Chemical Engineering at University of Waterloo

Rama (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 chose Waterloo for the co-op experience. However it is much harder to get a job then I thought it would be. Also, I did not realize how much time I have to spend in school work. My advice for incoming students is to build on your resume by teaching yourself things outside your school curriculum in order to easily get a coop job(e.g. programming languages or AutoCAD). Another advice is to use a planner or google calendar to schedule your day so that you are up to date with your lectures and homework.


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 that I planned out my time better but I learnt it after the first semester. It would have been nice if we had better practice questions and more of them. My program has 6 courses and it’s a lot to manage when I was straight out of high school. I wish that they slowly got us adjusted to the way things work instead of going at it from the beginning. My advice for new students is that most likely your method of learning in high school would not work in university. You have to figure out what to change quickly because everything goes by really fast and you have to adjust to it quickly too.


What was your favourite university experience?

Spending time with my friends and just getting to meet new people.


What was your least favourite university experience?

Exam period. Too many exams.


What is the hardest part about your program and what were the steps that you took to overcome any difficulties?

I have to take 6 courses for each semester which meant I was at school from the morning till 5:00pm due to classes. Then I have to study for my classes so I would finish and go home at around 10pm. When I go home I still have things to do so my sleep went from 8 to 6 hours. But not everyone was like me, I had a hard time managing myself so I would stay at school just trying to catch up on the things I missed. One of the courses that was difficult was Linear Algebra(math 115). One thing I learnt from the first semester is that you have to stay on top of your school studies from the beginning. If you do not then when it comes to midterms you would have a lot of things you need to catch up on. Another thing I learnt was that you need to practice. If you start studying from the beginning you would have time to revise and do practice questions. If you didn’t stay on top of your things that you get pressed for time and sometimes you would have to compromise current things. Another thing is if you have an exam and an assignment due the same day, you should focus on your exam and not your assignment because it’s usually only worth 1-2 percent where you exam is worth more than 30 percent. When your group members don’t complete their work and this is worth so Much of your grade, you should talk to them first and if they still don’t cooperate go talk to your professor and if that doesn’t work Honestly just do their work cause your grade depends on it. For midterms you have a week off to study for them and you should use your time wisely. If you know that you would not be able to study if you are home, don’t go home. Stay somewhere where there are no distractions so that you actually study. For finals you don’t have the week to study so on the weekends like a week or two weeks before use that time to study instead of going out or going home.



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?

Design studio 1 and 2 (Che 180, Che 181) because they were straight forward and no exams.we did some lab stuff which was fun and it was a different experience than the other courses where everything was textbook related.


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