Mechatronics Engineering at University of Waterloo
Boxun (Year 2)
What made you choose this institution over all others? Did the university exceed your expectations?
Waterloo's co-op program gives you many opportunities to experience a real work environment and gives you a big advantage after you graduate with working experience.
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.
First year courses are mostly easy as they are a lot of high school reviews. As a result, slacking off catches a lot of people going into university. It is okay to enjoy your frosh year, but don't let your guard down too much because failing is always easier than you think.
Briefly describe the academic rigour of your program (in terms of competitiveness, courses, professors, etc.)
Courses gradings are not very strict. As long as you follow the instructions and hand in projects on time, the TAs mark fairly easily. It is the midterms and finals that can be challenging. Profs can differ greatly from one another, some are impossible to reach and will take days to get back to you, while others almost reply immediately and will almost 100% give you the extension time you need.
Describe the social life at your campus based on your own experiences (making friends, clubs + extracurriculars, party culture etc.)
For engineering, you are stuck with the same people all day everyday, so making friends is quite easy and forming a little squad of yours is fairly quick. There are also a ton of clubs and design teams you can join and bond with people in other engineering programs and upper year students.
What are some of the best and worst parts of your university experience so far?
The best part for me is meeting friends and being away from my family, and staying up with friends grinding on a stupid robot that won't do what you tell it to do is kind of fun too. The worst part is definitely the hell weeks. As engineering students, your exams are almost always one after another, which means you actually have to start studying for them ahead of time because you get half a day to study for the courses in between others.
List three effective study techniques and/or habits:
Form a helpful squad and just huddle together through the storm.
Do your homework, nobody will check but do them.
Sleep early, it is very easy to fall asleep to your professor's voice.
List three pieces of advice for first-year students:
It's easy, but you have to make it look like it's easy.
Ask questions, profs are very nice.
Skipping is always an option, but not always the best one.