Zulfa (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 wish I knew how amazing Ryerson's learning support is. A lot of people (teachers, past teachers, parents, mainly adults) say, "Oh, in university, you're going to work a lot harder and you don't really know anything", or "You're going to find university so hard". Well yes, university is a very serious matter, and you should put effort in it. But honestly, it just depends on how you find yourself, are you a hard worker? Are you ambitious? Do you have goals? And really, if you can't find a suitable answer to these questions, there is amazing support in university for such issues. The Tri-Mentoring Program at Ryerson, for example, is just one of the many available tools to get yourself familiar with the university setting, and how to cope with problems you might face/are facing/think you will face. Many of the students are also very helpful and reliable. Yes there's competition, but part of being professional or preparing for professionalism requires being supportive and building your image. University isn't something you should really stress over! It's never too late to learn something, or be part of something. Just put you heart and mind to something, and you'll achieve it for sure!
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 how new my program at Ryerson is! I thought there were many clubs and opportunities for Biomedical Engineering students at Ryerson, but compared to Computer/Mechanical/Electrical, there's so little! I think this is a great opportunity for myself, and future students, to start these organizations and programs that can equally incorporate such an amazing branch of engineering at Ryerson. I honestly wish that there were more hands-on activities or classes that I could do related solely to Biomedical Engineering (like how we do circuitry or programming labs) in first year. Maybe this entails working on old biotech, or designing ideas that may be helpful in hospitals. I think, if I were to hope, I would incorporate these ideas as a member of Ryerson's FEAS (Faculty of Engineering and Architectural Science).
What was your favourite university experience?
Making friends and building my network was my best experience at Ryerson (we're pretty chill)! I immediately found myself a whole group of friends that I could relate to, and made sure that I used my resources to help my peers out with anything. This really built my image and helped me become more confident (I used to be really shy). I believe that Ryerson is a healthy moderation between competition, community, and opportunity. I say this with my diverse interactions with students from different universities, and my immense involvement at Ryerson.
What was your least favourite university experience?
Wow, this is actually very difficult to answer, seeing as my first year went pretty smoothly. I think my worst experience would be having the lights turn off while I was washing my hands (in front of the mirror!) in the Library washroom. It was very scary!! This just goes to say that Ryerson does need to work on some maintenance of very important buildings (Library is the best place to study!). There are some very cool buildings at Ryerson, but the ones I love are very old, and don't have the best facilities.
What is the hardest part about your program and what were the steps that you took to overcome any difficulties?
I think I have a good study routine, so my academics is not too much of an issue, thank God. I think incoming university students should take that into consideration, develop good study habits! The hardest part of my program would be that I have to juggle my part-time job, (extensive, may I say) extracurriculars, and educational work load! I'm ambitious and organized, yes, but I do tend to worry a lot thinking that I won't have time to finish up some things, or that I won't complete something the way I should. In my first year, what ended up happening was that I completed everything at once, which made me super stressed, and just wasn't an ideal approach to completing my assigned tasks. So, I developed a good timetable (based on my class schedule) on when I had to study, complete assignments, attend classes etc. I don't follow it religiously, because things do change, but it's a good timeline on the things I need to get done and when I should start/finish. I'm not stressed as much now, even though I'm taking up more things than before, so I think my tactic is working!
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?
I honestly love all my courses, they were easy and very interesting. My all-time favourite would be CPS125 (Introduction to programming, is it called?) because I had the ability to work on a programming language, something I really enjoy. It wasn't very theoretical, more hands-on. And, due to the current situation, it was very adaptable to an online learning setting. Even if my professors aren't the best, I have an unlimited amount of resources to learn about the course and help to complete my assignments. This may be a bias due to my love for programming, but I think I was able to inspire my peers new to programming to get the hang of it (and possible like it?). My TA (Teaching Assistant) was also very helpful, kind, and encouraging. When I tried out a new technique to solve a problem, he was very impressed, and he told me. If there was something I didn't do, he let me know immediately, and he was not unkind in doing so. This encouragement stimulated my passion for programming, and I hope I can get more into the software part of my program.
Biomedical Engineering is an incorporation of many things! But it's not a stressful discipline, learning new things is an asset for growth. Be passionate and willing to try new things. Don't be afraid. Get really involved in your university, in your program, in your community. Talk to people, and always ask questions that show your commitment and desire to learn. And have fun, it's not always about studying or worrying about your career!