HBA History / Concurrent Education
Toronto, ON

Lakehead is the right University for me because size matters. Being a smaller University, Lakehead offers a real sense of community wherein if you really want to get to know your Profs you can; there are often no more than 40-50 students in each class and sometimes less than 20 in your later years. These smaller class sizes offer so much: a superior learning experience (you're not watching a monitor or are without a seat), more debates and plenty of opportunities to get to know your classmates whom you'll bump into frequently throughout the week and who will eventually become your study partners and friends. I was also surprised of the beauty of the campus - who has a lake to skate on in the winter surrounded by beautiful evergreens as the Northern Ontario sun sets? I could've easily transferred to a bigger University down South but after my experience at Lakehead I didn't want to go anywhere else.

For a small University, the History program is fairly diverse and so are the Professors who teach them. I've learned more than I could have ever imagined. I love the passion of the Profs and more importantly the consistent attitude of the Professors in that for the most part they are very down to earth, approachable, passionate, available and sometimes quite funny. I think this really makes the difference, especially for someone like me who asks a million questions a year and when I say that I'm not joking. Usually students have a few Professors they greatly dislike for various reasons but I cannot think of one. The Administrative Assistant of the History Department (Gail Fikis) is perhaps the most welcoming. I don't think she knows how to not smile.

My advice to new students: Don't underestimate the workload, deadlines are closer than you think and try to always get ahead and prepare as much as possible because just when you think you're way ahead - you're not and then you can't imagine where you'd be had you not prepared yourself. Go to all the lectures or as many as you can because although you think it's not sinking in, it is. Ask your Professors questions inside and outside of the classroom - the more you understand what they're looking for, the better mark you will likely get and sometimes you may have had their requests completely mixed up so it's better to be safe than sorry. Get organized: this is the key. Buy one of those monthly calendars and mark all assignments / exams down so you can constantly be aware of how much time you have left.

Those being said, also remember that these will unquestionably be some of the best years of your life: make the most of it! Come out of your shell a bit more than you're used to, try new activities and you may find a new passion in your life, explore Thunder Bay - there's more than meets the eye (to quote The Transformers), hate the Winter? Embrace it! Go on winter bike rides, try skiing, snowboarding, ice fishing, dog sledding, skating and so on. Do as the locals do.