Software Engineering at University of Waterloo
Alexander (Year 2)
What made you choose this institution over all others? Did the university exceed your expectations?
I chose Waterloo solely for its co-op reputation. I value work experience over everything else because generally, most of the stuff that you learn at school will not be applicable to future jobs.
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 wish that I made a greater effort to participate in extracurricular activities. I found that it was hard to balance school, health and extra curricular activities since I was still adapting to a new environment.
Briefly describe the academic rigour of your program (in terms of competitiveness, courses, professors, etc.)
Professors are quite often a coin flip. I have experienced both great and terrible professors. However, grading has never been an issue because at the end of the day, your marks are all relative since there is curving.
Describe the social life at your campus based on your own experiences (making friends, clubs + extracurriculars, party culture etc.)
The party culture is okay but there are definitely better universities for that. For instance, Western is a close but fun school to visit if you have friends there because they have a great party culture. There are tons of clubs that fit a variety of interests. Just remember to go to the club fair to see them all. Making friends is quite easy since everybody is new and are trying to make friends too.
What are some of the best and worst parts of your university experience so far?
My best experience would have to be the social gatherings over the weekends. Since you have so much freedom, you can do whatever you want with your friends and just enjoy life without feeling restricted by parents. The worst experience would have to be taking a midterm that was unfairly difficult. However, since everybody in the class did poorly (40% average), we all got curved so it worked out in the end.
List three effective study techniques and/or habits:
Plan and work ahead
List advice for first-year students:
Don't expect your grades to be the same as high school
Grades don't really matter
Make the most out of your residence to make friends
Join design teams to help out with your resume
Co-op takes a lot of work but you will get one eventually
Remember to have fun!