Molecular Biology and Biotechnology Co-op at University of Toronto (Scarborough)
Evan (Year 2)
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 wish I improved my time management and organization skills before going to university. These two skills are absolutely necessary for success and I highly recommend everyone who is going to be a freshman to improve upon these traits. I chose the University of Toronto (Scarborough) because of its great co-op program that gives students a head start with valuable work experience. However, one of the main disadvantages of this campus is the lack of some social aspects.
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 knew the work and dedication that was required for success within my program. Some of the mistakes I would try to correct is my lack of time management, some of the time I decided to go partying on a Friday night rather than study. There are some things that I would change but overall I am happy with what I did in first-year and it was definitely the best year of my life. The program I chose is quite incredible and I have learned a lot of valuable and interesting information that has totally hooked my interest within the field of life-science. Regardless of some of the bad and quite unfair exams that I have written, as well as the overwhelming workload, I enjoyed the first year of my program
What was your favourite university experience?
University is very socially focused and it is best for you to reach out and get to know people so you can get the most out of your time at university. The best experience I have had at university was the parties and events I attended with the close group of friends I managed to bond with throughout first-year. I can recall having a great time at an indoor parkour park with other members of a club that I am a part of and it is something that I look back on,
What was your least favourite university experience?
University was not perfect and it definitely had some flaws. One of these flaws was a calculus professor who was not the best at teaching and she had the majority of her class confused. The worst experience I had at university was her final exam, it was an absolute disaster for me and most of the class. But it has taught me how to better prepare for hard exams as well as learning to accept some mistakes and bumps along the road and use them to focus on improving in the future.
What is the hardest part about your program and what were the steps that you took to overcome any difficulties?
The first-year life science program is quite hard mainly because of a couple of courses. Courses such as calculus, physics and sometimes chemistry are quite intense in terms of required study time, projects, labs and assignments related to the courses. In order to do well within these courses as well as the many other required first-year courses, you have to manage your time properly and keep distractions at a total minimum. Social life is necessary for helpful study groups but it is important that you don't always get caught up in social distractions that don't benefit your academic journey.
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 that I took in my first year at university was first semester Biology (BIOA01). It was jam-packed with really cool information about basic biological functions and systems and it was fairly easy if you invested some time into work and study. The labs were really fun and engaging, the analysis of organisms and the use of multiple interesting lab instruments made the course memorable.