Welcome, TrackOnes! I hope you are excited to start your new life at Skule™. As you all are starting university during a volatile time, I thought of giving you a little bit of advice on how to make the most of this year, which could help you make the right decision about which discipline to choose next year.
Being a TrackOne (T1), you need to remember that you have the chance to try anything you like. T1 provides you with the ability to get to know about all the fields and try out courses related to all disciplines. During your next two semesters, you will be doing at least one course of each discipline and your schedule will be very similar to ECE. It is very important to remember that just because your course looks very similar to ECE does not mean you need to focus more on ECE. The schedule is similar to ECE to make it flexible for you to move between disciplines, but not to direct you towards it.
Your courses such as CIV100, MIE100 and APS110 give you a very brief idea of some of the other disciplines, but you need to take a little bit of extra effort to make sure that you understand each discipline by first not assuming that the entire discipline will be similar to the one course you did. You will face this dilemma while doing CIV100 and MIE100. These courses are a small section of CIV and MECH but many students struggle with them and start assuming that these disciplines are heavily dependent on these courses.
T1 offers a seminar course to help students get an understanding of other disciplines. These seminars are a good way to get an idea of what to expect and a great opportunity to interact with people who are more experienced and work in these respective fields.
Another way to get hands-on experience would be by joining a design club where you could take on the position which you don’t have a lot of ideas about and give it a shot. This will give you a good idea about how knowledge from a particular discipline is used in the industry and also meet new people from various disciplines. Some of the clubs such as UTAT, UTRA and RSX are good clubs to get an idea of Mech, ECE and EngSci.
The best way to get a better idea of other disciplines is by interacting with upper-year students from different disciplines. You can always find them hanging around the EngSoc office or the Pit. If you feel shy to go up to them, you could send them a message and they will definitely get back to you. If possible you could go to different common rooms to talk to more people as well as look at the social culture of the students in that discipline. You could ask them about what they like about their discipline, what they wish to do with the attained degree and even what the drawbacks are of choosing it.
Making a decision that creates a path for the future is always a difficult decision. Self-introspection of what your interests are is a good way of determining what you like. Remember that every field is very dynamic and with the flexibility in choosing courses at UofT, you can always learn things related to different disciples and nothing is constant. You may never know what you like unless you try. Even if you don’t like something, you will get the chance to choose something that you will.
Start university with an open mind and you will discover everything you’re looking for. Take this as an opportunity to learn new things, meet new people and have a great time at Skule™ .