Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Farewell to First Year: How I Survived Engineering 1

It's hard to believe that only eight months ago I was being greeted by Welcome Week reps for the first time. I had never entered the engineering 'BLUE' lounge before and had never lived in residence; I hadn't spent more than a few hours on campus at all! But here I am, a first year, getting ready to complete my finals, move into a house and prepare to enter level two in the engineering discipline of my choice. It can be a stressful and scary time, but looking back on my experiences so far makes me feel fantastic about how I spent my first year here at McMaster University.

Vanessa - in pink - at the Fireball Formal
Ever since Welcome Week, the upper year engineers have been nothing but kind and welcoming! They helped me to find my place and feel at home very quickly. First semester for me was all about hitting the books and figuring out how to adapt to the academic side of things. But once I started going out to more events that the faculty was hosting, I began to really feel like a part of the community...a part of the 'Mac Eng' family.

Daniella & Vanessa volunteering
Some of my favourite memories from Engineering 1 would be getting to wear my prom dress again at the Fireball formal, giving back to the neighbourhood by helping to clean up Westdale, laughing my butt off at all of the jokes in the Engineering Musical and wearing a pink baby onesie for 5 days straight in my successful attempt to earn a Redsuit.

I originally decided to attend Mac because everytime that I visited, I felt this really strong sense of belonging between all of the people that I met. As a grade 12 student, I desperately wanted to know that feeling for myself. And now, I can confidently say that the way to get to that point is to seize the numerous opportunities to get involved and put yourself out there as often as you can. It may be scary at first. I sure felt that way at the beginning of the year - but now I get to look back on my first year and be proud of everything that I have accomplished.

 To all of our high school followers, I hope that you get to enjoy your first year of university like I did. And if you end up at Mac one day, I hope I get to meet you! ~ Vanessa

The Redsuits help clean up the local community - Westdale

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A tradition continues during exams: fun yet...salty?!

Well, it’s that time of year again…final EXAMS.

Although you may shudder at the thought of writing 4 to 6 three-hour exams in the span of two weeks, exam season is a very exciting time around campus. For example, McMaster's upper year engineering students will get together and hand out saltine crackers to the first years as they enter their exam sessions in order to calm their nerves and settle their stomachs.

It’s so much fun cheering them on and getting them pumped up to write their exams! And the University provides lots of support for students who need a little extra help. You can always visit the Student Success Centre or Student Wellness Centre for counselling, academic and peer support.

Check out some photos of all the goofy Redsuits in their element, handing out crackers. We all remember how it feels to be an 'Engineering I' student going through our first set of final exams. As you can see, our Redsuits are here to greet new students arriving in September, but they continue to welcome the new members of our Mac Eng community throughout the year. This is just one of the many established traditions we value and continue to bring to life! Check out our McMaster Engineering Society website page dedicated to our traditions.


Happy Thoughts...

With the end of exams comes the beginning of summer! The sun is shining and the weather is (finally) clearing up. I can tell you that makes it very difficult to study indoors.

However, I’ve got to power through and study for these last few exams in order to enjoy my summer. Then it’s nothing but fun and frolicking all summer long! Maybe I’ll have time to get some work done in there…

Hope everyone has an amazing summer.
Cheers! ~Genna