbooks, access of information over internet and online classes), and so what differentiates University is the people and the social aspect. Thus decisions such as where one lives and what activities and events one participates in are actually rather important. Knowing that prior to entering University would have been helpful.

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 that I knew that there was an ability to modify your workload based on the types and amount of classes one can take over a semester. There is no rule that one needs to acquire credits as quickly as possible.

What was your favourite university experience? 

Being able to meet people with different world views and being able to see where they come from. For a program like mine that is relatively "lighter" on workload, schooling and learning become only a medium of growth and conversation. Yet even for a more rigorous program, I would imagine that it is still the same. Learning is not done solely through reading and attending lectures, but in conversations that seek deeper understanding rather than shallow knowledge.

What was your least favourite university experience?

The confusion that comes with courses and credits if one does not decide to take the "recommended" course sequence. Not being knowledgeable and not knowing where to seek resources in regards to courses and credits was confusing and stressful.

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

Educators who are unclear about expectations are probably the most difficult part of my program. The professors are supremely intelligent, but some lack a pedagogical ability that is essential in a university lecture style classroom environment. Learning how to ask for clear instructions (or just forgoing that stress by caring less) become valuable coping mechanisms. The negative coping mechanism is occasionally needed, since it's likely that not all courses are equal in value to the individual.

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?

APA 2140 : Sport Psychology. Dr. Kyle Paquette is an extremely excellent educator and the course content is applicable for any and all students. 

Additional Comments

Grades are only as important as you want them to be. For those like me who do not put as great of a value on them as others, that is alright. Focus on using your university experience as time of growth and learning outside the classroom as much as inside the classroom. 

Per school resources, make sure you take advantage of them as much as you can. You don't pay large tuition fees for nothing, after all...

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