Getting into a routine and Life on Campus

By Modinat Tijani, Queen’s University, Canada

After completing O-week (orientation week), it was time to brace for Queens University academically and my timetable was pretty intense compared to my friends’. I had to get used to the complete change in assessment methods, where there are assignments, midterms, and finals. Coming from UoM Chemistry, where most of my modules were 100% exams based, it did take a lot to get used to. I see the benefits to both having regular assignments vs having 100% exams. Being in the labs felt different compared to the ones in Manchester.

Honestly at first I struggled with the workload, mostly because I wasn’t used to the sheer amount assignments that we were getting. Plus the unfamiliarity of grading and a whole bunch of stuff. I did ‘badly’ on an assignment and I went to the IPO and they were really great with me and kind of just reassured me that everything was fine. My visit to the IPO was amazing, one professor in particular (shout out to Dr Margaret from the IPO) was extremely reassuring and we just had a long talk in her office. If you’re ever going through anything just go to the IPO and ask for help! Plus, Queen’s has free counselling for students.

I had a very packed schedule compared to my friends but not that much different compared to University of Manchester because we have labs and those tend to take up quite a lot of contact hours. I had an 8:30 everyday which was absolutely grim because I don’t live on campus. I was taking four courses one of which was a full lab course and they were all level 300 courses. I had 2 lab sessions per week on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

My fall semester timetable

I think they messed up the schedule because I had classes from 8:30 to 2:30 straight, with no break at all. It definitely took some getting used to. Classes themselves were pretty standard and most of my professors were pretty approachable so were the Teaching assistants (TAs). The labs however were quite intense because after every experiment there was a full lab report expected to be done within a week. You have one lab partner and my partner was not good with deadlines at all and it kind of showed the problem is with having to rely on one person. There was a whole fiasco which I won’t get into but I basically had to do all of my lab reports by myself for the whole semester (lab reports which are meant for two people). The TAs and the lab coordinator were super understanding and gave me a lot of time to complete them.

Douglas Library
Lab Experiment, making a solvatochromatic dye (MOED)

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