My first semester at the University of Ottawa

Winter 2014

Charles Nellis

Schulich Leader at University of Ottawa

If I had to summarize my first semester at the University of Ottawa in one word, it would be busy. Although I didn’t feel a big shock or a need for adjustment when I became independent, living by myself, the studies kept me busy 7 days a week, six of them being with classes (yes, I had a computer programming laboratory every Saturday morning). The courses where very interesting although it was for the most part a review of the secondary school material. I managed to do all of my exams and projects without much difficulties, although it required hours and hours and hours of non-stop work and study.

            My first semester was also full of new experiences, with an academic fraud case coming from one of our French group members that I had to manage. In addition, I got involved with the Young Liberals of Canada Club and more specifically the Francophone Affairs Committee on our campus, pursuing my involvement with the Liberal Party that I started a couple of years ago. Being the only student in the club studying science, I try to convince my friends at the Faculty of Engineering that there is other things in life than engineering and partying but it’s really hard to get the message through. I am also involved with the Francophone Catholic Student Association as well as the Green Representatives in residences Club where we try educate our residents about how to properly recycle and compost and believe me, although it seems very simple, it’s isn’t easy at all, at least for the other residents.

            When I arrived in Ottawa in late August, I had plans to visit all the museums and historic sites. Unfortunately, almost all I was able to see where the historic houses between my residence in Sandy Hill/Lower Town neighbourhood and the University (15 - 20 minute walk). At first, I also wanted to get involved with a professor and maybe help him in his research but the lack of time has refrained me from doing that also but I will for sure try to do that in the upcoming years.

            Overall, although very busy and demanding, my first semester at the University has been an enriching experience and I even if I’m very happy to have a couple weeks off. I will be more than ready to get back in the classroom in January.