University 1: An experience

So here we are. Within the next few days the Winter 2011 term will be officially behind us.

We will head off to exams and then into our four-month summer. As this was my first year at the University of Manitoba, I have a lot of reflecting to do. I have taken part in the somewhat praised and much criticized program called University 1 and am now set to shed the title of “first year” and continue my studies.

When looking back at University 1 and this past year in general, I realize that if I could go back and do it all over again I would take a vastly different approach. I can remember signing up for my courses, looking through the course catalogue and logging into Aurora Student for the first time. Throughout the whole process I hardly knew what I was doing. It was not until halfway through my second semester where I finally set myself some direction in how I would go about university after my first year.

I have never really been a big critic of the University 1 program, but after going through it in its entirety I can see the places where some improvements could be made. Taking a peek at the entrance applications, I see places where students could be a little more informed when making decisions.

But how would I rank the first experience overall? For the most part I enjoyed my first year at the University of Manitoba.

I did take some courses that bored me to death, but I also took some courses that intellectually stimulated and challenged me. Each professor was their own unique character with individual teaching methods and styles. After a few classes you adjust and manage to figure out how the rest of the year will proceed.

I also kept myself fairly busy outside of school this year with volunteer work, two part time jobs and a host of other responsibilities. Despite all that I still cannot complain. With my 20/20 hindsight, I could definitely correct a few decisions that were made and alter a few choices. But like I said, it was overall a good year.

So what to expect from next year? I am sure that it will be more of the same: class, profs and cold weather. But hey, I am not complaining. Attending university is just one rung on the ladder that I must climb to accomplish my life goals — ultimately, world domination.