I look forward to every new day!

Winter 2012

Michael Kourlas

Schulich Leader at McGill University

My first two months at McGill University have been fantastic. I love the unprecedented level of freedom, the fascinating academic programs, and the amazing extracurricular opportunities that come with university life.

For the first time ever, I am living an almost completely independent life. It is a remarkable experience. I live alone in residence, which is quite a change for me. As someone with three younger siblings, I often had difficulty finding a quiet place to study. I now plan my own schedule, meaning I decide when I eat, sleep, work and play. Of course, additional freedom brings with it additional responsibility. For instance, I now have to worry about housekeeping, grocery shopping and, of course, getting to class on time. Still, I wouldn’t give it up for anything in the world.

Several of my classes are very interesting. Thanks to the transfer credit I received for my International Baccalaureate courses from high school, I’ve been able to jump right into the more interesting classes in my electrical engineering program, such as an introductory course in computer engineering. I’ve also been able to balance the many engineering and math courses with a couple of interesting humanities classes, like law. However, the learning environment is very different from that of high school. The large class sizes make it more difficult to develop a relationship with my professors, and quizzes and tests are more challenging but nevertheless contribute significantly to our final grade. Thankfully, my high school education has thoroughly prepared me for this level of academic difficulty.

I am amazed at the sheer number of extracurricular activities available at McGill. I’ve already become involved with a number of campus clubs, including: Conservative McGill, the official arm of the Conservative Party of Canada at McGill, the Newman Centre, the chaplaincy to Roman Catholic students at McGill; Choose Life, the local campus pro-life group; IRSAM, the McGill international relations club; and the McGill chess club. I also participated in IEEExtreme 6.0, a 24-hour programming competition with over 1900 participating teams. My partner and I did very well, coming 8th in Canada and 75th in the world.

University has been an amazing experience thus far. I look forward to every new day!