Serine (Year 2)
What made you choose this institution over all others? Did the university exceed your expectations?
The program I wanted was only offered at McMaster. Also, the location of McMaster is close enough to visit home once in a while but far enough to not live at home. Living in residence definitely helped me make more friends and made first year more enjoyable.
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 always stressed about school because the first year for my program is known to be the toughest. I regret not going out more with my friends and enjoying my first year more.
Briefly describe the academic rigour of your program (in terms of competitiveness, courses, professors, etc.)
First year of my program is very competitive. There are certain requirements that you have to pass to get into second year or your preferred specialization. If you fail a required course, you will be kicked out of the program. Grading is fair, cheating or plagiarism is academic dishonesty which comes with many consequences, also because my program is quite small, we have a better connection with the professors.
Describe the social life at your campus based on your own experiences (making friends, clubs + extracurriculars, party culture etc.)
There is a good balance between studies and parties. Majority of the people are hard working and very studious which motivates you to work harder. There are parties, great for making new friends and taking a break from your studies. Living on campus will help you meet more people, as well as joining clubs. McMaster has clubs for almost anything, from religion to race, to charity clubs. There is definitely one for you. Majority of my friends are in the same program as me which is nice because we help each other with our studies.
What are some of the best and worst parts of your university experience so far?
The best parts were making new friends, living away from home, and being more independent. The worst parts I experienced so far were gaining a lot of weight from eating campus food, and ruining my sleep schedule.
List three effective study techniques and/or habits:
Studying with people in the same program
Learning to balance social life and school life
If you know upper years, they can give you their notes from past years
Making a daily schedule/goal for yourself
List advice for first-year students:
Join as many clubs as you can
If you find out you don't like your program, it is never too late to switch out