Mechanical Engineering at Ontario Tech University
Sheng (Year 3)
What made you choose this institution over all others? Did the university exceed your expectations?
My university has a good automotive engineering program with excellent facilities to help with my education.
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 was too relaxed in my first year, slacked off way too much. Didn't attend all my classes and missed too many quizzes.
Briefly describe the academic rigour of your program (in terms of competitiveness, courses, professors, etc.)
The program is graded reasonably for the most part. If you look around and you are doing the same or better than your peers you should be fine. In some of the tougher courses, a curve is usually applied to midterms and exams. So if you are doing better than others you should get a good grade.
Describe the social life at your campus based on your own experiences (making friends, clubs + extracurriculars, party culture etc.)
The clubs and opportunities were good however, the party culture is dead. It's a commuter school so everyone goes home at the end of the day.
What are some of the best and worst parts of your university experience so far?
The best part is the relatively new motorsports team. Being a new team allowed me to be involved in a lot more than a fully matured team. I had to learn to bear more responsibility and the learning curve was steep. However, it was a very rewarding experience and would recommend it. The worst thing would have to be the cafeteria food. There is a lack of selection. The food is overpriced and usually tastes bad.
List three effective study techniques and/or habits:
Schedule your day and stick to the schedule, you will find that your days become very productive.
Exercise everyday, exercise keeps your mind fresh and in good shape. It helps your confidence too!
Do your homework, less studying to do when midterms and finals come.
List three pieces of advice for first-year students:
Don't skip classes! University classes move quickly, missing one class is a lot of content missed.
Pick a good group of hardworking friends. They will save you when exams or assignments come along. (Make sure you are working hard too, don't be a mooch)
Make sure you know your stuff in your first year. It covers the basics of your program. A strong base will make upper year courses easier. In engineering especially, KNOW YOUR CALCULUS INSIDE AND OUT. You should be able to integrate functions in your sleep.
If you are able to join a club or team that relates to the field you want a career in, do it! Having some experience in that field can help you relate course content to that field and motivate you to study. Some knowledge isn't taught in the classroom, thus having some actual hands-on experience on things like building a race car or a robot as a team, can teach you a lot of real world engineering skills.
One final thing is to not think that you know everything, because you don't. Be hungry to learn, there are always more things to learn about a subject.