By Winnie Ong
1. Early morning classes
Finding the energy to excise yourself from your warm, cozy bed in the morning can be difficult for most students. With many science courses starting in the early hours of the morning it can be a struggle to get to class on time (or at all in some cases), especially if you’re more in touch with being a night owl than Western’s OWL webpage. You may ask yourself if that 8:30 calculus class is worth it. Perhaps you may even wonder: to orgo or to forgo, that is the question. There are some ways to get around the sluggishness you feel in the morning: going to bed an hour earlier the night before or grabbing a cup of coffee before class can really work wonders!
2. When you try to find a seat in class… But it becomes a game of thrones
Congratulations! You made the decision to get more scholar for your dollar! You made it to class! You open the doors to that lovely lecture hall and are ready to learn, when you realize that all the seats are taken. This can be the case if you are taking classes that are near capacity, or where students attend sections other than those they are registered in. The lecture hall becomes a free-for-all, where coats and bags mark occupied territory, and the room becomes a game of thrones. As for latecomers, kudos to you for braving the stares of your classmates as you clamber past them and settle down into your seat—just try not to step on anyone’s toes.
3. When your professor talks too quickly
When your professor says the same thing really quickly three times in a row. When your professor says the same thing really quickly three times in a row. When your professor says the same thing really quickly three times in a row. And you didn’t catch it the first time or the second time or the third time…
4. The line for the microwaves in Nat Sci
Trying to warm up your food can feel like an ETERNITY, especially if you’ve been studying non-stop or are on the cusp of a hangry meltdown. The line for the microwaves outside Taylor library doesn’t help to defuse the situation, with wait times reaching as long as 15 minutes (or more) during peak lunch hours. Microwave goodbye to that time you’ll never get back.
5. The notorious Nat Sci Timmies line
On the note of long wait times, the Natural Science Tim Hortons has been a complaint of many students who visit/have class in the building. Students line up in a snaking, single-file line that stretches from one entrance to the next, all to grab a little something to get them through the day. Although most food establishments have long wait times, this can be an issue when you have a class that starts in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1—uh oh, gotta run. Hopefully, you’ll find a seat.
6. Hours and hours of labs
When not in lecture, the majority of students are in a lab. Many labs are 3 hours in length, with some being upwards of 5 hours. Science students often take several courses with lab components, which can lead to many grueling hours spent in the lab. On top of that, many students work or volunteer in labs outside of class hours. After a while it can feel like you’re experiencing life through a test tube and that time is the ultimate limiting reagent.
7. Forgetting your lab coat
We’ve all been there or know a friend who has. You arrive at your lab with a few minutes to spare, having completed the pre-lab and are ready to tackle the task at hand, only to look in your bag and realize my lab coat isn’t here! The panic sets in and you wrack your brain for a solution. You calculate how much time you have to run home to grab it or if anyone you know might be able to lend you theirs. Just remember, if all else fails, you can check out a lab coat and/or goggles from Taylor library.
8. The lack of study spaces in Taylor Library during Midterm/Finals season
As the science library, Taylor is a popular study spot for many science students. However, Taylor Library can fill up quickly during exam season, with most seats being taken soon after it opens and making it a pain to find a seat. You’re one of the lucky ones if you can find a cubicle, or better yet, a whole table. But if you do find a study spot, you may find that it’s not so bad after all and Taylor may as well be known as “Tay bae”.
9. Plans for the summer/after undergrad
Figuring out what to do with your summer break can be agonizing. Although, most students agree that this is a much-deserved breather from taking a full year of courses, it can be difficult to plan for. Finding a research position can be headache for many science students simply due to the competition for a limited number of placements. Additionally, many students may be taking summer courses or studying for professional school admissions tests. Regardless of what you decide to pursue during the summer, or after undergrad, the possibilities are endless.
10. Mental Health
School can be stressful and overwhelming at times, especially when it comes to balancing the many aspects of your life. Remember to take care of yourself before anything else. Take time out of your day to do something you enjoy—whether that’s listening to your favourite songs, working out, or exploring a part of the city. If you find yourself needing someone to talk to, don’t be afraid to reach out to someone you trust. Additionally, there are many professionals you can contact to deal with mental health issue that provide free and confidential services 24/7 . For example, the Mental Health Helpline (1-866-531-2600) or the Canadian Mental Health Association which has a crisis centre located at 648 Huron St., London (519-433-2023 or 1-866-933-2023). There are many important issues in your life, but your mental health and well-being are the most important of them all.