An inside look at being a SAF student within the UWaterloo community

Advice for grade 12 students who are nervous about starting university.

nicholasHi, I’m Nicholas Bentvelsen and I began my university journey in AFM this September. I have a story for all of you undergraduate and prospective students. The current pandemic left me with a lot of questions about how my university experience would unveil. Filled with butterflies, I couldn’t stop thinking about all the ways my undergrad could go wrong. I had never taken 5 university courses before, what if I couldn’t handle it? I never had a full online semester of school before, what if I couldn’t handle it? I had never lived away from home before, what if I couldn’t handle it? All of my worries revolved around my lack of self-confidence that I had what it took to pursue a degree. What I found was that the Waterloo community brings you up, elevating your potential to the level that inspires and promotes success in all aspects of life. I received advice from upper year students both in and out of my program and I connected virtually with other first years who all felt equally terrified of what’s to come.

University is a very unique experience, but the supportive community taught me to embrace it rather than fear it. Once I learned that I wasn’t alone and I had so many people I could count on to support me, I flourished, and so will you. The UWaterloo community is diverse, brilliant, and kind. They’ve experienced the highest highs and the lowest lows, and best of all, they have your back. University is a time for experiential learning, and there’s so many experiences to endure with your fellow students, professors, TA’s and more. The best thing you can do is to always remember that you aren’t alone; you have an entire army of Waterloo Warriors behind you every step of the way.

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