My life as a first year health studies student at the University of Waterloo

My life as a first year health studies student at the University of Waterloo.


Thursday 21 August 2014

Student Life 101

Student Life 101 was listed in many of the first year emails I have received, and after looking into it, I decided that it would be a fun thing to do during the summer and signed up. Last week I attended Student Life 101 and I have put together a list of the top five reasons why you should definitely go (needless to say I had an amazing time).

1.) Get to know the campus
Not only did we go on a tour of our faculty, residence, and the campus but simply walking around for a day and a half was very helpful. I know I will be able to find my way from my dorm room to the student center with no trouble - who knows I may even make it to all of my classes on time!

2.) Swag!
We had several hours of free time which was just enough for a trip to buy my first University of Waterloo sweater. It is really cozy and makes me feel like a real university student.

3.) Meeting new people
Even though I am a pretty outgoing person meeting new people is nerve-wracking at first. It was great to get used to introducing myself again and getting to meet some new people, after all making new friends is a big part of university.

4.) Spending a night in residence
We stayed the night in REV which is where I will soon be living. I was surprised at the number of questions I had about the layout of my room when I started thinking about moving in, being able to see the amount of space under the bed and in the closet has made packing much easier. It was also a small sample of what my life will be like in the near future.

5.) Getting your WATcard
Two of the meals that we ate were paid for by using our WATcard's so we got a chance to use our cards and see how eating on campus with a meal plan works. Also I will avoid the lines because I don't have to go get my card during move in day.

Overall I had two fun filled days and would recommend Student Life 101 to any student excited about their first year at the University of Waterloo!

Tuesday 12 August 2014

Decisions, Decisions, and Deadlines - Oh My!

Having just graduated high school it seems that the last year has been filled with talking about going to university, but now high school is behind me and university is just around the corner. It is hard for me to believe that in a few short weeks the University of Waterloo is not going to be someplace I imagine living, but rather the spot where I sleep, eat, study and hopefully have a wonderful time. While I am looking forward to moving into residence and starting my adventure as a health studies student I wanted to start off by writing about the application process, and share some tips on how to make what seems like an overwhelming amount of information become less intimidating.
Picking the right place for you - the decision about what university is right for you is a personal one however, I found my decision became much easier by thinking about what I wanted to get out of my university experience. Personally, I was drawn to the University of Waterloo because of its large size and the many opportunities available for my program. After researching both co-op and ways I could specialize my degree Waterloo was looking like a wonderful place to attend. Be sure to remember it isn't just academics that are important when deciding what school is best for you, touring the campus (if it is something you are able to do) is a great way to make sure that you are going to be comfortable somewhere - for me attending the march break open house and taking a look around made my decision an easy one.  
Sorting through the information - once you pick your school it seems like there is an endless amount of information and things that you have to think about. The University of Waterloo has an amazing website that is extremely informative, but a lot of choices at once can be very overwhelming. My advice is to think about only the most important things first, don't worry about the books you need for potential classes or graduation requirements because realistically you have months and months to figure those things out. Start by setting up your school email and look at the choices for residence and meal plans. Keep in mind that you have lots of time to figure everything out so don't rush to plan everything the week after you accept your offer of admission.
Follow the deadlines - there are thousands of first year students coming to university in the fall so make sure you follow all the deadlines for picking courses, accepting contracts, and arranging your fees. There is a wonderful important dates calendar on the University of Waterloo website that lists all of the deadlines for incoming students, and reminders are sent to your uwaterloo email so be sure to check both regularly.
Get Connected - join groups for incoming students on Facebook and other social media sites and introduce yourself. Start looking for opportunities that you may need to apply for before the fall, and begin getting excited to become a university student.

By taking things one step at a time the decision of picking a university and taking the steps to become a student are not that difficult, and soon enough it will be time to move in!