Health Sciences at University of Western Ontario
Hanna (Year 2)
What made you choose this institution over all others? Did the university exceed your expectations?
Personally, I gravitated towards the school which I thought would help set me up for a post undergrad education. Whether that be medical school or another graduate program, I think Western is the perfect place for academic as well as social success and because you’re bound to live in residence, it becomes that much easier to make friends that’ll last a lifetime.
Do you have any lingering thoughts or regrets in your year as a whole (ex; application process, mistakes going into first year). If so, describe them.
I most definitely made the mistake of not applying for OSAP on time. The due date for your application typically spans within the school year but the payment deadlines for school fees occur before so I had to pay for a good amount out of pocket.
Briefly describe the academic rigour of your program (in terms of competitiveness, courses, professors, etc.)
I found that since I came from a pretty competitive high school, I was able to learn good study habits coming into university. With that being said, although 5 courses per semester proved to be challenging, my hard work really did pay off in terms of maintaining a high GPA. All in all, if you study well and put the work in, it’s possible to do well! However, I will say, before you register for your courses check rate my prof, it’ll save you from a bad experience with a course just because the prof is boring/mean.
Describe the social life at your campus based on your own experiences (making friends, clubs + extracurriculars, party culture etc.)
I lived in residence (Saugeen to be exact) so making friends was quite easy even if I would classify myself as an introvert. Western has many clubs to offer including various cultural clubs, activism clubs as well as any hobby that you might think of (we even have a coffee lovers club!) Western is pretty well known for their party life and I would say that it definitely lives up to it! The people are overall really friendly but also know how to hit the books when it’s time to study.
What are some of the best and worst parts of your university experience so far?
The best part in my opinion was the people that I got to meet. I was really blessed to have met a diverse group of people both in the same program as me and in different programs and was provided with many bonding opportunities in residence! I also want to add that joining a cultural club as a minority on campus was the best decision I made in my first year because it provided an immense feeling of belonging and a chance to express my culture with like minded individuals! The worst parts I would say we’re the communal bathrooms in my residence. I’m a germaphobe, so it took me awhile to get used to sharing 3 toilets/showers with 30 girls.
List three effective study techniques and/or habits:
Forming study groups!
Reaching out to TA’s or going to designated study halls
Constantly reviewing short chunks of material instead of cramming
List three pieces of advice for first-year students:
These next 4 years of your life are all going to be shaped by the attitude that you bring! Even though studying gets hard and it’s not always fun and games, pay attention to the positives and know that hard times always pass :)