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FAQs About University and First Year: One Student’s Point of View

I had the absolute BEST time working at the Ontario Universities’ Fair a few weeks ago.  I got to brag about Ryerson for eight hours straight every day, speak to prospective students, and answer questions about different faculties and programs.  Throughout the weekend, I noticed that no matter who I was talking to, the same five questions kept popping up.  So here are my personal answers (and perhaps advice) to those questions.

Q: What is the application process like? 

A: Unlike the movies, the process of applying isn’t THAT intimidating! As far as I remember, it was pretty quick and simple. Visit: http://www.ryerson.ca/undergraduate/admission/apply.html for instructions on how to apply. After you complete all the required steps, you just have to wait patiently until that one day when you see the word “accepted” under your first choice university (which is obviously Ryerson). From there, you can do a lil happy dance, and breathe a sigh of relief.  Just remember to maintain your grades and meet the requirements all the way up until graduation!!!

Q: How is commuting? 

A: It has its perks and its drawbacks.  I save tons of money, and I love coming home and seeing my mommy every day.  However, commuting can be a pain, especially when there are events happening late at night.  Students who live on campus or downtown can retreat to their apartments to complete homework, nap, or relax comfortably, but it can be much more difficult for commuters to be productive while waiting for something to start at 9 or 10 pm.  As a result, many of us do not participate in activities and events due to inconvenience.  However, it is really important if you are planning to commute, to force yourself to get involved–even if it means getting home later–because it really helps enhance your university experience. 

Q: How much harder is first year than high school?

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Sometimes you’ll be like this…

And sometimes you’ll be like this. It’s normal.

A: This question does not have a universal answer.  As a Faculty of Communication and Design student, my experience with the workload is much different than say, those in Engineering.  But regardless of the program you choose, try your best this year to improve your studying, prioritizing, and time management skills, as well as doing your best in the subjects required for program acceptance.   Not only does the level of difficulty depend on your program, it also depends on your high school, and your existing work ethic.  Furthermore, the content of what you are learning should be interesting to you, thus making it a little bit easier to complete assignments or do homework (I hope!).  All in all, one of the most accurate quotes I’ve heard about university is “never have I had so much work to do, but with so much time to do it”.

Q: How do you like going to school downtown? 

A: I LOVE IT!  Being in the centre of the most populated city in Canada and always having something to do and/or see is tons of fun!  In addition, there are plenty of internship and career opportunities because many company headquarters are located downtown.  Toronto just has so much diversity and excitement, and I can’t imagine going to school anywhere else.

Q: Does Ryerson offer internship or study abroad opportunities? 

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Making industry connections like

A: You betcha!  Every faculty offers exchange opportunities.  This means you pay tuition to Ryerson, but get to complete some of your studies in another part of the world!  Also, many programs have work placements and internship experience built into their degrees, and in some cases, you even can do this abroad!  Placement allows students to work in their industry, network and build contacts, and add the experience to their resumés.  In today’s world, field experience really gives you a leg-up when you’re trying to find a job after graduation!

Overall, first year and university in general is SO much fun if you do a little bit of research, work hard, choose the right school and program, and consider the options that work best for you.

What questions do you have about university?