Damon (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 wish I knew how important it is to balance hard work and time off. First semester of first year I was spending way too much time studying and not accounting for my own health. Once I realized this, I worked on finding my own personal balance which allowed for me to excel as a student while maintaining a lifestyle I desired.
I honestly chose UoG as my second choice, as I got rejected by my first choice. I do not regret my decision as I feel the atmosphere of UoG is much better than the atmosphere I hear about at other schools.
I love the UoG campus, mainly because of how compact it is. Walking from one end of the campus to the other would take 15 minutes at most. Apart from such a compact campus, the buildings are all quite new and clean in comparison to other schools I have visited.
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 went into the program without much previous information about it. This was not a huge issue as getting accustomed to UoG's credit system and course codes is not too difficult to understand. Honestly, I feel as though the program in first and second year is very broad and general- you'll be mixed in with many different students from different programs. I have a pretty neutral feeling towards the program, there are no advantages or disadvantages in my mind.
What was your favourite university experience?
I feel my best university experience has to be one which represents myself. The best experience in university I had was probably O-week, as this was the first time I was on my own, away from home. I felt O-week gave me a chance to let go, have fun and truly not have a worry in my mind before the stress of school. I think O-week will stick with me as the best university experience for a while.
What was your least favourite university experience?
I don't really have a bad university experience. There have been times where I got a mark back and expected much better, but I learned after the first couple times that worrying about marks is a very easy way to waste time and energy.
What is the hardest part about your program and what were the steps that you took to overcome any difficulties?
The course I had the most difficulty with was MBG 2040. This is a second year course which focuses on genetics and molecular biology. The hardest part in my opinion was the genetics portion. The material was convoluted, and every time I would step into lecture it felt as though nothing connected to the previous one. I think the best way I tried to overcome this was to spend time after every lecture to categorize what information I learned and how it fit into the scope of the course. I essentially had a huge mindmap of how concepts in the class connected. This helped me understand where I was in the course and feel less confused.
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?
CHEM2700 was my favourite course so far! Ever since high school I loved organic chemistry. There is really no other reason as to why this is my favourite course. This course, although many complain about it, is a great extension to high school's organic chemistry material. The course is structured well, and the assessments were fair in my opinion.
Time management is the most important thing in university! If you can handle time, you can do well in essentially any course. I manage by trying to get into a daily routine (or weekly). Having a to-do list which I write in the morning daily helps me focus on my goals, both short and long term.