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From Ottawa to London: My Experience So Far

  • Kara Godkin
  • |
  • Nov 21, 2018
From Ottawa to London: My Experience So Far

Choosing Western 

In my final year of high school, I was so unsure of what I wanted to study, and where I wanted to attend, that I applied virtually everywhere. In the end, I decided to pursue a Kinesiology and Ivey HBA dual degree at Western. I chose Western because it did not limit me to just science or business, instead it let me explore both in depth. Ivey’s second-entry program supported my personal and academic growth by allowing me to gain diverse experiences from my first two years. The program made sense as I could adjust to the new academic expectations of university before entering the more demanding business program.

Coming from Ottawa

University is daunting enough, let alone being so far from my friends and family. Moving here from Ottawa, I felt like I was without a safety net and I was worried how well I would function without it. In hindsight, moving away from home was a great decision for my growing independence. I learned little things like how to plan my commute home, to big things like how to apply for professional jobs and positions. Living on my own, I was solely responsible for my meals, transportation, doctor’s appointments and more for the first time in my life. Leaving a familiar environment was scary, but if I had stayed closer to home, I would have never taken the steps I did to become increasingly self-sufficient and grow as an individual.

Getting Involved

I love a busy schedule. Between school, hockey practice, piano lessons, a variety of school teams and clubs, I was always on the go. In university you have significantly more free time than in high school to pursue your passions. I joined intramural hockey and volleyball, student council and volunteered at kinesiology student events. I found physical activity helped me deal with the stress of school and support my mental health during first year. Getting involved helped me make new friends, kept me from burning out while studying and fulfilled the breadth requirements for the AEO activity report. For many people, getting involved is also a way to combat the stress of moving away from home and increased academic expectations.

The variety of opportunities offered allows students to explore what they’re interested in and find something they enjoy. If you get involved in some aspect of Western student life, you will have no problem meeting new people and making friends. People at Western are always happy to talk and are there to support you and your university experience. Reach out to your friends, classmates, sophs, and professors for extra help or just a friendly face.

Take Risks

Choosing Ivey’s AEO status takes courage, as HBA is a second-entry program. You will have to trust yourself to meet the progression requirements in first and second year. It’s demanding, but an education and the opportunities from the Ivey Business School and Western are worth all the effort invested. Undergrad is something you likely only do once, so choosing the right place for you is important, whether or not it may be taking a risk. 

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