Yameen (Year 2)
What made you choose this institution over all others? Did the university exceed your expectations?
Like many others who do choose to attend Waterloo, it's the co-op program that makes me choose Waterloo over UofT and other similar schools for engineering.
Briefly describe the academic rigour of your program (in terms of competitiveness, courses, professors, etc.)
I originally was in Mechanical Engineering but transferred in the second term, so I can only really comment for Mech Eng because of COVID in the second term. That being said, Software Engineering is a rigorous program, having to take 6 courses every term. But it is all about time management and working along with your friends to do well in each course. Course grading is very fair, it is very possible to do well and get above a 90 percent average in first year. Software Engineering is very nice in the sense that it really does feel like a connected cohort, having the same classes and seeing the same people makes your life a lot easier, and feel like high school. Overall, the academic rigour of SE is not as bad as it may seem, and is very doable.
Describe the social life at your campus based on your own experiences (making friends, clubs + extracurriculars, party culture etc.)
If you put in the effort to make friends and have a good social life, you'll get a good social life out of Waterloo - what you put in is what you get out.
What are some of the best and worst parts of your university experience so far?
The best part of my experience so far is when COVID cancelled all in-person classes, and the worst part of my experience is having to do online school. On a real note though, the best part of my experience has to be the transfer. I originally felt discomfort in Mechanical Engineering because I didn't feel like it suited who I was. But then I heard about other people trying to transfer programs, at first I was like "Nah, I don't want to have to repeat another year and go through all the hassle just to transfer", but then I decided to just reach out to see what my options were, and thankfully enough, the transfer process was simplistic and there were many resources that were easy to access and available for me to transfer. Since my grades were high enough, I was able to transfer into SE. It was definitely worth it.
List three effective study techniques and/or habits:
Making good friends, and helping each other out
Resourcefulness - make sure you know what help is available to you
List advice for first-year students:
Time management makes your life 10x easier, and no matter how smart you are or aren't, as long as you manage your time correctly, first year will be a breeze.
Creating a “cheat sheet” always helps for every unit and course.