In The Media

My First Year of University has Almost Come to a Close

By William Kwan • Schulich Leader at University of Toronto
Spring 2013
William Kwan

After sitting through hundreds of hours of lectures and expanding my waistline by a few inches, my first year of university has almost come to a close. With finals looming, I’ll gladly take a break from studying to blog about my past year.

I came into undergrad not really knowing what I wanted to do. I had worked hard during high school do get good grades and add bullet points to my resume (not unlike many other diligent students), but these kinds of goals mean less and less to me as I become more absorbed in what I’m learning. Having stocked up on AP credits, I had the flexibility to take a diverse repertoire of courses, as I wasn’t tied down by prerequisites for any particular program. I eventually decided to pursue the specialist program in computer science, something I wouldn’t have fathomed a year ago when I took up programming as a hobby so I could develop my own Android apps.

Two highlights of my year helped me make this decision. This first was joining U of T’s development team. Working with four other developers, I helped build the Android app for the 2013 Canadian Undergraduate Technology Conference. This was my first experience working with a team on a major software project, and it introduced me to the common tools of trade.

The second highlight was placing second in the three-month long Enactus adVenture Business Plan Competition held at U of T, for which I built a prototype for an iPhone app that lets users produce multi-angle videos with their friends. In addition to making me a much better programmer, it made me realize how productive I can be sitting at Starbucks with my laptop, convinced that the watchful eyes of caffeine-fueled students will catch me if I start procrastinating.

So I should probably get back to organic chem.