Yudi (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.
When I chose my universities, I was also considering where I wanted to work in the future, I.e. where I want my connections to be located. I wanted to work near home, and uoft was the closest uni that offered one of the best engineering programs. In university, it is crucial for you to keep a conscious mind on your progress of assignments and projects. No one is going to remind you when they are due, or when tests are. Keeping yourself organized is one of the most important things. The other thing you need to keep in mind, (don't need an answer right now) is what field of work/ career path you want to go into. Because there is more flexibility in choosing courses, it is also very challenging to make the decision. Are you interested in internships, research or extracurricular activities? You need to think all of this through before you make your decision on your schedule.
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.
For engineering specifically, I wish I knew how important it is for me to study ahead of the class. It makes everything so much easier. Previewing the material , even just 10 mins before class makes a huge difference. Because our classes are quick paced, you don't have the time or energy to fully understand the logic or maths during lecture. Previewing the material beforehand puts stress off of your shoulders during lecture, when you're struggling to copy the diagrams and formulas down while listening to the prof AND trying to understand what all of it means.
In addition, if you are going into uoft engineering, make sure that you fully understand, midterms starts in October and ends in November, and exams starts in December. This is why you are constantly under pressure. Mental health is also very important and there are many resources on campus that you can reach out to.
What was your favourite university experience?
When I finished all of my midterms and final exams.
What was your least favourite university experience?
Finishing up my midterms and starting my exam season.
What is the hardest part about your program and what were the steps that you took to overcome any difficulties?
We have a three months long midterm period, and we start finals right after that. Our schedules are also packed because we take six courses each semester. I had a mental breakdown during the first semester because I ran out of energy and brain power at the start of exams. By then, I was studying until 2 am and woke up at 8 to go to school. Finally, I couldn't handle it and I just slept for the whole day. It actually helped me to recover from my stress because I was finally sleeping properly, and that my brain had the time to reset and restart. This was a very important lesson for me. To do well on exams, you need a good body and a good mindset first. Keeping this healthy mindset can get you out of any mess in life.
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 favorite course was the statics course in engineering. I never really appreciated physics until then. The whole course talks about the analysis of different types of bodies at rest. How forces and moments would act on the body and yet everything cancels out perfectly. It is one of the few courses that I really appreciate and wasn't that hard to complete.