Phoebe (Year 3)
What made you choose this institution over all others? Did the university exceed your expectations?
I've heard from various individuals that attended UofG that they loved the environment here! After being a gryphon for 2 years, I would have to agree, as every single person I've met there has been exceptionally kind and helpful. Even though I am in a competitive program, I have never seen other students try to sabotage others - everyone is always open and ready to help you! I love this university and I am so happy I chose it for my undergrad! It definitely exceeded my expectations, I believe UofG offers everything I could want in a post-secondary institution.
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.
The process of applying through OUAC was confusing at first, if it wasn't for the mentor of others (teachers, older siblings). Also, for those who qualify and apply for OSAP - I think that was a confusing and tiresome process! I think it's also important to note the difficulty in transitioning from small 30 people classes, to classes that go well over 600 students!
Briefly describe the academic rigour of your program (in terms of competitiveness, courses, professors, etc.)
My program is relatively competitive - lots of tutorials, quizzes, midterms, exams, labs, lab write-ups, etc! My experience with professors has been mostly positive (helpful, passionate, great educators), with the exemption of some poor ones. My professors and TAs, for the most part, grade pretty fair - and we also have opportunities in some classes to resubmit our grade for an re-evaluation if we are unhappy with the outcomes.
Describe the social life at your campus based on your own experiences (making friends, clubs + extracurriculars, party culture etc.)
I think the social life is great! I met most of my close friends the first week of school (O-week) because everyone is always smiling and welcoming! I think the party culture is a nice balance with academics, as you will see the library packed with students throughout the days of Mon-Fri, but also see downtown Guelph full of life on the weekends. Furthermore, the University Centre is always packed with committees, groups, and organizations, so it is super easy to get involved!!
What are some of the best and worst parts of your university experience so far?
Best - Meeting new people, having parties, having group hangouts, staying late at the library with friends!
Worst - stressful midterm and exam seasons!
List three effective study techniques and/or habits:
Having a big visual calendar above my desk
Studying with other like-minded individuals!
List three pieces of advice for first-year students:
Don't give up, even if you may be discouraged at first! It is difficult to transition initially, but once you get used to it, you will excel in the years to come! Also, just put yourself out there - don't limit yourself to the endless opportunities that university has to offer!
Mental health services may be difficult to get an appointment, and can get crowded during stressful times, but they are extremely helpful - definitely use those resources if you need. Residence life is amazing and truly makes your first year unforgettable - try to stay in residence if you can! Also, schools have so many opportunities for volunteering, both on campus and off-campus - get involved! :)