Biochemistry at University of Guelph
Ishani (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.
I decided to choose Guelph because I really liked the facilities offered, and has an urge to leave my home in Toronto. Everyone I knew that went to Guelph loved it and I was really excited about it. There is a disadvantage in the lack of diversity. Often times it felt as though I was alone, and no one understood the very different struggle I was facing. However, there are many friendly people at Guelph and I found the people I felt comfortable around. I wish I knew that the adjustment period was hard, but normal. I wish I knew it was okay to feel off at parties and want to chill alone.
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 biggest mistake I made was not applying to co-op. It's an amazing opportunity and if I decided I didn't want to do it, I could have dropped it later on. However, I'm very happy with my program. The Biochemistry community in Guelph is smaller than other science programs, but has amazing people. The classes are fun, and the profs are great.
What was your favourite university experience?
My best experience was definitely living in res. It was a great opportunity to meet amazing people and also taught me how to better manage my time. I was lucky to have the best RA's, and now they are some of my best friends.
What was your least favourite university experience?
My worst experience was definitely the racism. While racism isn't incredibly strong at UofG, I experienced many microaggressions from my peers. However, I believe this issue exists for any POC who doesn't go to school in a big city.
What is the hardest part about your program and what were the steps that you took to overcome any difficulties?
Biochemistry is naturally a harder program, however I can't speak much of the upper year courses since I'm only entering second year. Some of those first year courses (CHEM 1040, 1050) can be brutal, but you'll make it through. When you do seminar presentations, you will always have that one group member that procrastinates too much, but there are issues that can be fixed with communications. I found that group study sessions as well as TA and prof office hours were very helpful. And remember to utilize the library! It's a great study space, and luckily the UofG campus has many great study spots.
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 courses were PSYC1000 and BIOL1080. Both of the courses were extremely interesting and encouraged me to pursue a minor in Neuroscience. They aren't too difficult if you do the work and study, and I was lucky to get great TA's, which enhanced my experience.