So much to do in so little time

Fall 2013

Michelle Liu

Schulich Leader at University of Alberta

So much to do in so little time. Since coming to the University of Alberta in September, one thing is for sure: campus life will never be dull. There are your classes, the ones you choose to take because you are interested in them. Then there is the diverse range of student groups you want to join and interesting student events that you want to attend. This has all made my first semester a rewarding experience in several aspects, all making the start of university life an exciting one.
The enormous university campus is a huge contrast to the close community feeling of high school. This can be overwhelming, but exhilarating at the same time. The people here are welcoming and supportive, eager to help you in any way they can, as I experienced during Orientation week. There are more opportunities to connect with like-minded peers, become exposed to new perspectives, and explore your interests.
My courses have been interesting this fall, but have kept me very busy. Each has built upon the material I learned in high school, but have applied them to more real-life applications, providing context to the material I am learning especially in terms of engineering. One class that has been different for me is my Engineering Mechanics class. This course applied the skills learned in physics to static structures, such as the effect of different forces on a beam, offering a more hands-on approach to learning the material. It provided an opportunity to see what structural engineers did in real-life applications which is what I found exciting about this course. Throughout the first semester of my engineering program, I have gotten a taste of the specific types of disciplines in the engineering program that I can specialize in after first year. There are many interesting aspects of engineering that make this decision difficult. The biomedical specialization is particularly intere sting to me because it combines two subjects I am interested in, medicine and engineering.
The heavy course load this semester has meant a heavier focus into my academic studies. Between lectures and labs, homework and studying, there is not much time to do anything else. However, this has not taken away from the experience I have had at the university thus far. The new friends I have made and the opportunities the university presents have made it an enjoyable start to my undergraduate studies.