Vani (Year 3)
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.
A lot of thought went into choosing Brock for my post secondary education, and I’m happy with the decision that I made! Factors such as finance, distance from home, opportunities to stand out, and scholarships are what played a role in my choice to accept my offer. Brock has many advantages such as being a smaller campus, which comes hand in hand with a close-knit, community atmosphere. You’re able to get lots of one-on-one time with professors and there’s never any delay with accessing campus resources. Brock’s atmosphere makes you feel comfortable with the petiole you’re around and allows for all students to get involved one way or another. One disadvantage about Brock is that sometimes I felt that the competitive nature is not always present between peers. That can be both a good and a bad thing, as less competition means students help each other out, but there’s less motivation to go above and beyond. When starting my first year, I wish I knew how much I relied on that healthy competition within my friend group to strive in academics, which would have helped me connect with other like minded students.
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.
Before starting my undergrad, I wish I knew how much first-year marks were actually worth in the grand scheme of things. Specially for postgrad, all marks are weighted equally depending on your career path; different from high school where only your top 6 4U/M marks are considered. Also, for a science undergrad, you’re spending a fair amount of time either in lecture/lab/tutorial or doing homework. One thing I wish I knew was to take it a bit easier first semester and get a feel for the workload before jumping into various extracurriculars. I definitely recommend getting involved, but don’t over exert yourself!
What was your favourite university experience?
My best experiences at university all relate to the campus clubs and extracurriculars I’ve been involved in. Whether it’s campus jobs, honours societies, clubs, or co-curriculars, getting involved is what makes your experience so much more memorable! I’ve made long lasting relationships and had great times through all of my extracurriculars and continue to love university the more I get involved.
What was your least favourite university experience?
One thing that took me a long time to adjust to was the sheer amount of time you spend alone in university. Especially if you’re living on campus, you won’t always be hanging out with friends and around other people. It was tough feeling lonely and thinking I was missing out on some experiences, when in reality everyone else was in the same boat.
What is the hardest part about your program and what were the steps that you took to overcome any difficulties?
Medical science is a tough program, no matter what school you go to. It’s not easier or harder depending on which school you go to; expect to put in the same amount of work anywhere you go. The hardest part about a science heavy program is how much time you spend doing academic work (especially compared to other programs). Lectures are long, labs are even longer, and even after days stacked with classes you have to go back to your dorm and get started on homework you seem to always be behind in. The hardest part of a program changes for each person. For me, it was first year chem: a class I didn’t enjoy as much as others and ended up not doing as well. My advice in that situation is to dedicate most of your time to the class you like the least, because you need it! In terms of studying for exams, you’ll probably hear people telling you to study 2 weeks in advance for every test. That’s not always possible and it’s okay, especially when you have a lot of classes and extracurriculars. Constant revision of notes helped me learn better so that when I went to study for a test during a time crunch, it would be less overwhelming.
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?
I love my school and program, so as a result I’ve enjoyed many courses throughout my undergrad. My favourite courses have been biology focused (intro to bio, molecular bio, cellular bio, etc.) because of the professors and interesting content. These courses have helped me decide my future career path!
Overall, Brock is a great school. No matter where you go, make the best of your experiences and get involved. Before you know it, you’ll be graduating!