Honours Biology at the University of Western Ontario

Olcay (Year 2)

olcay.durukan@outlook.com

@durukanolcay

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. 

- science academic counselling is absolutely awful and i had the worst experiences with it. If you can, try going to arts and humanities academic counselling for advice.

- stay on top of your work and take advantage of the office hours. Profs will literally discuss what specific material is on the exam with you if you ask the right questions.

- it is very well known that western is famous for its party culture. Even though people are inclusive, you may have a harder time fitting in if you don’t drink/party.


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.

- if you want to specialize in a very specific field such as immunology and pharmacology, try to switch to medsci as those programs are mostly in medsci.

- go to office hours. They will literally save your life.

- people tend to say that biology is an ‘easier science’. It is not. I took the exact same first year courses with all the other science kids and currently am taking a couple of the hardest second year science courses. If you are planning to go into biology because its easy, you probably should not be going into science in the first place.


What was your favourite university experience? 

Living in residence was absolutely amazing. I made so many friends and am actually living with a couple of them this year!


What was your least favourite university experience?

Science academic counselling honestly has been a nightmare for me from the beginning. They have just been very condescending and unhelpful.


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

- Honestly, there is nothing hard about science courses as long as you stay on top of your work. I had a hard time with the fact that we had so many small assignments/lab reports. These words are hard to keep track of as I had weekly quizzes for almost all my classes. I started using a google calendar in order to stay on top of my work and it honestly helped a lot.

- Also, if you have any disabilities and/or mental illnesses that may require accommodations during midterms and exams, make sure you discuss these with your prof and academic counselling as soon as possible.


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?

Anthro 1025, prof is absolutely amazing and has so much experience in the field. 


Additional Comments

Please, please and please get involved and participate in clubs! They will come in handy during your upper years.


#UniversityofWesternOntario #UWO #HonoursBiology

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