Brittany (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.
I chose Western's Medical Science program because of their wide variety of disciplines in upper year courses and modules that would open a lot of future opportunities in the science field. Many of their specializations attracted my attention and were not offered at other schools.
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 allocated more time to explore the athletic activities (i.e intramural and sport teams)as it gets harder to fit into the schedule in upper years. For all first-year students I think its important to remember everyone is working at their own pace and try to minimize the comparison amongst peers as it can become very mentally exhausting.
What was your favourite university experience?
My best experience at university to this day would have to be "O-Week" (Orientation Week). The entire week is filled with jam packed activities, carnivals, and faculty socials that allow you to meet friends in your program. From the day I moved in to residence, the amazing school spirit and heartfelt welcoming was unforgettable as the "Sophs" (Orientation leaders) do an above and beyond job at making you feel at home. I made so many friends throughout that week and it gives you an insight on future pathways offered in your faculty.
What was your least favourite university experience?
I don't really have a least favourite experience but I would definitely say many students are not fond of exams on the weekend.
What is the hardest part about your program and what were the steps that you took to overcome any difficulties?
The hardest thing about the program is juggling all the required courses at once, each on its own is not difficult until the exams start overlapping. The content in first year is not hard but the teaching style of lecture based learning takes time to adapt. I went to my professors office hours and any open resource rooms for assistance if I was confused with concepts. Majority of the learning is self-taught and it's super important to stay on top of everything.
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?
My favourite course was Chemistry 1301 as my professor made the learning experience engaging and fun. He explained concepts super well and made the class feel interactive and eventful instead of strictly reading information off slides.
Tips for 1st Year:
Join as many extra-curricular activities that interest you because you will meet so many amazing people
If you're looking for research or volunteer opportunities there are tons of you just need to reach out to them
Take advantage of residence life because that will make/break your university experience
Study smart, remember to take care of your physical and mental health!