So I had a fantastic day today at March Break Open House. I really love the opportunity to meet potential students and tell them all about what life at Brescia is like. If you are one of those students, you made my day!
I know that thinking about university can be exciting, but also confusing and overwhelming at times. Going on a tour can really help: it can help you SEE yourself there- which can ease some of those feelings of fear and uncertainty!
Today I was lucky to answer a lot of great questions about university. Since some of these questions came up often, I thought I’d post a few of them here. Enjoy. :)
What ways can you get involved at Brescia and Main Campus?
There are SO many ways to get involved at Brescia and at Western- you just have to look. As a Brescia student, you get “the best of both worlds”: access to all of Western’s facilities and programming, as well as the unique programs and support available at Brescia.
Checking out this blog will show you some of the activities I have been involved in during my time here (Clubs, a Resident Assistant, Girls LEAD Camp, Students’ Council, Off Campus Council, O Week, Leadership Certificate, the Mentor Program, the Sophia Series, and more). Some of the main sources for programming and events are Students’ Council , Student Services, and main campus Clubs. Different faculties and departments also have many of their own programs, events, and extracurriculars you can check out.
What is the food situation like at Brescia?
Brescia’s Food Services are now “in house”- that means that we don’t contract out to a big catering company. A lot of Brescia students are concerned about eating both nutritious AND delicious food (Foods & Nutrition is one of our biggest programs!). Brescia’s Food Services work hard to provide food that students will like, and they have tons of options including daily hot features, vegetarian meals, a salad bar, a sandwich bar, pizza, items to go (like sushi and premade sandwiches), and a Starbucks coffee bar.
What is going to a women’s college really like?
Like ANY experience, going to a women’s college is a little different for everyone. However, I think there are some stereotypes about women’s college that aren’t true. Here are a couple things that I have NOT experienced at Brescia:
- Never seeing any guys. There are guys in classes, male professors, and you can get involved in the wider Western community, which is co-ed of course!
- Having to deal with a lot of “drama”. If anything, I have found LESS drama with the girls at Brescia than in other places. Women that choose to go to Brescia are often very friendly, school focussed, and interesting people.
What I have experienced is an environment where women are comfortable to be themselves, take risks, and build relationships. At Brescia, almost all of the student leader positions are filled by women, so there are tons of ways to get involved that are not intimidating. Also, in the classroom, I have heard that many girls say they are more comfortable participating in a more ‘women-friendly’ environment.
What supports are there for students academically and personally?
At Brescia, I honestly feel that people want you to succeed. They do everything possible to help you get the support you need: be it health-related, interpersonal, or academic. Some of support available includes a Chaplain who supports students of all different faiths, the Student Services department, the Library, the Writing and Math Help Centers, Academic Advisors, and more. Brescia students also have access to services on Main Campus such as career services and student health (full walk in clinic and doctor’s office).
Also, professors are a fantastic resource and support. They really love their jobs and are always available to consult with students, in class, in their “office hours”, or by appointment.
How many hours of class do you have? What is the workload like? Is it really different from high school?
Please don’t believe the myth that “your marks will drop an automatic 10%” from high school. There are lots of factors that might influence grade changes from high school to university, but it is not automatically “way harder”- just a little different. Now you call teachers “professors”, classes might be called “lectures” or “seminars”, and tests might be called “exams” (which are not necessarily harder than the high school kind!).
What IS a change for many students is the way classes are laid out and the way your academics are structured. You usually only have about 15 hours of class a week, which is a drop from the 25+ hours you might have had in high school! The difference is that now YOU are responsible for coming to class prepared, reviewing your material, and structuring you time so that you can learn everything that you need to write your exams. However, if you keep on top of things and really use the supports available to you, success is completely achievable!
Do I really have to know what I want to do with my life right now?
My answer: NO! I went to university thinking that I wanted to do law, business, french, or music. I ended up in psychology! You don’t have to come to university with a 20 year plan.
However, what I WOULD recommend is really using your time at university to explore what you think you might want to do in the long term. I found that thinking ahead to the future and planning my courses and extracurriculars really helped me in the long run. Even though I didn’t know I would end up in psychology, I did know that I was interested in people, in kids, and that I might want to try politics, business, etc. So I signed up for classes and opportunities to help me explore these options. I also really looked ahead and planned my degree carefully so that I would have course requirements met for programs I might be interested in in the future.
These are just a few of the questions I had today: I know there are tons more. If you go to the “Your Questions” section on the right side of the page, you can leave me questions (anonymously if you want), and I am more than happy to answer them in future posts!
Also, don’t forget to check out the Brescia website, or, if you want, come for an individualized tour!
Hope this helps. Good luck with your university decision!