Name: Betsy Kung
Program of Study: Concurrent Teacher’s Education Program at OISE.
1. The college experience is often glamorized in movies and television. What has your actual experience been like so far?
My actual experience is far from how the media depicts it to be. This has actually made me feel like I wasn’t truly living the college experience. But as years went by I realized that everyone’s university experience is different because you should pursue and do what you’re comfortable with. From my personal experience, I can say university was more so academically focused. I still tried my best to hang out with my friends when I could, but I get so caught up in my own schedule I find myself doing things on my own most of the time.
2. As a successful academic student, what are some of your go-to study tips?
Pace yourself appropriately and set realistic subgoals. And sometimes if you’re getting really frustrated and just having a hard time going through some concepts, it’s okay to take a break and come back to it. Give yourself necessary breaks so that you don’t burn out!
3. You were a Residence Don at the Mississauga campus last year. How has being a Don contributed to your leadership skills and to your university experience as a whole?
Being a Don was the highlight of my university experience. It helped me build my leadership skills in many different ways. As a Don you’re leading a community of peers, and I really learned that leadership is less so about building standing in front of a group and leading them but more about being apart of the group and supporting them. I recommend those who are interested in being a Don to do so because you learn so much about yourself and it’s a great chance to develop different skills (e.g. leadership skills, collaboration skills, communication skills etc.). But most importantly, you become a part of the residence family and build so many connections that make the campus truly feel like home.
4. As a fifth year student with a mix of student life experience, if you could go back and be a first year student again, what would you do differently?
I wish I didn’t stress as much about my academics and made more friends in first year. At the time I thought I felt happy that I was making the grades, but the other aspects of my life started falling apart. I felt distant from my high school friends and made minimal effort making new friends. If I was a first year again, or am able to give my old self a tip, I would say balance. Balance every aspect of your life, they are all equally important.
5. What do you believe you’ll take away from your time at UofT?
I’m almost at the end of my undergraduate career and reflecting back on my 5 years at UofT, I’m going to be taking away lots of memories. Within these memories I’ve learned valuable lessons about myself, about the skills that I will be using in my future career as a teacher, and friends that I’ll be growing old with.