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Music and Concurrent Education at Queens University

Elim (Year 5)

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. 

Before going to Queen's university, I wish I knew that academics aren't overly intense and that there is nothing to be afraid of because everyone's in the same boat as a new student, trying to find a place and themselves in university. I chose Queen's over others because of their Concurrent Education program - it is a few months shorter than other ConEd programs to complete. Other advantages include an entire West campus, 30 minutes away from the main campus, where the Education building is. However, that can also be a disadvantage because living on West and commuting to/from takes time and it adds up. My advice to incoming first years would be "don't rush into signing a lease in first year while you're trying to look for off campus housing for your second year! There are many properties available near the university because people can't afford them, so don't settle for an unfair rent! Research and know the housing prices. Read and know your tenant and landlord rights." 

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.

The music program is what you make of it- your experience will depend on how involved you want to be in student life, student leadership, and extra curricular music productions and projects. My advice to incoming first years would be "put yourself out there and make an effort to make friends/ connect with people in first year. It'll be much harder in second year when everyone lives further away from the music building and even harder in 3rd and 4th year when you have less classes with your classmates." An advantage of our program is that because not many people apply and not many continue on to study music, you can connect with the small pool of people you graduate with, similar to a small high school group. A disadvantage would be a lack of student support for music faculty students- many are silently or overly stressed, shocked and overwhelmed by first year university, and juggling many different things. 

What was your favourite university experience? 

Jumping into the lake on a scavenger hunt games night with my Christian women's group! 

What was your least favourite university experience?

Living on West campus in second year- busing and getting to places became a hassle! Everything happened on main or further and getting groceries from metro wasn't always doable (most students go there because of location and the fact that they have discount days if you show your student card) 

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

The hardest part about being a music and con-ed student, is that you must learn how to juggle and balance at least 6 courses per term. Because of the academic nature of my program, we end up taking the most course units out of everyone. I overcame that by planning ahead and doing online courses and summer courses during certain terms. Personally, a difficult course for me was private lessons with my piano instructor- you don't get to choose your professor, and in the end it all came down to independent work and practicing your instrument on your own! Music students must be disciplined and have self-control when there are so many other temptations and distractions in university. It helps to have like-minded and studious friends and my friends and I often booked a room or met up at the music building to study together and prepare for exams- if everyone comes prepared and has studied, the review process is really helpful and fun. 

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?

MUTH 231 Musical Theatre. Great introduction to Musical Theatre as a genre and I enjoyed being to create a brief musical theatre piece in the form of a backer’s audition! It was a relaxed and fun class taught by Tim Fort.

Additional Comments

Truthfully, residence life can be messy. I personally really enjoyed my time in Ban Righ hall- all women's residence. We had a cafeteria just downstairs and the food was good. But it's easy to gain weight without you even knowing in university, so take advantage of the gym! Lastly, there are so many volunteer opportunities at Queen's and around Kingston (soup kitchen, Kingston library, homelessness initiatives

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