BROCK UNIVERSITY

At the centre of the Niagara Peninsula, St. Catharines, Ontario hosts the main campus for Brock University, circa 1964 [1]. The school is medium sized; two campuses (St. Catharines (Main), Hamilton), 99 offered programs, and 18,000+ students enrolled aren’t small at all [1]. Brock offers a relatively small selection of faculties, with business, graduate studies, education, humanities, social sciences, applied health sciences, mathematics, sciences, and fine arts [2]. BrockU’s school mascot is “Boomer the Badger”, representing the Brock Badgers; related, the quintessential answer to any of Boomer’s questions is “Okay, Boomer” [3]. Clubs at Brock University have quite the edge over others; the BUSU (Brock University Students’ Union) organised the “Clubs Portal”, an online resource to navigate their 100+ club information archive - an invaluable tool exclusive to BrockU club members [4]. The school’s name comes from Maj. - General Sir Isaac Brock, who diedd at Queenston Heights during the times of the War of 1812 [1]. In fact, the school’s motto comes from his last words: “Surgite!” or “Push On!” [1]. As well, BrockU has a decent number of affiliations to boast, including: AUCC, IAU, CARL, CIS, OUA, CUP, CBIE, etc.

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For a former Concurrent Education Student at Brock...

1

Why did you choose your program? What makes it unique to you?

Choosing a University program has always been a difficult decision for me to make. With a variety of Universities across Canada with a wide-range of different programs it is extremely overwhelming. I decided to enroll in Brock’s concurrent education program (Intermediate/Senior major in Chemistry) as I have always had a passion for helping others and making an impact on people’s lives. In addition, many of the teachers I have had through high school have been great mentors and influences that have inspired me to pursue in becoming an educator.

4

How would you describe residence? Would you recommend someone live on-campus? If so, what advice do you have for them?

Residence is probably one of the most exciting things for first year university students. Having the opportunity to move away from home to live by yourself opens up the door for freedom. Although the transition may be difficult, you have a lot of time to adjust as well as have the opportunity to meet many other students within your residence. From my personal experience, the transition was very easy. I stayed in an apartment style residence with three other roommates. My piece of advice which is very important is being able to cook. Although Brock offers a meal plan that is included in the tuition for first years, cooking will save you a lot of time and money. In addition, there are many events that are held during the first year for residence students. I highly encourage most first year students to attend these events as it is a great ice breaker to reach out and create connections with other university students. That being said, I highly recommend all first year students to live in residence. As for myself, I had many memories and overall a great experience.

QUESTIONS

JUICY

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What is some advice you would give high school students when applying to your program?

As a high school student, concurrent education is a broad program. There are many opportunities to swap in the program while being able to stay in it. This means that there are different levels of

concurrent education that include Primary/Junior, Junior/Intermediate and Intermediate/Senior each assigned with a specific grade range. With that being said, It is important you have the prerequisites when applying to Brock’s concurrent education program as each level has different requirements. One key thing to understand about the concurrent education program is that if you are not interested in teaching in a classroom setting there are many other opportunities to approach once you graduate. As for my two key pieces of advice for all high school students is one, work hard and participate in as many extracurriculars as possible as it will definitely impact your future applications. Secondly, develop strong work habits as it will benefit you throughout your first year of university.

3

How would you describe the workload and work-life balance in your program?

In comparison to high school, the workload in university is a lot more intense compared to high school. Within the concurrent education (I/S) program at Brock I had various science labs, tutorials and seminars. Creating a schedule that outlines your due dates for each course is highly recommended as it will develop great time-management skills. In order to do so, managing a perfect schedule when registering for courses is crucial. As a morning person, I registered for courses in the morning which opened up a lot of free time in the afternoon and evening for homework and extracurriculars. Especially in the middle of the semester during midterm season it is important to focus on your assignments as you will be assigned many research papers and essays. Besides that, I managed to develop great work habits and was able to maintain my workload as well as participate in many extra curriculars around campus.

2

What's it like to be a first year student at Brock?

Being a first year student at Brock is no different from being a first year at any other university. As a first year student at Brock, I found it quite easy to learn a lot of new things about the university. Brock has a lot of resources they offer from academics to mental health to anything you can think of. I would advise any first year students to take advantage of these resources as they can play a big role during your first year transition through university. As for Brock’s campus, it is very small compared to other universities making it very easy to navigate. Especially during the winter it is very easy to travel from one side of the campus to the other without being outside. Outside of Brock, there are many activities to do such as visiting Downtown St. Catharines and Niagara Falls. Through St. Catharines Transit these places are easily accessed as first years are given a bus pass that works on every bus route within St. Catharines. As for myself during first year I went out and explored both Brock’s campus and St. Catharines. There are a lot of hidden features within the Niagara region and I recommend upcoming first year students to do

the same.

6

Why did you decide to transfer? And do you have any advice for students who want to transfer universities?

One of the main reasons why I transferred universities was primarily my program interest. During my high school applications I had two program choices that I was very indecisive about, both Brock’s concurrent education program and Guelph’s software engineering program. I decided to enroll in Brock’s education program and realized that the program was not for me, mainly because I did not have a passion to major in chemistry which was going to be my teachable. As a result, transferring to Guelph was the perfect option for me because I can combine my interests, my passion for computers, programming and helping others. In addition, I will also be able to apply to teachers college during my postgraduate studies. For any future students who do plan of transferring universities, please keep in mind that the decision you will be making is going to be crucial to your future. If you do not make the right choice to switch universities you will be wasting a lot of time and money.

 

A very special thank you to our interviewee...

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ANDREW CHOW

Second Year Transfer Student at the University Of Guelph

Hello! My name is Andrew and I am currently a second-year university (first year transfer student) student at the University of Guelph enrolled in the Software Engineering program. Prior to transferring, I was a concurrent education student at Brock University. Despite my decision to switch universities, I plan on applying to teachers college during my postgraduate studies to become a future educator. To learn a bit about me, some of my activities I do in my free time include photography, working out and programming. If you have any questions feel free to reach out to me via email ac.andrewchow@gmail.com. Good luck on your future applications!

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For a Recreation and Leisure Student at Brock...

1

Why did you choose your program? What makes it unique to you?

The program I choose is Recreation and Leisure Studies with a focus in Outdoor Recreation. I am also pursuing a minor in Business as well. After working in the industry for over seven years as a snowboarding instructor, an executive and mentor at Halton Conservation spoke highly of this program. He had the exact lifestyle and professional jobs I wanted. He held this degree from Brock University, and I saw this degree and program in action. Seeing this degree in use, in the exact job I want when I am older gave a boost of confidence for me. The reason I choose to do a minor in business is because it directly compliments this degree and will be useful for finding a job later in life. This program is unique and suits my needs as it is something I am deeply interested in for a long period of my life and hopefully for many more years to come! It is also unique to me as it is a small program, which allows for deeper connections with classmates and professors.

4

How would you describe residence? Would you recommend someone live on- campus? If so, what advice do you have for them?

My experience on residence was amazing! Even though I am only in second year, I believe some of my best memories of university will come from my time on residence. I would 1000% recommend someone to live on campus. For Brock, I would recommend living in Village or Quarry View as they have kitchens and you can cook for yourself as well as buying from the cafeteria. Advice I have for living on residence is making sure you have clear communications with roommates on expectations and any problems that could occur. I also recommend getting to know your DON as they are students just like you. They are there to help you and keep you safe, not to make your life worse. Becomes friends and your first-year experience will be better! I also suggest getting involved in anything you are passionate about as it will make your time on residence and at the school more enjoyable.

QUESTIONS

JUICY

5

What was your favourite elective in first year?

My favourite elective in first year was either data management or introduction to sport history. Data management was one of my favourite electives because I enjoy math and data especially as well as it can help in the future with any research projects or just knowing how to read data for the future. Sports history was my other favourite elective for a few reasons. The class was very interesting which allowed it to be easy. Sports is something I am interested in which made it easy to focus. The professor was also amazing and lectured without letting his students lose focus. Overall, When I am choosing an elective I always want to look to see if this course will benefit me in the future first, then I will look for something that I would enjoy, and then if all fails I will look for the easiest course.

3

What's the class environment like in your program?

The class environment in my program is amazing. The class sizes are generally very small and almost a quarter of the size of a business or science class. This allows for you to meet classmates easier and create study groups to improve your success. This also allows for you to meet your professors and have conversations with them. I was told in first year to talk and have relationships with your professors as it will benefit. I didn’t really believe this and only went to them for assistance. Now in second year, I set up times to talk with my professors and ask questions about the course, and then I stay and just have a normal conversation with them afterwards. This has led to them being more willing to help me in my studies and have allowed for them to mentor me to be better prepared for tests and assignments. For the outdoor recreation section of the degree, apart of the classroom setting, is outdoors and we will learn in an outdoor setting which I think is a really cool experience because when you hear about a university lecture, you think a big lecture hall with small seats and its somewhat boring. Recreation and Leisure is nothing like this and I found that out of all classes, even electives, I was distracted the least in these courses.

2

What advice do you have for high school students applying to your program?

Some advice I have for high school students applying for my program is do it! There are three different streams of Recreation and Leisure which allows for a broad spectrum for anyone to relate with, a long side with countless job options. Some more generic advice I have for high school students applying to any program is do not rush into it! I have heard personally of so many people switching programs or schools after first year because their program was not what they wanted, or they chose their program just to go to university because parents were pushing them to. Now switching programs, is not a bad thing and is perfectly okay to do. However, if you are not sure what program to take and want to save some money, take a year off from high school. I personally took a year off from high school and pursued the trades which is what I wanted to do originally and learned it was not for me. I tried multiple jobs and finally realized this program is what I want to do. Overall, if you are looking to apply for Recreation and Leisure studies then do it, because it was the BEST decision of my life, and if you are not sure if this is the program for you or if any program is for you then don’t be pressured to apply and wait for the time that is right for YOU!

A very special thank you to our interviewee...

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BEN GUTHRIE

A Recreation and Leisure Student at Brock

Hi everyone! My name is Ben and I am a 2 nd year Recreation and Leisure student at Brock University. Some personal hobbies of mine include snowboarding, American football, and video games. Some advice I want to give to all students entering post-secondary is do what is best for you and not what others say you should do. On top of that, make sure to get involved with something that you are interested in and passionate about, during your time at university. For me, this was joining a fraternity, where we focus on changing the stigma around fraternities, and focus on philanthropy work, which gives back the community. For any questions, feel free to message me directly at my Instagram which is linked above.

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