Why I'm studying Mathematics at Waterloo

A Waterloo Math student, Clare, holding a selfie stick and smiling at the camera
Clare Written by Clare (she/her), student

I chose the University of Waterloo because I wanted to study math, and I believed that Waterloo was (and still is!) the best school in Canada for math, simple as that. What I wasn’t really expecting was to fall in love with the new community I found myself in.

A bumpy start

As many people do, I found myself on my first day in my new residence questioning my decisions. I wondered if I was even cut out for university, if I made the right choice, if I put enough research into my decisions.

I worried that my high school friends would forget all about me. I was concerned about studying math. Would I just be staring at numbers for five years straight? Would I hate it?

Female student filiming a vlog

Looking back

Nearly two years later, I can look back on my first day and smile. I can remember meeting my now-roommates and friends for the first time, soon after that first day. I look forward to calling my high school friends now and telling them about all my new adventures and hearing their news.

I can go to club meetings and think about how I am exploring passions I didn’t even know I had, and making friends from places I had never even heard of. In high school, I found it was common for people to complain about math class, rather than speak of enjoying it. For this reason, although I liked math in high school, I wasn't able to appreciate it like I do at university.

Since there's an entire faculty devoted to math at Waterloo (the only one in North America!), I find there isn't any of the same negative culture surrounding math that's often present in high school.

Students studying together.

I like the fun events that the Faculty of Mathematics puts on. There are board game nights that are very popular — on a few occasions I've unknowingly walked into one and witnessed friends excited over a piece of cardboard on the table.

Also, my two favourite days on campus are Pi Day (March 14), where pie is served, and Pi Approximation Day (July 22nd, get it?) where you can grab a slice of cake in the MC building.

Waterloo gave me the chance to discover and learn new things and meet people that share the same passions as I do. It's a whole world of possibilities.

Where am I now? 

Now that it’s been almost three years since I submitted my application to Math at Waterloo, I can thank myself for making the right choice. I enjoy learning more about math than I ever thought possible, and studying with my math-minded peers. 

I am excited to learn more about the endless world of mathematics, and do it with friends by my side.

Students hanging out in a restaurant.


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