A Student's Perspective: Anna

Name: Anna Van der Wayden

Program: Environmental Sciences

Year: 1st

What seminar did you take and what was it about?

The name of my seminar was: Thinking Outside the Bottle: Working for Safe Drinking Water for Indigenous Communities in Canada. We focused on problems that Indigenous People of Canada face in relation of water, and we discussed the history of the relationship between government and First Nations (our main topic was Ontario). We talked about indigenous methods of research and worldviews, about types of water pollution, and about how to be an Ally.

How did it change the way you think?

FYS was a great experience and it was inspirational. It helped me to "survive" other more technical classes because I was learning about practical importance of my studying. Seminar helped me to understand that every aspect of our university experience is valuable because it builds up to something new.

What were your favourite aspects of the seminar?

FYS allowed us to build a personal relation with the instructor. I liked how everyone was encouraged to share their opinion and express their understanding. Seminar felt like a safe space where we could say and think the way we wanted. It was a nice break from "heavier" classes that I had to take at the same.

How do you think it will help shape the rest of your university career?

The seminar definitely facilitated transition to the university, and reminded the students that our voice matters. Personally, I think it helped me to remember what is important and why did I decided to come to the university. It sparkled new ideas in my head, and I know little bit better where I want my career to take me.

From more technical perspective, FYS improved my communication skills and presentation skills. With each presentation I felt more confident and more prepared, and that will help in my future university career.

Anything else to add?

I think FYS should be on the list of required courses in first year :)