Nicole (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 Western University over any other university because of the amazing environment I felt every time I walked onto campus. From the open house to my very first day as a Western student, I could feel immense positivity and inclusivity. It was these feelings that allowed me to feel comfortable in my new environment and pushed me to get out of my comfort zone, make new friends, and learn to thrive as an individual on my own for the first time. My first week I struggled finding my way on campus and adjusting to living on my own, without my family. I didn’t immediately find my group of friends, and definitely missed home. Once I found support in other peers and upper class men, London became my second home and the place I miss more and more everyday in quarantine. My advice to incoming freshmen is that although university is a huge change from your life now, it’s a change you should welcome with open arms. The world is filled with so many new people and experiences and university is just the beginning, take a deep breath and enjoy your new adventure.
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 always wanted to go into Kinesiology, I loved learning about anatomy and how the body actually creates movements. Going into first year I had my heart set on becoming a physiotherapist, however I wish I had realized there are many different paths leading to the same end goal. Western’s Kin program is made up of a common first year for all students and then in the second year you apply for specific modules, the two most common being a BA vs a BSc in Kin. The summer before, I thought that I'll just take a bunch of science courses and get into the BSc and then I'm guaranteed getting into my Masters for Physiotherapy. Unfortunately, taking a whole bunch of science courses was not the best plan for me and actually dropped my average below the required average to be eligible for the BSc. After much deliberation I realized that obtaining a BA in Kin would still get me into the post grad program I wanted, and give me a better overall average. My advice to you is that while a BSc might look fancier on an application, you will get exactly where you need to be with a BA. As cliche as it is, you’ve got to trust the process.
What was your best experience at university?
My best experience at university would be the first time I met my housemates and immediate group of friends. We had all hung out the night before in a larger group at a Frosh Week event, but this was the first time we had gone out together just us in a group. I distinctly remember walking back to my building that night with this group of people who were strangers to me at the beginning of the night, and knew in that moment I had found my people.
What was your least favourite experience at university?
To be completely honest, there is no part of my experience at university that I like the least, instead each experience has shaped my journey in its entirety. From crying after failing a midterm to partying with my best friends after midterms got cancelled, each and every memory has become my favourite in some way. That being said, you will have good days and bad days, but it’s up to you to make sure you don’t let the bad days define your entire experience at university.
What is the hardest part about your program and what were the steps that you took to overcome these hardships?
The hardest thing for me to adjust to academically, was the pace at which we were expected to intake information. I always felt that I was one step behind, particularly in first semester. However after that first semester I realized how to prioritize assignments and tasks that were most important. Developing that ability became my life saver when deciding what courses to focus on and more importantly what information to focus on when studying for midterms and final exams.
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 favourite course would be Physiology 1021. I was always a science nerd and loved to learn how things worked and why things happened, particularly within the human body. Having a whole course dedicated to it quenched my fascination and truly showed me that this is what I wanted to be doing for the rest of my life. Although this was definitely a harder course and needed tons of effort to succeed in, I found that the fact that I enjoyed it motivated me to continue working hard and pushing myself to do well.