Katherine (Year 3)
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 chose the University of Guelph over other schools because of their warm and welcoming environment. The campus is well laid out, with only a 5-10 minute walk from one side to the other! While at Guelph you become a part of an amazing community that is very positive and helpful. Everyone I have met on campus has been extremely friendly. Being a Gryphon is an incredible experience that I wouldn't trade. Just have an open mind and you'll meet lots of great and like-minded people!
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 application process for me was very thorough, as I wanted to be 100% sure of the program I chose. That being said, I truly love my program and everything it has to offer. The material that you learn first year is very general, as it is for most science students, however, still very interesting. Nevertheless, it was the second year course material that really grabbed my attention and I knew that I was in the right program. In addition, all the profs that I have had have been super helpful, so don't be afraid to ask questions in class or even stop by at their office hours!
What was your favourite university experience?
The best experience I've had thus far is getting to meet such awesome people through O-week. I highly recommend attending your orientation, as this will allow you to open yourself up and get to know your peers. Don't be shy to step outside of your comfort zone! The people you meet will remain your friends throughout your university experience so definitely put yourself out there :)
What was your least favourite university experience?
Being an undergrad student there will be some courses that you aren't thrilled to take, but are sadly, a requirement. Personally I did not enjoy BIOL 1080 and 1090 as I found the material a bit dry. However, that being said there are great ways to cope when there are certain courses you do not enjoy. This can include making study groups with your peers, going to SLGs (supported learning groups) - which are run by upper year students, or going to your profs office hours to ask questions.
What is the hardest part about your program and what were the steps that you took to overcome any difficulties?
Biomedical Science is definitely a competitive program therefore, there is a large workload that goes along with it. It is easy to become overwhelmed when going into this program but remember, YOU ARE NOT ALONE! Stress will be a definite symptom at first but, there are lots of resources offered so you can stay on top of your course load. The steps I used were to form study groups with my friends and attend SLGs. I also learned how to manage my time more effectively so that I could still make time to spend with my friends. I recommend keeping an agenda so that you can plan out your weeks and make time for yourself as well.
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 elective was definitely PSYC*1000 (Intro to Psychology)! Dr. Olthof is very passionate about this course and puts all of her energy into trying to make this course appealing to her students. The course isn't too difficult overall, as long as you make good notes and attend lectures you are guaranteed a high mark. Also, she is very fair with her midterms and exam questions, and does a great job at preparing you for them.
Yay! You've graduated high school and are now entering the next chapter of your life! I know it can be scary but it's also super exciting. The University of Guelph has so many great opportunities waiting for you so, get involved! Whether that be by volunteering, joining clubs, or intramural sports. Just remember to put yourself out there and enjoy first year. Try to stay on res if you can, as this is an unforgettable experience that will allow you to meet fantastic people. Also, the school has great mental health resources if you wish to access them. In addition, there are peer counsellors who hold sessions to speak with you one on one throughout the week, so don't be afraid to reach out.