Why did I choose Engineering at Queen’s?
My university decision began after long interviews with a career counselor who suggested a variety of career paths that seemed fit for me. As my counselor talked about each program, the engineering program caught my attention. Engineers apply science to real-world applications to solve problems and ultimately design the future of our world. My counselor recommended four programs and split them up into two tiers. Tier one was Waterloo and UofT engineering. He described these as easily the most recognizable and prestigious engineering programs in Canada. In tier two he placed Queens and McMaster engineering. I was only familiar with McMaster at the time because it is within 10 minutes of where I live. Queens was a school I have never heard of before. However, my career counselor expressed his love for the school both academically and socially as his daughter had attended the school. I immediately began research about these programs, almost obsessively trying to come to a decision. Time went on and I attended all of the schools’ open houses for engineering, except for Waterloo. My trip to Queens was by far the experience that stood out most to me. The campus was amazing and is located right on the water. Moreover, the students in engineering seemed to worship the program. They talked about it with incredible passion and enthusiasm.
Not long after, I discovered the close community Queens offered. I notice how proud the engineering students are to be a part of the Queens community. Anywhere on campus, you go, you will see engineering with their purple-dyed jackets symbolizing the pride of the program. I learned about countless traditions and events that made the program so tightly knit, most calling it a cult. After my visit, I knew Queens was going to be a top choice for me. As grade 12 rolled around, I applied and got accepted to Queens, McMaster, UofT, and Western Ivey, all for engineering.
Although my trip to Queens made me fall in love with the school and engineering program, the choice for me was still incredibly difficult. All the Universities and varying programs had their perks. McMaster was located close to home and the program had an amazing reputation and community. UofT was the top 10 school in the world and offers an incredible opportunity. Western gave me the opportunity of pursuing a dual degree with the Ivey business school. As well, this is seen as one of the top business programs in the country. However, in the end, Queens was my favorite school with an amazing engineering reputation and community. Queen’s engineering offers a common first-year to help decide your engineering discipline. This program also guarantees you the first choice in whatever engineering discipline you want to pursue. This is not offered by any other school and eliminates any competition within the program.
My Experience in Queen’s Engineering
This year has certainly been different and more difficult in terms of online education. Despite the transition to online school, Queens has offered me a great experience. I stayed at home for the first semester to help ease the transition to online school and heavy course content. Queens moved the computer programming class to the summer if you opted to have it during the first semester. They also split the semester into 2 halves. This meant that you do 2-3 courses at double the pace for the first half of the semester and then 2-3 different courses in the second half of the semester. So instead of having 7 classes to work on at a time, you can focus more intensely on 2-3 courses. For our second semester, we went back to the traditional 7 courses at a time, which has been significantly harder but is expected when studying engineering. I moved into a residence for the second semester which has helped me grow as a person. Moreover, moving into residence helped me meet a diverse group of people who I now call my friends. Overall, engineering is a collaborative program. Without the community at Queens, making it through the year would have been much more difficult. I believe that I have learned and grown a lot this past year because of this program.
Networking with Others
Your university experience here is what you make of it. Try and push your comfort zone and branch out to get an even better experience. Reach out to upper years, classmates, professors, or TA’s. Join a club or intramural teams to meet new people and have fun. I recommend you utilize your resources and seek help if you need it. Choosing this program will be a decision that will bring you so many great things, but ultimately you must make that experience your own