Maxim (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 wish I knew more about the campus layout! York has a really big campus and when planning your schedule it is a good idea to cross reference where your courses will be located so you can plan your timetable accordingly. I didn't do this and I was 5 or more minutes late to my psychology class every day because it was on the other side of campus
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 I knew about the extra courses that I have to take in order to complete my degree. Specifically, the humanities and social sciences courses. I only began worrying about them as I'm going into my second year, and I wish that I had done at least one of them in first year.
What was your favourite university experience?
Frosh was great! I also had lots of fun when one of my good friends transferred to York; we started to hang out on campus and we joined the swim team. Sadly, COVID cut it short, but it was great nonetheless.
What was your least favourite university experience?
My least favourite experience is a tie between the first month university and the time I failed 2 tests because I was burnt out and couldn't study well enough for them. The first month of university is going to be tough. You'll be adjusting to your new schedule and workload, and depending on how frosh went for you, you may not even know anyone for that first month (nothing wrong with that, some of us are less social than others) and you will have some nights where you get very little sleep. But make sure you get to know people in your classes, labs, tutorials, etc.
What is the hardest part about your program and what were the steps that you took to overcome any difficulties?
For me the hardest part of my program was my math course (I suck at math) and using the textbooks. In high-school, you just had to study the class material and it's likely that you would get an easy 80 (assuming that you know the material) or higher. In university, you'll get a 70 at most. While it varies from course to course, it's usually a 50/50 or 60/40 split between lecture material and textbook/reading material on tests and 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?
Favourite course had to be my swimming PKIN. PKINs are essentially a gym class which is focused on a specific sport and is a requirement for any kinesiology degree. In terms of regular courses, I would have to say KINE 1000. All of my friends were in that course and we all came early so we could chat for half an hour and get the best seats, there were tutorials which allowed for some great discussion and helped me get to know others better, and while some of the material I found somewhat pointless and unrelated to kinesiology (though I understand why it is in the course), it was pretty interesting for the most part.
DO. NOT. PROCRASTINATE. I know we all have that habit from highschool, but it will not work in university. Once you get an assignment, work on it immediately. Do not leave anything last minute. Late penalties are pretty steep and apply immediately after the due deadline (if its due at 8am, the penalties apply at 8:01am and after). It's also a lot less stressful because you don't have work pilling up constantly, as well as tests to study for. But above all else: have fun! Join a club, a sports team, go to intramurals, meet new people, go to parties (just be responsible with when and where you go), just have fun, work hard, and plan accordingly.