It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

This one’s for all of you high school seniors out there! I’m not referring to Christmas in the title, but rather the opening of applications and open house season!

Here I am complaining about the stress of midterms (they ended up going alright, by the way!), while I almost forgot about what an exciting, and maybe stressful time this is for those of you applying to university. I remember how excited I was to get my OUAC pin and submit my applications. However, I also found it kind of difficult to narrow down exactly which programs to apply to, and to compose the best supplementary applications that I could.

dont-panic

Here is a quick list of my advice for the application season:

  • Do your research: The internet is a great resource! Read about your potential programs, what you might do with that degree, the school itself, opportunities that you’re interested in, required courses and grades, etc. You may find it helpful to look at social media pages for the university and/or program as well. Tons of info for you about Waterloo can be found at https://uwaterloo.ca/find-out-more/. Engineering applicants may also like Prof. Bill Anderson’s blog, I found it very informative!
  • Check out Open Houses: Lots of universities will be hosting open houses this month (ours is this Saturday!! More info here.) These days are a great way to check out campus and talk face-to-face with students and faculty. Can’t make it to open house? You can also book a campus tour, or participate in a shadow day, depending on your faculty.
  • It’s okay to brag: Supplementary applications (such as Waterloo’s Admission Information Form) are your chance to talk about yourself. Tell them what makes you stand out, your passions, things you’re involved with, your goals. Set aside plenty of time and have people proofread your applications. It’s worth the effort!
  • Take deep breaths: Trust me, I know it can be a stressful time. Try to focus on the excitement! Keep working hard, but don’t forget to have fun and enjoy the rest of high school. Before you know it, you’ll be on a whole new adventure. There are many resources to help you on your way.

Feel free to comment or message the blog anytime if you have any questions! Good luck!

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Getting Involved in University

Hello all! The first three weeks of classes have been great. Some courses are challenging, but they’re all interesting! I have been very busy, not just due to classes but because there’s just so much to do on campus. During the second week of classes, the Student Life Centre (SLC) hosted Campus Life Fair and Clubs Fair. These were great occasions to learn about everything going on around campus

Clubs Fair reminded me of Pitch Perfect
Clubs Fair reminded me of Pitch Perfect. There are several a cappella groups at UW!

Most teams and clubs will hold open practices or meetings during the first few weeks of term, so you can try everything that interests you without deciding to commit right away. As we’ve been told in any academic situation, it’s important to get involved outside of class. At university, I’ve found that joining teams is a great way to meet first years and upper years. Also, doing something that you like is rewarding and a nice break from assignments.

So far this term I’ve joined Quizbowl, Concert Band, and the Engineering Ambassadors. I’m really enjoying it so far! These groups occupy about 5 hours of my week, which I find manageable.

A list of the clubs available at Waterloo can be found here. Don’t see one you like? You can always form your own with the help of Feds, our student union. Tell me in the comments or a message what you’re involved in at high school or uni, or what you hope to join in the future! 🙂

Tips on packing for university

When it comes to packing, I have a procrastination problem. I mean, it’s not that bad. Everything will be packed at least 12 hours before I have to leave, but seeing that most of my friends have nearly finished packing (or have already moved out!) makes me feel a bit behind. 

PACKING DO’S AND DON’TS

  • DO clean your room before attempting to pack. A clean room is a blank canvas. It makes packing easier since everything is put away, and there is more floor space on which to place all of the things you will pack.
  • DON’T overbook the week before moving. Try to schedule some blocks of free time for shopping, organizing and packing. I wish I had realized this sooner. My week will be spent working at my summer job, unpacking from my vacation, and attempting to see all of my friends and family before leaving. My advice: prioritize friends, family, and packing. If you have free time left over, relax.
  • DO make a checklist. I’ll be living with three roommates. We have found it very useful to use a spreadsheet to organize everything we needed and who is bringing it. This way, we won’t show up with four toasters, and between the four of us, we’re unlikely to forget anything crucial. Even if you don’t have a roommate, make yourself a packing checklist and have someone go over it with you to see if you’ve forgotten anything. Waterloo Residences provides some pretty good lists that could be a good base.packingwizard
  • DON’T forget symbols of home. Regardless of what defines home for you, bring something along that makes you smile and reminds you of the people who support you. I’m bringing pictures of my dog (and the rest of my family), my stuffed moose, and my concert ticket stub collection. However, don’t forget to leave room for the new memories. Before we know it, Waterloo will be a second home, and there will be plenty of photos of new friends to cover your walls.
  • DO get pumped! Packing becomes very fun as soon as you add some music. Moving out is a super scary but extremely exciting time, so embrace these emotions and have fun with it.
  • DON’T stress (too much). My main concern right now is forgetting something important. I’m excited to start school, not as nervous as I maybe should be. Hopefully I can take my own advice and stress very little for the next week. Everything will be fine. Everyone will be in the same boat and willing to help each other. I would love to hear your packing stories or tips in the comments! Enjoy the last week of vacation, and happy packing!
One week until move-in!
One week until move-in!