Uni as told by Uni Students

Advice from people with experience is the most reliable kind. With this in mind, I sat down with UBC graduates Parneet, Keyara, Sheldon, Amaury, and Allan to get the inside scoop on the university experience. If you’re a new student, you could use their insights to give yourself a head start in your journey. If you’re somewhere along the way, use their reflections to remind you what’s really important.  

I asked these graduates a few questions about their time at UBCO:

What’s one thing you wish you knew early on?

Sheldon: You don’t need to buy new textbooks. You won’t need a new textbook for every course. You can find many of them online and an older/used version is just as good. 

Parneet: Morning classes! It’s so hard to be awake at that time. Avoid them if you can.  

Keyara: In today’s competitive world, going to university has become the status quo for people who want to make themselves stand out. The problem is that more and more people come into university with the goal of just scraping by to get the degree that employers are looking for. What you should actually be focused on is getting the skills and knowledge that will prove the worth of your degree. In the long run doing this will make your experience credible.  

Amaury: People over-emphasize how much money a degree can get you. I see countless articles online listing which degrees are the highest paying, but that’s really not what university’s for. Yes, a degree can make you more competitive, but university is intended to help you get the knowledge you need to pursue whatever you’re interested in. Fixating on the future pay-off makes it less about the knowledge you actually need and more about just getting by.  

Allan: I’d definitely say buying all your textbooks isn’t necessary. When I first came to university, I bought each and every single one and was disappointed to find out that some of them weren’t even mandatory. Make sure you double check which ones you actually need and look for cheaper equivalent versions that are available at Green Text or online.  


What is the most underrated part of university? 

Sheldon: Booking your study rooms in advance. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve looked for a place to study and found nothing. So, you gotta book study rooms at least a week in advance to get one (especially in exam season).  

Parneet: Residence events. They’re really fun, but some people don’t people go. So, start going! 

Keyara: The most underrated part of university is living on campus. I had a lot of fun when I lived on campus. You’re close to all of your classes. You can get to them really fast when you choose to go to them. All the resources are close too. It’s just a grand old time. Everyone in residence wants to have fun which makes things easier. I felt more disconnected living off campus.  

Amaury: The most underrated part of university is actually going to class. You might think that you can get by with PowerPoint slides and quizlet, but going to lectures, asking questions and being present is definitely the best way to learn.  

Allan: The most underrated part of university is attending social events. The best way to meet people is to go to these. Whether it’s a night at The Well or an event being run by a UBCO club, there are plenty of opportunities to get to know other students. 


What’s one missed opportunity you regret not taking in university? 

Sheldon: I wish I looked into Go Global. I think it would have been a lot of fun to go to another country to study for at least a semester or even a year. I wish I did that. Next time maybe it’ll be different. 

Parneet: I wish I went to office hours more often and just connected with my professors. Because it’s not a huge school, I had these opportunities but didn’t take full advantage of them.  

Keyara: I regret not going to office hours and connecting with my professors more. I think that they have a lot of wisdom and just general life experience that they can help you with, even outside of course content. You should really utilize those office hours while you still can.  

Amaury: My dad was a professor at UBC, and he recently passed away. I only went to lunch with him once, and regret not having done so more often. If you have people you love at university, go to lunch with them!  

Allan: I regret not being in contact with my teaching assistants (TAs) more. Professors have great advice and knowledge, but we’re all inherently closer to TAs because they’re current students as well. They know what you’re going through and how to best help you! If you’re lost, go to them!  


What was the most useful campus resource to you as a student? 

Sheldon: I used the library website a lot. I used it for all my scientific papers and my essays. It helped me with MLA and APA citations and it’s a great place to find reliable literature. 

Parneet:  Definitely Student Wellness. It’s very helpful to have health professionals close by if you ever need them for any reason.  

Keyara: For me, it was SVPRO. I worked there and so they became my role models. They have a lot of knowledge and supported me in every way as a student, which I really appreciated.  

Amaury: The most useful campus resource to me was the chicken food truck. You need food to learn, and that truck had the best food. With the best food I did the best learning.  

Allan: The most useful campus resource to me was the library. The library database has all the info you’ll ever need on literally anything and everything. The librarians are also very useful for helping you plan the research process, especially for projects with limited literature.  


What’s the best food item you’ve had on campus? 

Sheldon: The best food is the build your own burrito or poke bowl at Sunshine. You can add whatever you want, every day can be different, and it tastes good.  

Parneet: My personal favorite was The Well poutine. I could eat it every day. They were so so good.  

Keyara: The best food option I have to say, is The Well poutine and chicken strips combo. It really got me past my first year.  

Amaury: As you could tell from my previous answer, the chicken food truck (Chick Chick Boom) is undoubtedly the best food option on campus.  

Allan: The chicken sandwich from Comma is healthy and still tastes great. It’s a classic meal that always kept me going.  


This has been university as told by students. We should all be grateful that we can learn from those who did it before us. I hope you took some notes, and as the school year continues, I wish you all a great time!  



Alvin Nganga is an International Student from Nairobi, Kenya. He’s an international relations major and a lover of basketball and all things creative. As a summer content creator, he’s looking to entertain and connect with the UBCO community. In the process he hopes to meet new people and have a lasting impact in whatever way he can.


Leave a Reply