2015 Resolution - Getting to know University

Posted: January 01, 2016

One of my resolutions for 2015 was to spend my first semester learning the ropes at Laurier. For those of you who don't know, I recently finished my first semester of a five year Double Degree program in Mathematics and Business at both Wilfrid Laurier University as well as the University of Waterloo.

Going into the program, I had absolutely no idea what the requirements and obligations would be like. For that reason, I decided to spend my first semester focusing solely on the academics. Aside from joining the residence soccer team (we ended up coming in 2nd out of 12 residences!), I did not join any clubs or take part in any other extra-curriculars.

Looking back, although my high school tried their best to prepare me, there were still many adjustments that I had to make on my own. Right away I felt the increase in responsibility. There was no one to remind me to do my laundry, no one to tell me when my assignments were due, and no one to tell me when to eat! I like to think that I was lucky in this regard - I didn't find it too difficult to manage everything that had to be done. It took a few weeks, but I eventually settled on a system using Google Calendar to keep myself organized.

Being in a math based program, all three of the courses that I was taking at the University of Waterloo had weekly assignments. Although these assignments weren't worth very much individually - there were about 10 of them which made up about 10% of my total grade - doing them properly was so important when it came to midterms and finals. In my two math courses, my grade was made up of roughly 10% from my assignments, 30% from my midterm, and 60% from my final. As you can see, performing well on both the midterm and final was key.

My first midterm grades were lower than I expected. Although I knew the material, I wasn't yet used to writing university exams. I wasn't used to writing down not only every step in my answer but also why I was making those steps - all so that the marker could look at my paper and see that, yes, I did know what I was doing. Thankfully, after learning from this, I was able to more clearly express my thoughts on my finals and I ended the semester on a high note academically. 

I was also able to take part in a few activities that my residence floor organized. Throughout the semester, we went apple picking (to a farm that had no apples - that's another story!) and we also went to SkyZone. Both of these were very fun trips that allowed us to better connect as a floor. KSR 5 South is full of great people, and I'm very glad to be a part of that.

As I mention on my resolutions page, one my resolutions for 2016 is to spend semester 2 getting more involved in everything that Laurier has to offer. I think I did well in spending my first semester getting the hang of everything, and I hope semester 2 can be even better!

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