UNIVERSITY OF WATERLOO

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Located in the heart of the Waterloo region, Waterloo University provides 103 programs, and has over 41,000 students enrolled [1, 6]. A powerhouse in Applied Health Sciences, Arts, Engineering, Environment Studies, Mathematics, and Science; Waterloo is impressively relevant despite only being established in 1957 [1, 2]. Their school colours are a Prussian reminiscent yellow, white, and black. The Waterloo Warriors are led into the future by the dauntless King Warrior [4]! The WUSA (Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association) organize, and lead the majority of student life at Waterloo (e.g. Welcome Week at the beginning of new terms) [3]. The WUSA administrates student services, businesses, and over 200 registered clubs; from arts, to athletics, to academics, there’s a little something for everyone to be found [3, 5]. Current professor of astronomy and physics, Dr. Donna Strickland was awarded the Nobel Prize; the third woman in history to receive it [6]. As well, the university has been ranked #2 in computer science, and engineering by the U.S. News and World Report; they’re also the most innovative university in Canada 28 years running according to Maclean’s 2020 [6]. Waterloo University is in league with some very prestigious groups, including, but not limited to: U15, ACU, CUSID, and ATS [4].

 
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For a UW Legal Studies & Peace and Conflict Student

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

I absolutely loved living at residence! For my first year at Waterloo, I lived in Claudette Millar Hall and had a blast. When living on campus, I made some of my best friends and made tons of lifelong memories. Not to mention, it was very convenient living only a short walk away from all my classes when I occasionally accidentally slept through my alarms. I would definitely recommend for someone to live on-campus, as I honestly think it made my university experience complete. I know it can be scary going into an environment in which you don’t know anybody! My most significant piece of advice is to keep in mind that everybody is in the same boat: nobody

knows anybody! Everybody is looking

to meet new friends, and meeting

people came more quickly and easily

than I expected. 

What's one misconception about Waterloo or university in general?

I think a large misconception about the University of Waterloo is that it is a super boring and depressing institution, and none of its students know how to have fun. Don’t get me wrong, I understand where this misconception arises. I could see it having truth if one were to spend all of their time doing work or cooped up in their dorm room. However, while I made sure to keep the school as my main priority, I also held

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

I chose to do a double major in legal studies and peace and conflict studies simply because those topics piqued my interest, and I would like to have a career within those types of fields one day. I am personally very interested in social justice and making the world a better place, and the topic areas within the

programs I chose teach me about those interests. There is also a diverse set of courses to take within these majors, which allows me to have lots of choices when designing my schedule. I found it unique that the University of Waterloo offers co-op with my program, so I will get work experience when studying topics that I love! 

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

The admission requirements are not very specific for Waterloo’s honours arts program when it comes to what classes one must take in grade 12. In fact, if I remember correctly, the only specific class requirement upon my application was grade 12 English. With this, I would advise grade 12 students to take classes that interest them, which will also benefit their average (that are U or M levelled or course). When entering into my first year at Waterloo, the first few classes were elementary, and it was not expected that the students had much prior knowledge of the topics taught. 

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

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The workload at university is MUCH different than at highschool. By this, I mean that much of the learning is done independently, rather than given to you. While some teaching is done in lectures, a lot is done outside of class as well (doing readings, working on assignments, studying, etc.). I think that there is a large misconception that students in the faculty of arts have it easy and do not spend much time doing work. While we may not be completing the same tasks as people within other faculties, I found that I spent A LOT of time doing homework, specifically writing papers. The fact that the workload was not light does not mean that I had no time for my life. I think that if you find an organization/time management system that works for you, you will have time for yourself to do whatever you’d like. Personally, I made sure that I scheduled to have all my assignments finished at least 24 hours before their due date (or longer if I had social plans), so I never found myself cramming last minute to get something done. 

great importance in putting aside time for myself to have fun and do what I like (hanging out with friends, shopping, going to school events, etc.). Keep note that this is coming from an extreme 

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introvert, haha! With this, I found my experience at Waterloo to be one of the most thrilling of my life, both academically and socially. I met some enjoyable and exciting people and made many unforgettable memories! 

Anything else to add?

For more details and advice about my experience at the University of Waterloo, make sure you check out my youtube channel where I discuss these topics :) 

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A very special thank you to our interviewee...

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YASMIN

Hey everybody! My name is Yasmin, and I am currently entering my 2A term at the University of Waterloo, pursuing a double major in Legal Studies and Peace and Conflict Studies. I am also a part of the co-op program, but my first co-op term is not until the spring. I am super passionate about social justice issues and advocacy and making the world a better place. One fun fact about me is that I have a YouTube channel where I make lots of university-based content and other lifestyle-type vides. I hope I can help people with their transition to university!! Feel free to message me on Instagram or leave a comment on any of my youtube videos with any questions you may have! 

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How has the University of Waterloo dealt with the transition to an online learning platform? 

I feel like Waterloo has dealt with the transition to online learning pretty well. For Software Engineering, all our courses are online. We use a website called LEARN created by D2L to mostly manage all our coursework. We have a combination of asynchronous (not scheduled, just view the course content) and part synchronous (scheduled) classes. There is a question

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

As someone who wanted to study a subject related to computer code, my top choices were Waterloo Software Engineering (SE) and Waterloo Computer Science (CS). Waterloo was my top choice because of its prestigious co-op program, but choosing between the two code-related programs was challenging. Ultimately though, I went with SE. Waterloo’s engineering programs are known to have a cohort system. Essentially, this means that students take most of your classes with the same people (for SE,

we have a class of about 150 people). It puts you in a setting similar to elementary/middle school, where you’d have one homeroom and move around the school with them. This makes it much easier to get to know your classmates since you spend to much time together. I had heard a lot of good things about the cohort system and wanted to try it out. Even though I’m only a week into my program, I can definitely see the benefits! I can’t wait to meet my cohort in person :) 

What’s the biggest change from high school to university?

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I feel like university goes through content faster than high school does. It’s very manageable, but if you don’t read the content or do the practice work, it can be easy to fall behind. Also, in high school, teachers would often chase you down if you didn’t finish an assignment. In university, you’ll just get a zero. Essentially (especially in an online learning environment), you are responsible for your own learning. You have to time manage a lot to be successful. On a more positive note, university is much bigger than high school. There are so many people who come from all different interests and backgrounds. There are many niche clubs, design teams, and societies that you can join where you can meet people who are (and aren’t!) in your program or faculty! Even though it’s more limited because everything is online, there are still activities going on. For example, I tried out Quizbowl last week and found it pretty fun (despite not being able to answer almost all of the questions). 

answers forum where we can ask instructors questions, and instructors and teaching assistants often hold office hours where we can log in and ask questions. Overall, I think things are going pretty well!

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Can you briefly describe what the application process was like for those who don't know? 

For Waterloo Software Engineering, you’ll need to fill several parts of the application called an AIF (Admission Information Form). There are sections

about why you chose Waterloo, listing your extracurriculars, employment background, achievements, and personal external circumstances.For Engineering applications (SE-included), there are questions relating to your interest and ambitions in Waterloo Engineering. Finally, for Software Engineering specifically, you need to show you have modular programming experience by listing the languages you know and how you’ve

used them. I also included a link to my

Github in this section.

Make sure you read the length limit for all your responses. Waterloo (at least during my year) uses character limits instead of words, so remember that as you write your answers!

The Faculty of Engineering also has a video interview which can only improve your application, and I highly recommend doing it, even though it’s optional. The video interview is essentially recording yourself (live) as you answer some questions on the

screen. You’ll get an email with all the instructions. The website Waterloo uses gives you unlimited practice attempts with past questions, so I recommend using those to get comfortable talking in front of a camera. 

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

Waterloo Software Engineering is quite a competitive program. No one formula or one perfect application essay answer will guarantee your admission. No one outside of the admissions office knows exactly how they sort applications, including current students! You just need to write your application as best as you can. 

General tips I have to improve your application are:

  • Maintain a high academic average -- Try to aim for above a 95%+. Some people are accepted with lower averages, but the high 90s is generally what you want to aim for.

  • Do hackathons -- There are plenty of online ones lately, and it shows you have the initiative to code outside of school.

  • Do extracurriculars -- Both code-related and non-code related. Whether you’re the president, executive or even just an active member, you can include the activity on your application.

As for the application process: don’t procrastinate your application. You have a ton of time to write and refine it, and you should make use of that time. I also recommend getting people to proofread it. Personally, I got my parents and some friends to help review mine, and was also lucky enough to get some upper-years to help too! 

For a Software Engineering Student at Waterloo...

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A very special thank you to our interviewee...

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HANNAH GUO

Hi everyone! My name is Hannah, and I'm currently a first-year (remotely) studying Software Engineering at the University of Waterloo! I'm happy to contribute to Project Uni, and I hope my interview helps you! When I'm not programming or doing schoolwork, I love reading, gaming, skating and catching up on animes. Shoot me a message if you have any questions about SE (or just want to chat)! :)     

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For a UW Science & Aviation Student

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What do you think is special about the Waterloo campus life?

I think the most special thing about Waterloo campus life is how easy it is for everybody to fit in and find a group of people and things to do that they enjoy. Especially with Laurier down the street, everyone can live a decent social life

What was your favourite elective in first year?

In Science and Aviation, there were no electives in first year. The only choices we got were which sciences we wanted to take (needed to choose 2 out of physics, chemistry, earth sciences and biology), and i'd have to say that my favourite course was physics 121 with Richard Epp. It is a difficult course for first years, but he is a fantastic professor and that course really helped build my work ethic and made the rest of school seem easier. A course that was not an elective that I enjoyed was ENG193 with Brad Mehlenbacher. English in university is completely different than high school - Brad is an excellent professor, and we learned how to create, analyze and write scientific reports, along with much more. 

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

The reason I chose this program is because it's the only Science and Aviation program in Canada. My goal in the future is to be an airline pilot, and many airlines make it clear that you will be a better candidate if you have a degree. Some schools will give you your pilots licence and an aviation degree, which may increase your chances of getting a job at an airline. I chose to pursue a different degree because I wanted to have something I can fall back on if being a pilot doesn't pan out. With a science degree, if being a pilot doesn't work out, I can easily find research positions, or go back to teaching college and become a teacher with this degree. This is what I have planned as my backup. I love learning about chemistry and physics, along with being able to fly. This is the only program in Canada that offers this, which I think makes the program and its students very unique.

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

Before applying to this program, really make sure and be one hundred percent confident that you want to enter the aviation industry. This is not something you

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

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The workload and work-life balance is completely different than anything in high school. The amount of work and studying you have to do becomes exponentially higher, and it's no secret that the majority of high schools struggle to prepare their students for this change. In the aviation program at Waterloo, in science and geography, aviation students are allowed to take one less course than a regular science or geography major. However, it still is a lot of work. There will definitely be nights where all your friends are going out yet you have to study, and a lot of late nights in the library or at your desk. The balance between work and life all depends on your time management skills. If you manage your time well enough, you can easily afford to go out on weekends, or on some weeks not have to do any work at all on the weekends. It will be overwhelming at first-it's important to remember that it's overwhelming for everyone and not just yourself. Try to meet people in your classes. Having someone to ask questions to can help significantly. The best advice I heard before going to university was ‘Sleep more than you study, study more than you party, and party as much as you possibly can’.

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 should apply to because you think it might be cool, or you want to be a scientist, and have a pilots licence as your backup. If that is the case, this program will be very difficult for you. Despite only being a couple courses a semester, the aviation side to things has an immense workload, in which courses you need to maintain good grades. The biggest thing to keep in mind is that entering flight school is very, very expensive, and as a pilot, entry level salaries are very low. A relatively high number of students drop out of this program because they cannot afford it, yet only realize this in second or third year. Also make sure you can keep up academically, yet that applies to any student in any program. For aviation, it is important that you know this is something you want to do before you commit to it.

 should apply to because you think it might be cool, or you want to be a scientist, and have a pilots licence as your backup. If that is the case, this program will be very difficult for you. Despite only being a couple courses a semester, the aviation side to things has an immense workload, in which courses you need to maintain good grades. The biggest thing to keep in mind is that entering flight school is very, very expensive, and as a pilot, entry level salaries are very low. A relatively high number of students drop out of this program because they cannot afford it, yet only realize this in second or third year. Also make sure you can keep up academically, yet that applies to any student in any program. For aviation, it is important that you know this is something you want to do before you commit to it.

A very special thank you to our interviewee...

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JEREMY WEISBERG

My name is Jeremy Weisberg, I am currently in 2A Science and Aviation at the University of Waterloo. I have always had a passion for aviation and hope to help incoming students with the same passion. Feel free to connect with me on linkedin, instagram @jeremy.weisberg, or by email at jeremyweisberg1@gmail.com if you have any questions, need advice, or anything of the sort. 

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For a Kinesiology Student At Waterloo

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Can you tell us more about the Kinesiology program? What kinds of things will first year students be studying/learning?

Kinesiology is the science of human movement. The courses that we are required to take, as well as the elective courses are centralized among a couple themes: physiology (how the internal body systems function), biomechanics (the physics of how we move), neuroscience (the study of the brain and nervous system), anatomy, and social sciences. In first year, you’ll take courses that may overlap with courses you took in highschool (ex. Chemistry, biology, physics, calculus), but you’ll also be taking Kinesiology-specific courses, such as Human Anatomy: Limbs and Trunk, Introduction to Human Nutrition, and Human Physiology I. Specifically, you’ll also take a human anatomy lab in your second term of first year, where you’ll get the opportunity to work with cadavers - one of my favourite labs to date! In second year, you’ll be taking courses focused on physiology, biomechanics, and neuroscience - giving you a good base of knowledge and exposing you to the different pathways in kinesiology. In third and fourth year, the courses are up to you!

How does Waterloo prepare students for a career after graduation?

There’s a lot of opportunities for experiential learning, even outside of the co-op program. Our cadaver lab is available for all first-year students, and was an experience that enriched my knowledge of human anatomy. It’s one thing to study an image in a textbook, but I grew a totally different appreciation for human anatomy when being able to see and feel the different structures. Undergraduate students can also get involved in some of the Kinesiology research labs - either volunteering as a participant in a study, or volunteering with the research team. This is a really good opportunity to network with different professors and upper year students, and discover the realm of research! There are also numerous ways to get involved with the university to enrich your experience - becoming a strength and conditioning intern for varsity athletes, a member of the Campus Response Team, or a fitness/sports instructor for fitness classes! Lastly, there’s often events hosted by the faculty to allow undergraduate students to explore different career paths, such as presentations by prospective graduate programs of different universities and opportunities to network with Kinesiology alumni.

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

I was really interested in anatomy and physiology, and specifically in humans. I thought Kinesiology was a good fit
because we study human movement – the physiology, biomechanics, neuroscience, anatomy, and social sciences. What I find most interesting is applying this knowledge to injury and rehabilitation. The flexibility of the Kinesiology program also influenced my decision to go to the University of Waterloo. I knew that I wanted to pursue some sort of higher education after my undergrad, and knew that grades could be an important factor for admission into these programs. It was important to me that I could take the courses that interested me the most, since I knew I would excel in courses that personally interested me. In fact, 3rd and 4th year are composed of all electives, which is helpful to tailor your degree or pursue a minor!

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

Although only chemistry and either biology or physics is required, all first years will take chemistry, biology, and physics courses - I’d highly recommend taking all three sciences in highschool to put your best foot forward in first year. There is some overlap between highschool-level science courses and first-year science courses, so the review will give you more time to focus on your other courses! I would also highly recommend taking the Introductory Kinesiology course in Grade 12, if your highschool offers it. It
touches on a couple topics that we learn in Kinesiology, which may help you make a decision whether Kinesiology is
the right program for you!

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What are the pros/cons of the co-op program?

I think the biggest advantage is that you’re able to apply skills from our labs to workplaces - for example, using research-grade equipment to measure skeletal muscle activity, taking blood pressure measurements, or understanding how to cue a client during strengthening exercises. On the other hand, I’m also able to relate patient cases to relevant musculoskeletal conditions that I learn in lecture, which makes the content more meaningful. Lastly, co-op gives me a break from academic commitments, but also gives me the flexibility to take extra courses over my co-op term. Some disadvantages include having to coordinate housing arrangements before every co-op term, and course planning. As some courses are only available in certain semesters (ex. Only winter term), you would have to plan out your courses such that you have all the prerequisites to take all the courses that you want to take in the right semester.

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JUICY

 should apply to because you think it might be cool, or you want to be a scientist, and have a pilots licence as your backup. If that is the case, this program will be very difficult for you. Despite only being a couple courses a semester, the aviation side to things has an immense workload, in which courses you need to maintain good grades. The biggest thing to keep in mind is that entering flight school is very, very expensive, and as a pilot, entry level salaries are very low. A relatively high number of students drop out of this program because they cannot afford it, yet only realize this in second or third year. Also make sure you can keep up academically, yet that applies to any student in any program. For aviation, it is important that you know this is something you want to do before you commit to it.

 

A very special thank you to our interviewee...

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 EMILY MAE-YAE TAM

Hey everyone! My name is Emily, and I’m in my fourth year of Kinesiology co-op at the University of Waterloo. Through my co-op experiences, I’ve worked at a chiropractic clinic, an athletic therapy clinic working with university-level varsity athletes, and I’m about to start my fourth co-op term working with kinesiologists and physiotherapists to create targeted exercise programs for diabetic clients! At school, I hold a student-staff role as a Residence Life Don (an upper-year student that lives with first-years in residence) and I also work as a varsity trainer for UW’s Varsity Women’s Volleyball team! Feel free to connect with me if you have questions - I’d love to share my experiences :)

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For a Health Studies Student At Waterloo

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What’s an interesting quirk of your school that freshmen should know?

Waterloo is home to the University of Waterloo, Wilfrid Laurier University, and Conestoga College and is therefore really student friendly! Waterloo students come from diverse backgrounds and I love how it influences the campus culture of the university. Because of the co-op program, students alternate between academic and work terms and so there are people on campus and in the city year-round. There are plenty of restaurants, bubble tea shops, and board game cafes for students to visit, all of which are located close to the university. We are also surrounded by parks and forests which contribute to the chilled-out atmosphere. Campus is particularly cheerful during the spring and fall!

What is the class environment like? How often are collaborative work or group presentations required?

Something I love about my program and faculty is the tight-knit community. Professors and students are so caring and supportive of your learning. It is common for students to connect with their professors during lectures, office hours, and faculty socials. My program offers a combination of large lectures and small seminars. Lectures consist of presentations from professors and guest speakers while the corresponding tutorials allow students to further explore course content, assignments, and quizzes with teaching assistants. Seminars are more intimate courses with a narrower topic of focus and discussions with your professor and classmates. Collaborative work and presentations are common in seminars and tutorials. Oftentimes, students are expected to collaborate with their peers using course discussion boards and in person for projects and presentations. Health Studies students are well connected outside of the classroom as well.

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

I chose Health Studies at the University of Waterloo because I wanted to learn about health from a holistic perspective. My program allows me to study all aspects of health, including life sciences, public health and health systems, and health informatics. The interdisciplinary nature of the program empowers students to explore their diverse interests - I am currently pursuing a Health Research specialization and Aging Studies option. Another reason I chose Health Studies is because of the co-op program. I discovered my love for health technologies through my co-op terms at a hospital and biotechnology company. Moreover, I have connected with incredible professors, students, and colleagues during my academic and co-op terms. The tight-knit community within my program and faculty is what I love most about university life.

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

The most important advice I would give to high school students interested in Health Studies at the University of Waterloo is to be bold. University is a chance to learn about yourself and your interests, so take risks! Participate in your faculty, student union, and co-op or experiential learning opportunities to make the most of your time in university. It is an amazing way to make friends and develop skills for your future career. I would recommend taking some time to reflect on your priorities and goals for university. Consider which university, program, and campus culture aligns with your priorities and trust your instincts! What matters most is that you love what you are learning and the people around you. Moreover, a good work-life balance is critical to thriving in university. Create a schedule and prioritize time for sleeping, eating well, and staying in touch with your family and friends. No assignment or midterm is worth sacrificing your mental health and wellbeing!

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How has being a part of the co-op program been beneficial for you?

The co-op program was a major contributing factor in my decision to attend the University of Waterloo. For one, I was drawn to the prospect of graduating with twenty months of paid work experience. I also looked forward to living in different cities and alternating between school and work terms. Through my co-op terms at a hospital and biotechnology company, I discovered my interest in the area of health informatics and learned more about the scope of healthcare career opportunities. Moreover, I learned how to network and had the chance to develop meaningful relationships with my colleagues. Thus far, some of my favourite university memories have been made during my co-op terms and I have learned so much about myself along the way!

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JUICY

A very special thank you to our interviewee...

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MAISHA ADIL

Hi! My name is Maisha Adil and I am in my third year of Honours Health Studies at the University of Waterloo. I am passionate about health informatics, gerontology, and the social determinants of health. Thus far, I have had the opportunity to work in a hospital and biotechnology company, and look forward to further exploring the healthcare field through my upcoming co-op terms. I hope my interview with Project Uni can help those who are interested in healthcare or co-op, or hope to learn more about university life at Waterloo. Please do connect with me on LinkedIn if you have any questions! Wishing you all the best on your university journey!

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For an Applied Health Studies Student At Waterloo

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What was your favourite course/elective in first year?

My favourite course in first-year - that would be a tough one! I thoroughly enjoyed many of my first-year courses but I would have to say HLTH 102 (Introduction to Health 2), a mandatory first-year course with Dr. David Hammond which introduced barriers to health in Canada. Dr. Hammond made the course concepts very easy to learn and always had personal anecdotes to share which kept the class interesting. If you have the chance to, I would highly recommend taking further courses with him as well.

Can you tell us more about what the facilities are like? (labs, libraries etc.)

The facilities are state-of-the-art in the AHS building. The first-year labs in biology and chemistry give you quite a bit of exposure to the science side of the program where you learn with students from the science faculty. We have two libraries at the University of Waterloo, DP (Dana Porter), and DC (Davis Center). Both have great study spots, academic librarians ready to give you a hand, and a multitude of resources that students can access. The faculty building of AHS is very bright and airy with ample study room, and there are many hidden, little spots for students to study and lounge!

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

I chose Health Studies at the University of Waterloo, for the faculty spirit, the warm and welcoming professors and faculty members, and initially, for the co-op program. As my plans changed, I am no longer in co-op, but I can speak highly of the co-op opportunities based on my peers' experiences. AHS is a small faculty, but we make up for it in our enthusiasm and spirit. The student culture of the faculty is amazing and made me feel like I belonged. Health Studies stood out to me when I was trying to pick a program in high school as it had a blend of courses from the pure sciences and social sciences and supported multiple career paths. I wanted open career options so that really appealed to me.

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

My advice to anyone wanting to apply to Health Studies is to ensure your grade 12 average is in the low-80s if you want to be competitive for the regular stream and mid-80s for the co-op stream. Also, ask yourself if you would enjoy the public health and social sciences aspect of the program, as in, do you see yourself spending a lot of time writing essays, policy papers, critical appraisals, and presenting such work? There are science courses/labs in the program, but it is in fact, health studies, instead of health sciences. 

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What kinds of support are available for first-year students transitioning from high school?

There is plenty of support available for first-year students. The professors have an open-door policy and are keen on helping you succeed in your courses, or just to lend an ear. The AHS academic advisors are a student's main point of contact and can be helpful to sort out any academic issues, as well as leading you to further resources. The AHSUM student society is full of friendly and cheerful faces, ready to make sure your concerns are heard and advocated for. AHS ambassadors (such as myself), as well as mentors for first-year students (weCONNECTu), are great resources for students to access.

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JUICY

A very special thank you to our interviewee...

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PRIYA VYAS

Hi! I'm Priya and I'm in my 3A term of Health Studies, pursuing a Health Research Specialization at the University of Waterloo in the School of Public Health and Health Systems. I'm interested in conducting research in various areas of public health policy, specifically pertaining to food consumption patterns in young people and mental health in children and youth. In my free time, I enjoy volunteering within my university community, reading, creative writing, and cooking new dishes. If there's anything more you'd like to know about the Health Studies program or the Applied Health Science faculty (soon to be officially known as the Faculty of Health), feel free to DM me on Instagram or reach out to me on LinkedIn. You can also email me at pkvyas@uwaterloo.ca.

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For a Public Health Student At Waterloo

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

I would say that the workload can be a bit tricky to adjust to coming out of high school, but with discipline and effort can be something that is very manageable. Now being an upper-year student, I’ve learned to leverage different strategies to make sure that I stay on top of my schoolwork while also having time for commitments outside of school, like volunteering and working. As a Public Health student, you will take courses on a variety of topics such as disease prevention and treatment, population health, systemic barriers in health, and more. While these topics may seem daunting, you will find yourself familiarizing with them very quickly. In my own experience, I’ve found my upper-year courses manageable since I’ve been able to build a solid foundation for these subjects in my under-year courses.

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

I chose Public Health at the University of Waterloo because it had the perfect blend of social and traditional sciences, as well as flexibility to pursue other interests. Coming out of high school with aspirations to work in medicine, I felt that Public Health was a great fit for me. Being in the co-op program, I’ve also been able to gain first-hand experience working in health care. Belonging to the School of Public Health and Health Systems under the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, I am also part of a very tight-knit community of staff and students which is something I love.

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JUICY

2

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

school, almost all of the information I had about university came from my classmates and family. While friends and family can be a great source of information, it’s important to remember that they really don’t know much more than you do—they’re not in university after all. Having said that, I think that having discussions about university with people around you is great for organizing your thoughts and finding what you want. But at the end of the day, choosing a program is a big commitment and it’s something that you should do your own research for. Regarding applying to Public Health at UW, I would definitely suggest looking at the program page on the University’s website!

4

How would you describe your first-year experience? (feel free to discuss student life what kinds of things first year students will be learning)

To be honest, my first-year experience was a bit challenging, but I still tried to make the most of it. Living off of residence, I felt that I missed out on an integral part of the university experience. I was jealous to see my friends from high school being able to make friends so easily with their roommates. Having said that, there are lots of things you can get involved with on campus that can help you meet new people! In my first-year, I joined DECA and Heart4Heart. Through these clubs, I was able to meet new people and also have fun on and off campus. As for the academic side of things, first-year Public Health students will take introductory courses relating to the sociological and biological determinants of health, the Canadian health system, psychology, and anatomy.

5

What’s one misconception about Waterloo?

One misconception about Waterloo is that it’s all work and no play. While I can’t speak for programs other than my own, I am a huge advocate for university being what you make of it. I had also thought that university would be a lot of work, but I’ve found that you can make time for lots of things outside of your courses. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have been involved with many amazing organizations on campus where I enjoy spending my time outside of classes. I’ve been able to connect with hopeful high school students and run panels for my faculty, gain experience volunteering as a peer supporter, teach English to international students, and mentor first-years. While courses can be tough and stressing at times, I’ve also found my faculty’s academic support staff to be supportive and extremely helpful.

A very special thank you to our interviewee...

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JASON CHU

Jason Chu is a third-year student at the University of Waterloo in the Honours Public Health, Co-op program, with a Specialization in Health Research, an Option in Aging Studies, and a Diploma in Japanese Language. Inside his faculty, he is a student ambassador, acted as Chair for the Faculty’s Endowment Fund Board of Directors, and is a peer mentor with the weCONNECTu Mentorship Program. Beyond that, Jason is a Mentor Assistance Through Education and Support (MATES) peer supporter, and an assistant with Renison University College’s English Language Institute. Jason is passionate for frontline healthcare and has had experience working with various hospital and government agencies. In his free time, he enjoys singing and playing music, learning about languages and cultures, video games, and sports. Feel free to connect with him through his socials, or by email at jlhchu@uwaterloo.ca.

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3

For a Co-op Honours Kinesiology Student At Waterloo

How is the student support at Waterloo? Is mental health support easily accessible for students?

“Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing, not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. My inauguration marks the beginning of a new chapter of noble leaders and creative thinkers. I will carry the challenges of my time with confidence and enthusiasm, knowing that those before me have done the same." ~ AHS student oath.

 

Mental health now more than ever, is important topic in the health world. Enough will never be enough when a life was the cost. But I want the students reading this to know there are many resources on campus to help with mental health challenges as well as other health considerations. Depending on your item of concern, there are available counselors, workshops and helplines for you to reach out to for help. On the UW campus, we have counselors who are trained to provide individual support, as well as support in groups. There are counselors, specifically trained in the concerns of co-op students for those interested in one of the many cooperative education program UW is famous for. We have campus police as well as sexual abuse and harassment staff to help with concerns about safety and/or events of trauma. The Student Success Office (SSO) offer workshops on studying, time management, and more to help with school stressors. Please if you need help, reach out. I know it’s hard, I’ve been there but you are important.

1

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

Choosing your post-secondary path is one of the hallmarks of growing up and comes with its share of challenges, barriers and stress. Throughout my life, I knew I wanted to study the inner workings of the human body; how we adapt to exercise, how we process emotions, how our heart works, were all questions I wanted to know beyond the realm of high school comprehension. I chose UW kin for the following reasons. Firstly, if it wasn’t obvious, I love learning about the human body. At UW, I was able to study the science of human movement from a variety of disciplines to understand how and why we move. The specific courses with the kin program perfectly aligned with what I wanted to know, everything and anything about the body. Next, I chose this program because of the first-year cadaver lab that you get to take in first year. Anatomy in a textbook wasn’t enough for me, I wanted to see the variation with my own eyes. I could go on for hours about why I chose this program at this school, but the most important reason I saved for last. The idea of being in this program in this university made me feel at home, I wasn’t nervous, I was excited. The level of kinship between the programs in the Applied Health Sciences faculty remined me of a family and I wanted to be a part of it. The best thing about this program is, and I quote “we are all best friends, and I am an AHSSIE (AHS student) for life!”

QUESTIONS

JUICY

2

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

Dear grade 12 me,

 

I am writing this for you and for the many students like you, choosing your post- secondary path is one of the hallmarks of growing up and comes with its share of challenges, barriers and stress. I know you are overthinking all of your options right now, the what ifs and all. I did it too. But I wanted to write this and tell you what I wish I knew when I chose my program.

 

1. Don’t just look at the program title when choosing, each Kinesiology program is unique to its school and students. When you are choosing between programs, research the degree requirements and the courses, this will give you information about minors and what your kin degree will look like. Choose the ones that is going to give you the tools to follow your passions and career aspirations.

 

2. Visit the campus if possible. I found the local environment and the overall feel of being on campus were a large part in my decision. The program could be perfect, but if you don’t feel at home on campus or in the local environment, it will greatly affect your time here.

 

3. If you have a grad school or professional school in mind, please research backwards and ensure the program you choose will give you the requirements you need for the program, as well as give you a program to enjoy.

 

4. Don’t be afraid to take time to figure it out and don’t be afraid to change your mind. Find what is best for you.

4

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

In my first year on campus, I lived in a dorm style residence called Ron Eydt Village (REV). I was placed in what Waterloo calls a “Living Learning Community.” In this program, I was placed with a roommate in the same program. I lived on a floor of 52 students with about 25 being in my program. I also had an upper year peer mentor from the kin program to ask questions. I would say for anyone who grew up playing competitive or travelling sports, living in a residence is similar to being in a hotel with all your best friends and no parents. If you feel lonely, go knock on someone’s door. I enjoyed having peers to eat my meals with and hear about their days. It filled the gap of family dinners and helped me feel a bit less homesick. Living with peers is also great because you can get help with homework. I would say that living on campus in first year is useful in integrating into the university community. Living on or near campus, teaches you where the resources are, a more flexible timeline for studying, groups projects and less stress about traffic and midterms.

5

What kinds of things are there to do in your school's hometown?

- Waterloo Park
- Conestoga Mall
- Uptown Waterloo (small cafes, restaurants, outdoor rink in winter)
- Board Game cafes
- Glass and Pottery Museum
- St. Jacobs Farmers Market
- Earth sciences Museum

- Mel’s Dinner
- Columbia Lake
- Laura Creek Conservation Area

A very special thank you to our interviewee...

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EMILY GRANGER

Hi there! My name is Emily Granger and I am currently in my last year of the Honours Kinesiology Co-op program at the University of Waterloo. I am a kin kid to my core and will happily take about kin and life with just about anyone. I have been involved with respiratory research, and had the extraordinary opportunity to author a few papers. If you are interested in Waterloo, below are some items I have been involved with;

https://physoc.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1113/EP088639

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3

For a Therapeutic Recreation Student At Waterloo

Can you tell us a bit more about what your program is like? (ex. class environment, content etc.)

Like I mentioned earlier there are so many options in the AHS faculty and especially in the Recreation department. For our classes with everyone in Recreation the classes are larger but almost everyone is a familiar face. When we have specific classes such as Therapeutic Recreation classes, the community is smaller, and you know most people by face or name. We often can work with other class members which is a really nice way to get to know others. The professors are amazing, on my first day of one of my first-year classes the Professor had memorized all of our names and welcomed us individually to the class and to the program.

1

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

When applying to university I genuinely didn’t know what program I wanted to be in and what I wanted to do, so I applied to multiple Universities and multiple programs. Upon picking University of Waterloo, I choose the Recreation and Leisure Studies program with co-op, not really knowing what it was. Now, I am not saying to choose blindly but sometimes it works out in your favour. I decided to major in Therapeutic Recreation after taking introduction courses in Recreation and Leisure, Tourism, Sports Business and Therapeutic Recreation. My program is important for working with people with varying needs, abilities, backgrounds, life experiences, etc. I was privileged to go into the co-op program (although extending my schooling to 5 years) gives me the opportunity to try out multiple job positions, locations and possibilities.

QUESTIONS

JUICY

2

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

The advice that I have for high school students applying to my program would be to make sure that you fill out your AIF (admission information form). This will give you a leg up, if you are close or just below the cut off, sometimes filling out the AIF will push you to getting into the program if you have strong volunteer opportunities, work positions, etc. I would also encourage you to apply to many programs if you think you are interested as you never know where you could end up. Also being in Applied Health Sciences and especially Recreation and Leisure, you can major in Recreation and Leisure, Tourism, Sports Business and Therapeutic Recreation, as well as other AHS programs such as Kinesiology, Health Studies, etc. so there is a lot of options for everyone.

4

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

· What's it like to be a first year student at Waterloo? The spirit is contagious, whether it is faculty spirit, university spirit you name it everyone gets excited. First year orientation has amazing programs for everyone to participate in, prizes to win, friends to meet. In-fact I was an Orientation Leader in years following to give other new students the same experience I had. Whether you go to a Football Game, Basketball game, you name It, everyone has spirit and cheers on their team! There are so many supports in place, clubs to join and ways to get involved. Club fairs are held every year to find something you enjoy. Professors and teaching assistants hold office hours to help you academically as well as you have other department supports in place. Although it may be a bit overwhelming at first, lots of people have your best interests in mind.

5

What was your favourite course/elective in first year?

My favourite course in first-year was Rec 120 Where we all went on a retreat as a class to a camp and did team-building games and exercises, we met people in our program as well as this is the class I formed some of my best friends in the school. We worked on creating programs for the class and presented our ideas to the class. We also facilitated the Waterloo West Neighbourhood Fest which is in groups we made programs for children aged toddler to Grade 6 and put them on at a library or local YMCA for a day. For example my group was Outer Space Adventures, and we taught the children who visited our booth the importance of outer space and they created their own planets with Styrofoam balls they could take home.

A very special thank you to our interviewee...

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SYDNEY PERLMUTAR

Hello Everyone! My name is Sydney Perlmutar, and I am a Fourth-year Co-op student in the Therapeutic Recreation Program in the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences (soon to be Faculty of Health) at University of Waterloo. I am particularly interested in learning about individuals and populations of people with varying abilities. I am also in the process of completing an option in Aging Studies alongside my degree. When I am not studying, I volunteer my time within the university as an AHS (Applied Health Sciences) Ambassador as well as other various positions depending on the term. I am involved in many teams and clubs on campus such as Intramural Basketball. Feel free to reach out to me via LinkedIn or Instagram regarding the programs offered at UW, resources available on campus and if you have any questions about living on campus. I look forward to speaking with you!

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3

For an Honours Health Studies Co-op Student At Waterloo

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

I think this depends on the person and how well they are able to balance their work and other aspects of their life. I personally have had a very good work-life balance in my program. I also found the workload to be more than high school, but manageable due to being able to manage my time. I found that if I scheduled in advance for my weeks using a calendar, I was able to get all my schoolwork done and have enough time to hang out with friends, have a part-time job, and be a part of some extracurriculars while maintaining good grades. I would recommend writing down all your important dates at the start of the semester in a calendar so that you are organized and know when what is due. I believe this will help make the transition to university from high school easier and help with work-life balance.

1

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

I choose Health Studies at UWaterloo because of the multidisciplinary focus of the program, regarding health. In addition to science courses you learn a lot about population health, Canadian health systems, and the determinants of health. There is a focus on preventing illness and an upstream approach to healthcare. I was very interested in both the science and social aspects of health and that is why I choose this program because it combines both those aspects that I was interested in.

QUESTIONS

JUICY

2

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

I would advise high school students to check out the admission requirements. For Health Studies you need any one 4U Math, one 4U English, and 4U Chemistry and Biology. You also need to have a minimum of 70% in each of the required courses to apply. However, most people that get in have above 70’s in these courses and averaged in the low to mid 80’s. If you have any questions related to applying and admission averages, I would recommend emailing the Applied Health Sciences recruitment co-ordinator. I personally emailed then when I was applying to Waterloo and they were very helpful in answering all my questions

4

What kinds of support is available for first-year students transitioning from high school?

I think orientation is a great resource for first year students to meet other first year and upper year students in their faculty and program. I also believe this is a great time for first years to have any questions that they have answered by upper year students. Another amazing resource that they have for all students is the student success office. They have various workshops and individual appointments available for helping you achieve success in academic and non-academic goals. The writing centre is also another great resource to help improve your writing for assignments, lab reports, and essays. Lastly, the academic advisors are also good if you have questions related to the program and academics.

5

What’s one misconception about Waterloo?

I believe that one misconception about Waterloo is that all students do is study. Waterloo is a very academic focused school and I do believe this is what has caused me to do so well in undergrad so far. However, there are lots of opportunities at Waterloo to have fun and be a part of clubs and societies. Waterloo is more than just a “academic” school and once you are able to learn to manage your time in undergrad you will have lots of opportunities to do things other than studying at UWaterloo.

A very special thank you to our interviewee...

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SIMRAN MAHAL

Hi Everyone! My name is Simran and I’m a second year Health Studies Student. I really enjoy my program and find it interesting. I would recommend it if you are interested in pursuing a BSc in health sciences that focuses on both the scientific and social aspects of health. If you have any questions, feel free to email me at smahal@uwaterloo.ca

 

3

For a Co-op Health Studies Student At Waterloo

What are some major extracurriculars at Waterloo?

There are tons of options to become involved in Waterloo, especially within the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences (AHS)! Some of my experiences include being a mentor for first year students in the weCONNECTu program, an AHS Ambassador for recruitment events, and a volunteer for UW WELL-FIT, a program where you work with cancer patients who are in remission and help them with their exercise plans. There are also more than 200 clubs at Waterloo, including A Capella club, cooking club, and even a cheese club! One of the services that I have been involved with for most of university is UW MATES (Mentor Assistance Through Education and Support), a one-to-one peer support service for students who are looking to build social skills, or are experiencing academic or personal difficulties. I love supporting students through active and empathic listening, and there are many other leadership opportunities on campus to help students in different ways. The options to get involved on campus are abundant, it is just about finding what you are passionate about and what fits your interests and goals!

1

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

I chose to attend the Health Studies program at the University of Waterloo because I was attracted to the diverse coursework in the natural and social sciences that was part of the curriculum, and the co-op option that would allow me to gain 20 months of work experience by the time I graduated. Health Studies is unique in that it teaches you about how the social determinants of health impacts the health of different populations, as well as delving into the physiological aspects of disease. When I first applied to university, I wanted to work towards medical school, and I knew that the Health Studies co-op program would allow me to explore other options in the health care field in case I changed my mind about my career. Over the next four years, I gained a strong foundation in population and individual health, and have gathered enough extracurricular and work experiences to be able to pursue a variety of different avenues after graduating.

QUESTIONS

JUICY

2

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

My advice for high school students applying to Health Studies would be to do your research and speak to current students! If you are really interested in the Health Studies program, look at the courses that you will be taking in first year and in upper years to see if you could see yourself enjoying them. Visit the campus and attend the open houses to check out residence options, student societies and clubs, and see if Waterloo would be a good fit for you. If you have goals to attend graduate or professional school afterwards, work backwards to see if you can meet their pre-requisites through the Health Studies program. Talking to current students is another great way to learn more about any program, because their lived experience could be your experience in the future! Many faculties have ambassadors that you can contact to ask questions or ask for advice about anything related to their program or school. I remember speaking to a Health Studies ambassador back when I was in Grade 12, and they really helped me to understand the program and get more details about what the university experience was like.

4

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

I would describe residence as living in a highly connected environment that provides accessible student resources and is located conveniently close to campus. In first year, I lived in Columbia Lake Village (CLV), one of the townhouse suite-style residences at Waterloo. I really enjoyed it because it was a bit quieter at my residence, so I could go to classes and socialize on campus during the day and come back home to study in a calmer environment. I would definitely recommend first year students to live on-campus because it is a great way to meet people and develop friendships from the start of your undergraduate career. My advice about living in residence is to meet lots of people and take care of yourself! Residence is a great environment to bump into a lot of new faces, which makes it easy to develop new connections. As well, first year can be a tough transitional time for students, so it’s important to take time for self care and self compassion, recognize that your health is the highest priority, and make use of the resources that are available to you on campus to support your academic experience.

5

What are the pros and cons of Waterloo's co-op program?

Waterloo’s co-op program is exceptional and allows for undergraduate students to graduate with almost two years of work experience under their belt. It allows students to gain experience in a variety of positions working in different locations and team structures, strengthening their abilities in professional communication and collaboration. I chose to go to Waterloo because of the co-op program, and have worked at a start-up company in Toronto, a not-for-profit in Ottawa, and a research and development organization in Hong Kong. On the flip side, being in co-op is not for everyone because it does come with extra work on top of your courses and can be a stressful process at times. The first co-op job is typically the most difficult to find since you are competing with upper year students, but it’s important to be open-minded and think about how any position will allow you to transfer relevant professional skills to other jobs. Fortunately, Waterloo has tons of resources to support students during this process, including drop-in sessions and consultations from career advisors at the Centre for Career Action.

A very special thank you to our interviewee...

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XENIA KWAN

Hi there! My name is Xenia Kwan and I am a fourth-year co-op student pursuing Health Studies and a minor in Psychology at the University of Waterloo. I am highly involved at Waterloo through volunteering in a variety of leadership roles and I am passionate about student engagement and student support through peer mentorship. My hobbies include salsa dancing, listening to R&B/Soul music, and trying new restaurants, and I am currently working towards becoming a Registered Psychotherapist. Feel free to connect with me over email or LinkedIn if you would like to chat about my experiences or anything else!

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For a System Design Student At Waterloo

1

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

I personally think Systems Design Engineering (SYDE) is the University of Waterloo’s best-kept secret. The program itself is confusing to define (in fact, an ongoing faculty joke is that no one really knows what it is), but I know for a fact that the SYDE community is unrivaled. From the day I was accepted into the program, upper years were offering to mentor me and trying to help me get adjusted to university life. SYDE attracts students who are a bit more well rounded than the stereotypical Waterloo Engineering student, and as someone who didn’t really know what I wanted to pursue (but really enjoyed STEM and the idea of using Design to solve large societal problems), SYDE seemed like the perfect fit for me. The people are some of the coolest I’ve ever met, the program is approximately 50% female, and SYDE students have one of the highest co-op employment rates in all of Waterloo Engineering. If you think this program sounds right up your alley, feel free to reach out to me and definitely consider applying! (Also try Google searching the Systems Design Engineering Class profiles -- they are awesome).

QUESTIONS

JUICY

2

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

First of all, the University of Waterloo takes a very long time to admit engineering applicants, so for your own sanity, I highly recommend applying to a few backup schools to ease your nerves as you wait to hear back. Next, write your AIF early. If you’re anything like me, you will spend an hour writing your first draft and 100  more trying to squeeze it into the impossibly small character limit. SYDE in particular cares a lot about your extracurriculars, so showing who you are in the AIF is very important! Third, before arriving at Waterloo, try to gain some relevant technical experience. Try an online hackathon, teach yourself how to code, do some volunteer work, or even try to get an internship or coop experience through your school! On that note, try to have your resume completed before you start school -- SYDE students have to start applying for their first co-op jobs in the second week of September so be prepared! My last advice would be to not let Reddit discourage you from applying to the University of Waterloo (instead, talk to a real person about their experiences). I have found an amazing and inspiring group of friends here and we have lots of fun despite the workload.

A very special thank you to our interviewee...

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JOCELYNE MURPHY

Hey I'm Jocelyne! I'm a first year Systems Design Engineering Student at the University of Waterloo. Feel free to reach out to me on LinkedIn if you want to chat about University (especially the online first-year experience), social good and charity work, or just about life!

 

3

For a Health Studies (Minor in Gerontology) Student At Waterloo

How many hours of class do students typically have each week? How much homework outside of class?

Class hours vary depending on the semester. I remember in my first year I had class pretty much every day from anywhere between two to six hours a day, which was quite demanding. Then from my second semester of first year onwards I have only had class four days a week which is really nice because I have a lot more time to do other activities and study on my own schedule. Homework outside of class really depends on your habits in class and just how you learn personally. Some classes demand more hours outside of class and some do not. Generally, I have found that I spend a lot more time studying for tests for my science courses as they are very content-heavy. Maintaining a good study schedule and prioritizing tests and assignments can help you from feeling overwhelmed with the academics.

1

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

For me Health Studies really is a perfect balance between science, social science and public health and that is what attracted me the most. In high school I really enjoyed science but I also really enjoyed English and humanities. At the stage where I was applying for university I was not completely sure about what I wanted to do career-wise but the flexibility and holistic nature of health studies at Waterloo is what determined that this was the program for me. I knew I had the options to specialize and focus on certain areas of health science if that is what I wanted to do. I also chose a four-year program because I knew I wanted to do a study abroad, which I am currently doing! UW has a lot of opportunities to take a study abroad term but health studies in particular is a very adaptable program to suit your academic and personal life goals. I also knew I did not want to spend an extra year in undergrad especially if I wanted to pursue postgraduate education which is why I chose a four-year stream instead of CO-OP.

QUESTIONS

JUICY

2

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

My advice for high school students is to really research and understand what health studies actually is. A few people in my first year ended up switching out purely because they had a lot of misconceptions about the program and what they would be learning. Health studies is not a purely science course and I personally love that but for others it may not work. The UWaterloo website for health studies has all the information about the program and there are a lot of other great resources to try and get a feel for what the program is truly like. Personally, I don’t really have anything truly negative to say about Health Studies at Waterloo, I have had a great couple of years and have learnt so much already. Don’t be intimidated to apply, it can be a challenging course at times but there are so many resources to support you throughout your degree.

4

What is the class environment like? How often are collaborative work or group presentations required?

The class environment really differs depending on what the subject is and the professor. I have found that my science courses are typically less collaborative but this is generally because the class sizes are quite large. I have also had classes where the professors really value collaborative work so every class would include some form of group discussion or a small activity to submit. There are also tutorials which go together with some lectures. Tutorials are around twenty people and here is where you get the opportunity to do presentations and group work and also have a more one-on-one approach with teaching assistants. There are also health seminars which are much smaller and these are classes that definitely require active participation but they can be really enjoyable if you choose a topic you are interested in. Overall most of my classes and lectures have been a very positive and welcoming experience, everyone is super friendly and helpful so I have found there is a fair amount of general collaboration between students in my program.

5

What’s the biggest change from high school to university/college work and classes?

I think the biggest change from high school is certainly the work-load but also the complexity of material you actually learn. For me personally, I love that each year or class gets a little bit harder just because I feel like I am really being pushed academically to actually learn and gain the most from my time in university. The class sizes are definitely a lot larger, especially in your first couple of years which can be slightly intimidating but most professors are super accessible and open to personal meetings and conversations. Another big change from high school is that in general there is just a lot more content to consume. The semesters are quite condensed so it can feel like you are constantly studying and learning as much as possible in just three months. However, it doesn’t take long to get used to, once you find your routine and figure out your study habits the work-load is a lot more manageable.

A very special thank you to our interviewee...

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SAFAA YASEEN

Hello everyone! My name is Safaa I am in my 3 rd year at UW, studying Health Studies with a minor in gerontology. I am quite passionate about public health and neuroscience in the context of the aging population. In my free time I like to paint or draw or learn about skincare. Feel free to message me on Instagram (@safaaayaseen) if you have any questions about Health Studies or UWaterloo in general!

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