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! šŸ™‚

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Orientation Week!

Picture this: a week of long, sunny, carefree days. Learning at least 20 names a day that will take you another few days to retain. Cheering all the time. Eating free food. Always having something fun to do.

8066131Orientation week at Waterloo was a blast. Almost each day of last week, there was faculty programming during the day, followed by fun events for all first years at night. Engineering students were split into

Purpled! #EngPride
Purpled! #EngPride

colour groups (DARK GREEN BEST TEAM!) to compete in several events. My favourite part of the week was the activities to earn my yellow hardhat, a tradition for first-year engineers.

Events for all new students included Choose Your Own Adventure Night (one of the best nights to get free food all over campus, as my roommate and I did), World of Waterloo (a super fun self-guided tour of Uptown), Monte Carlo night, and Black and Gold Day.

The week was crazy busy, but definitely encouraged spirit for the school and my faculty, as well as meeting some really cool first years and upper years. I had more time to hang out with my roommates and find my way around campus, but very little time to call my parents. The start of class felt a bit too soon after such a jam-packed week, but hey, that’s university. Good luck this week!

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Black and Gold Day

Move-in Day!

I moved into rez yesterday! Of course, the “nicest” (ie: hottest) weekend of the year was while thousands of first years moved into Waterloo Housing. Despite the heat, it was a great day. I said goodbye to my parents after moving in and getting some groceries. Then I went to the SLC to pick up my student card and orientation package. (GO TEAM DARK GREEN!)

My room
My room

In the afternoon, our community met with our don for pizza then went to the Warrior Welcome. Warrior Welcome is like a high school pep rally, but ten times better. There’s a lot more spirit and cool guest speakers (like Heather Moyse!!). Next was Playfair, an extremely fun way to meet as many new friends as possible.

I’m feeling really happy here already. My roommates are great! The only negative comment on the experience so far is this heat wave! šŸ˜¦ Looking forward to O-Week! šŸ™‚

Uni Feels

The countdown is nearly done, T-2 days until I move to Waterloo and start university. Everything is just starting to sink in, so I am finally feeling excited! Yesterday was my one day off work this week so I spent it running around town for three different lunches or coffees with friends I won’t see for a while. Tears were shed as we said our goodbyes, but I know that they’re not forever. It’s a strange transition, from a highschooler living at home to an “adult” living in a new city with a lot more responsibility (eg: groceries, cooking). I think I’m saving all of the fear and excitement for a hilarious emotional episode next week. For now, what I lack in expression of feelings is made up for by my family and their Facebook posts.

Hank Green

At my last shift at the shoe store today, I wished a kid “Happy back to school!”. It just came out, and sounded weird at first, but now I’m liking it. So Happy Back to School, everyone! Good luck.

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.Ā 

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 ResidencesĀ 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!

Hi! I’m Emma.

Hello all and welcome to my blog! I’m very excited to share with you some stories of my first year experience. If you’re not yet in university, hopefully this is informative and provides some tips for the future. I’d be happy to answer any questions you may have. Another helpful source isĀ https://uwaterloo.ca/find-out-more/

Post-shadow day selfie
Post-shadow day selfie

I am starting my studies at Waterloo in Nanotechnology Engineering. I spent my last few years being UW’s ultimate fan girl, so you could say I’m pretty excited to be a Warrior.

Outside of academics, I love playing and listening to music. I play piano, percussion, and alto saxophone, and spend a lot of time listening to indie and rock. I hope to get involved with some of the music ensembles on campus, so I will hopefully write a post about them at a later date!

Enjoy the last week of summer vacation!