University ARGH!

It seems only natural that as high school winds down here that I start confronting my future studies. I’ve applied to several universities in Canada and have been trying to choose between two of them. Specifically I’m trying to decide between Computer Engineering at Queen’s University and Nanotechnology Engineering at University of Waterloo. Now let’s run these two options down.

Queen’s: Well I’ve been accepted to the engineering faculty with a $26,000 scholarship spread over four years. Essentially that’ll cover my tuition fees and I’ll have to fork over the rest. I’ve heard great things about the engineering program at Queen’s and have spoken with some staff there. It seems like a very nice school from what I’ve heard and seen. In addition one of my friends is also going to Queen’s. Although what my friends are doing probably shouldn’t influence where I go, it is a merit; I won’t arrive at university knowing absolutely no one.

Waterloo: Also accepted to the Nanotech Engineering program but with a smaller scholarship, more like $6000. In addition, the nanotech program is new this year and because of the nature of the program, tuition fees are approximately $12,000 per annum. That’s quite a bit more than at Queen’s. However to partially offset this, there’s a very good co-op program for engineering that will allow me to pay a portion of my university expenses. In any case, I don’t know of anyone else going to Waterloo from my area. People have talked highly of the school especially the computer/math department so that could be a bonus for my studies. However, I’ve also heard that Waterloo is quite academically based and campus life may be slightly lacking. Also the fact that the male:female ratio is also quite low is kind of a downer. I don’t feel like going to a sausage-fest for 5 years…

In any case, I’ve been leaning towards Queen’s. My mother on the other hand is adamant about going to Waterloo. She says the program is better, she tells me that other people say it’s better, etc. My parents will be shelling out some money for my studies and they say I’ll pay the same amount no matter where I go; they’ll make up the difference. While that seems like a good deal, I don’t especially want to put the added financial strain on them if I go to Waterloo. We’ve gotten into quite a few yelling matches where it seems like I don’t have too much to counter her. It’s almost as if I’m going to university for the wrong reasons; my friends and life outside of my studies. Perhaps I’m looking at this the completely wrong way and my mom’s right. I honestly don’t know and I’m quite torn. The real kicker is, I need to know what I’m doing pretty quickly since the universities are requiring me to put down deposits for dorms and whatnot soon.

In any case, anyone who reads this, please, leave a comment about what you think I should do. Am I wanting to go to Queen’s for the wrong reasons? Is Waterloo actually better? (in your opinion at least) Does co-op actually pay for much of the university costs? Is Queen’s campus life better than Waterloo’s? I’m especially interesting in hearing from those of you who have gone to either school.

Thanks a ton!



6 Replies to “University ARGH!”

  1. Hey there ho there. Ugly here. tough decision to make. If you want my opinion I’d say go where you want to go to. It makes things less complicated if you go somewhere you actually want to go to. It shouldn’t matter if you’ll know people or not because you’ll meet people soon enough. I don’t know much about either college so I can’t really comment on the campus life. Some people will say that it really isn’t important but I believe thats a big part of the college experience. I’m sure whichever place you go to will have some sort of campus life.

    GL and HF.

  2. i happen to feel more motivated in an environment where there r a few pretty girls around rather than almost all guys…so i’d pick Queen’s…but the choice is urs =)


  3. I’m a firm believer that you get out of college (or university) only as much as you put into it. If you decide to invest in your academics heavily, you’ll do that no matter where you go. If you pursue social aspects, you’ll do that, too. I’d pick based on where you felt you could learn the most–in class and otherwise.

    Just one Charlie lookin’ out for another. 😉


  4. Thanks guys. I guess you’re all correct. After all the choice is still mine to make. I just wish I could know which to choose. Life is a lot easier when we were young and choices were made for us eh?

  5. What’s the future of each major? Will there be a lot of competition? What are the starting salaries for graduates? Where would you work? What would you do? Which to you prefer?

    The money will work itself out eventually, but you can’t go back and make yourself happy with a career/job that is not satisfying. Figure out what you enjoy and go for that, money be darned.

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