Tianlong (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 personally chose Guelph because when I visited the campus I thought that it was very welcoming and the people were really nice. I want to emphasize that the majority of people I have interacted with/gotten to know at Guelph are really good people. I think Guelph's science program is very strong, and just because it isn't as well known as Western/UofT does not mean it is worse than them. My number one tip for first-year students is to learn how to manage your time and study efficiently. There is a big difference between studying in high school and studying in university. In order to not be overwhelmed by the workload in university you need to learn how to manage your time properly!
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.
A big one is that there are no co-op opportunities for Bio-Med students at Guelph. They restrict you from any co-op program. It isn't a big deal for students who are pursuing graduate school but for students who are not too sure about what they want to do in the future, I think co-op would be a great opportunity to get experience and see what they enjoy. However, as I mentioned previously the science program at Guelph is really good and I highly recommend it. Bio-Med in particular probably has the best courses going into higher years, being useful and interesting while not being too hard (in my opinion).
What was your favourite university experience?
My best experience at Guelph was meeting all of my new friends. University is a time to grow as a person and meet new people. Go out of your way to make new friends while you're here!
What was your least favourite university experience?
I don't think I have had any real negative experiences so I'll just give you some advice on the courses people usually have negative experiences with in first year. CHEM*1040 (Killer Chem) apparently has the highest failure rate of all the science courses and I know a lot of people found it difficult. Despite this the majority of the content is still review from high school and if you don't have a strong base in chemistry, now is the time to build it! Don't take the course lightly but also remember it isn't designed to be hard (all of the material is review). Difficulty of the biology courses in 1st year in my opinion goes 1090>1080>1070. A lot of people hated the physics courses but they should be fine if you take the time to keep up with material and learn the concepts.
What is the hardest part about your program and what were the steps that you took to overcome any difficulties?
The hardest thing is to learn how to study for university. Unlike high school, there is no teacher constantly reminding you when assignments are due, when your next test or exam is, or how much material you should know at any given point. YOU need to keep yourself in check. You need to put aside time to study and you need to stay up to date with all of your due dates. I can not emphasize this enough but a lot of first year isn't actually learning content (since most of it is review), but rather learning how to study.
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?
If you're thinking about going into Medical School, I would recommend taking SOC*1100 and PSYC*1000 at some point in your first or second year. The majority of this content will be on your MCAT so it's better to learn it in school first, so that it will be review when you study for the MCAT. For a really easy bird course I'd recommend MUSC*1130 (Intro to Musicianship) if you have had any musical training in the past. It's an online course where the majority of the tests are on easy music theory.