My name is Iris and I am in my third year of Mechanical Engineering. I’m passionate about health and fitness, fashion, travel, the arts, nature and sustainability. In my free time, I like to go thrift shopping and relax with my friends.
How would you describe your program to someone who knows nothing about it?
Mechanical Engineering is all about learning basic physical and mathematical principles and applying them to design mechanical systems. But, what do I mean by “mechanical”? In simple terms, mechanical just means anything that’s moving, from air, to machines to your own body.
What is your favourite thing about your program?
My favourite thing about my program is how the students support each other. I’ve gotten help countless times from classmates that I had never talked to prior to asking them a question. Everyone is willing to help each other with everything from confusing homework problems to long lab reports and everything in between! Upper years are also very approachable, and are more than willing to give a helping hand to younger students.
What is your favourite thing about Ryerson?
My favourite thing about Ryerson is its diverse student body. It’s diverse in the typical sense; students come from a wide range of cultures, religions and sexual orientations. It’s also diverse in terms of personal presentation and style – there is no one universal style or trend that everyone follows. Students find their own personal niches and styles, and aren’t afraid to express themselves.
What has been your greatest accomplishment so far in your program?
Recently, I was elected as the 2020-2021 mechanical director for the Ryerson Engineering Student Society. I will be responsible for representing all mechanical engineering students at Ryerson by providing them with enrichment opportunities, advocating for their interests and resolving their issues.
What has been your favourite class that you’ve taken?
It’s impossible for me to choose just one! So far, my favourites have been Materials Science, Introduction to Engineering Design, Statics, Dynamics, and Basic Thermodynamics. I love learning about the behaviour of matter, and I tend to apply what I’ve learned in class to my interactions in everyday life. You can find a full list of the program courses in the undergraduate calendar.
Has your perception of your program changed from the beginning of the first year to now?
The biggest change in my perception is of engineering student culture. Going into the first year, I, like most students, had no idea of what engineering culture was like. Frankly, I didn’t expect much; I thought engineering students just studied all the time. Turns out, we’re actually a rambunctious type and love to have fun. I don’t want to give too much away, but it all starts with purpling during frosh week and continues throughout the whole year.
My perception of professors has also changed drastically. Going into university, I thought all professors (especially engineering professors!), would be extremely serious and unfriendly. In reality, that initial thought couldn’t be farther from the truth. Of course, my professors are still professional, but they’re actually very approachable and some will even joke around in class.
What is your advice for future students in your program?
It’s a lot of work, but it you’re interested and love what you’re learning, then it’s doable and isn’t too difficult. That being said, it isn’t easy, it still is challenging and difficult. But, you’ll enjoy it and will learn important time management and self-regulation skills.
Speaking of time management, be sure to use a physical or digital agenda for deadlines and tasks you want to accomplish every day. This will clear your mind and you’ll be more productive and efficient.
From a social standpoint, make sure you put yourself out there and talk to your fellow froshees during frosh week and peers throughout your degree. Having a good group of friends really helps you de-stress and can help you with your studies.
Always push yourself to try new things and expand your technical skillset. This will not only help you find your interests, but it will also be useful for future interviews and internships. For example, this year I attended two conferences and fell in love with the whole experience. I learned not only technical material but also how to network and how to conduct myself in such settings.
Finally, when you need help, ask for it! You are not a burden for wanting to further your understanding and help your learning. Go to your professors’ office hours, organize group study sessions with your friends and visit the Student Learning Support‘s website for additional help.