Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

Current Uni Students - Share Your Wisdom

Recommended Posts

To all current university students, do us high schoolers a favour and help us a little? :) Share about your university experience.

What's changed from high school in terms of academics and your social life? Is it more lax than IB or are you in some killer programme that's even tougher? Are you having the time of your lives or are you homesick?

Hehe, you guys don't have to answer all of the above questions, of course... but do share. Anything in regards to uni is fine, really. :P

Edited by greaterthaninfinity

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, when you wake up after frosh week, be ready to get down to work, because chances are, university will be alot harder, and alot more self-paced than IB. That being said, having this program is definitely going to prepre you for the courses you'll find in first year, even if you take rough courses.

I'm personally taking a double degree program in math business, and so far, math courses are alot different. You'll be doing less homework and more studying, and the homework you do get will take alot more time to do. That being said, I'm taking the two hardest 1st year math courses waterloo has to offer, and I'm still finding that IB has actually already taught me a good deal of the course content. So yes, in a class where you walk down and the person next to you was on the math olympiad team, IB still puts you ahead in a load of areas, by teaching alternative topics and proofs. Anyways, 'nuff about math. All my own courses are pretty intense, and to be honest, very similar in style to IB, due to the attitudes of profs and students, as well as the way they approach learning. You've got to self motivate, and stuff, but at this point, it becomes "another part" of your life, because due dates are set in stone, and fewer courses with fewer lectures gives you more time to remember. Also, use a calendar, on your phone or on your computer. The only thing that can really get you is forgetting.

As far as life goes, everyone tells you to expect a big lifestyle change (parents, teachers, etc.) but really they're all kinda wrong. They lived in a time where your friends weren't only a click away, and sure, it sucks to be removed from everyone, but when everyone you know is going through the same changes at the same time, it's easy to stay connected, and look forward to meeting up during winter break and stuff. Life on campus is a blast, as most people would say, though it's hard to say why. Probably because you're "free" almost 24/7 and your schedule is totally malleable. Nobody cares if you miss dinner, or come back in at 3 am to eat muffins before passing out in the common room till 10 am. (Not recommended)

Anyhow, best advice for someone still in IB: Get through IB, the grass is, indeed, greener on the other side =P

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm in second year of university now.

First year was a breeze compared to IB but second year is killing me T_T. Probably because I'm overloading this year and I'm taking 6 subjects each semester rather than the norm (5 courses/sem). Academically, first year was pretty easy, I ended up with a 3.89 GPA. Did way better my second semester compared to first because I was still adjusting/procrastinating and didn't study as hard as I could have in the first semester :P.

The reason second year is hard is just because of my program though, I'm in health sciences at Mac and have 4 simultaneous group projects going on right now..which means when I'm not in class/in the lab, I'm at a 5 hour group meeting. I get home around 6:30 after a full day of classes and then head out at 9pm for a group meeting to whenever we finish. Yeah, not fun. But if you're not in health sci then second year isn't so bad lol.

Currently my social life is suffering because of my studies but hopefully it'll get better second semester when I'm done with stupid biochemical inquiry (which is where most of my group projects come from). You really gotta be self motivated to force yourself to attend lectures, optional tutorials etc.

I'm not at all homesick, but that's because I go home usually twice a month. I miss my boyfriend and friends more than I miss my family, haha. But we all get together again during the breaks so it's good.

Edited by __inthemaking

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

University is all about being able to work within the paradox of always being open to new ideas and opinions (and you WILL encounter them, whether you like it or not) while being as determined as possible to stick to your goals without letting yourself get side-tracked. If you can find an area of study that you really enjoy, do well in, and are passionate about (and you still have time to decide--I was a science kid throughout IB, now I'm specializing in literature and philosophy) then it'll be much easier to balance both. My advice on that matter is don't worry if your program of interest doesn't seem to give you an immediate financial payoff--if you've performed well enough academically in undergrad, many different doors are open to you in professional or graduate school which will give you the technical competence you'll need.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The workload in university was actually larger in university than IB. However, it is still much easier because the exams are easier. While math HL in IB made the questions really tricky, if you know the material, you will at least get a B in the exam at Norwegian universities.

Even though I have no motivation to work now, because my grades doesn't even matter, and I have a lot of other stuff to do (I'm going to New Zealand)I still do fairly well. However, I think the pressure depends on what kind of university you attend. There is a difference from attending Cambridge, Manchester, or a Norwegian university.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Uk university experience:

I do very little work in uni. I realize this is because I'm in first year and am doing a BA in the UK, and first year grades don't count for your final degree grade (doesn't mean I don't try my hardest) but there honestly isn't very much work to do. I had one exam last semester for a module, and wrote 3 essays that were submitted 2 months apart. This semester I have slightly more work, but have 4 months to do it in. After writing an EE, having 3 essays all 3000 words long is nothing, especially since you have a lot more resources available to use for research thanks to the massive library and online databases.

What exactly do I do then? I have seminars each week which I read one chapter of a journal/book on the assigned reading list we have for each week. I make notes on this, which essentially means I can participate in discussions on that topic the next day in uni. I have lectures, which I go for depending on if I think they're redundant or not (having 300 French students in a lecture theatre listening to a woman tell us how to conjugate the present subjunctive is pointless). I have the luxury of technically not having to attend any lectures because there is no registration in any of mine (unlike in departments like medicine/other languages).

The rest of the time (i.e. most of it) is spent at home in my hall with friends, socializing, or going out. I only have 9 hours of classes a week, so obviously I have loads of free time. If you're a 2nd or 3rd year, or do a BSc then you have far less time to watch Skins than I do, because BA courses have a lot less contact hours and more individual work like essay-writing and presentations. My friend does Medical Sciences and has 2 lectures a week for each module, whereas I only have one and she also has 2 lab practicals a week. Then again, she pays about 5 times the fees I do, so she probably should have more time in university.

We have exams twice a year, this differs from Scotland I think where it's once a year. I haven't received my exam marks yet but I'm quite sure I didn't fail my modules and won't be doing resits in August.

N.B. I don't attend a **** university where no one ever does any work, nor do I attend an academia-obsessed place. I'm in a well-ranked university that's about 30th or so in the UK league table, and I would say my uni experience is average seeing as my ex-classmates from high school all have the same stories as me about how little work we have to do. 1st year is about finding your way around, getting used to uni expectations. We have it easy.

Edited by Vvi

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well I'm only in the first year, but I shall post up here anyway. A lot of it depends where you go, the subject you choose, and therefore how much you have to do. I have an average of 5-6 hours of lectures/practicals a day, for instance, but I know a lot of people have less.

There's quite a lot of self-teaching and you have to be prepared to put the effort in if you want the grades out, but actually I find it very refreshing to be able to seek the knowledge yourself and work independently because it means you control your own understanding as opposed to your understanding being controlled by a single simplified textbook and one teacher. If you do badly, it's your own fault, and if you do well, it's becuse you put the effort in. Academically it's much tougher because concepts are difficult AND volume is very intense. You're expected to learn the equivalent of a whole HL option topic, for instance, in a one hour lecture. On the other hand I'm not finding it so difficult because things are explained to such a level that there's less mindless memorising to be done :D After the IB tbh I don't think there's much about work which can depress/phase you. Anybody who's been through the IA/EE/TOK month of IB2 followed by epic revision for all their exams can safely say they've been through the toughest times.

My social life is waaayyyy better. I'm really enjoying myself! I've been able to join in with various clubs, societies and sports teams and just do things as and when I want to. Freeeedom! Obviously you can't do out and get completely hammered every night if you want to do well academically, but it's so liberating not having things in for the next day and to have more free time in the evenings etc. that you can at least make your own choices about these things. The structure of things here is that you can choose to attend or not attend as you want (depends on what you think will help you to learn). There's an exam at the end of each module, so every 5-7 weeks, so you just have to make sure you know everything by then if you intend to do well :P

To begin with I think I was a little homesick, but once you've made some good friends and settled in a bit, it soon passes.

Compared to the IB I can honestly say my life is beautiful :no: IB was so depressing and horrible I genuinely feel... I dunno, lighter! The big difference for me, besides the freedom, is that finally you can say you get out of something what you put into it (in my personal experience very unlike the IB). Also you will find many fellow Uni people of every sort with whom you can bitch about the IB. That part of it definitely was a country and culture crossing experience... xDD

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.