Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

A lot of curiousity

  1. Aug 16, 2008 #1
    Hello! I'm new here, so if these questions have already been answered, feel free to redirect me!

    I'm going into grade 12 of high school in Canada, my final year and then I plan to head off to university. I plan on living with my parents while attending there (they are willing to move and support me in anyway possible). I am unsure of which university to attend, but I will probably go to the one that has a well accredited biochemistry program. My passion is, and always has been, genetics. Proteins, cells, and everything in-between has always fascinated me. My dream would be to work at a fertility clinic, but I'm unsure as to whether that is even possible with only 4 years of education in university...

    Nonetheless, I find that as a student, I have very limited accessible information. This leaves me with, many, many questions as a young, confused, and somewhat anxious student. So if you can help me in ANY way possible by answering any of my questions, or giving suggestions/extra information, it is very much appreciated! I realize some may ask for very basic information, but I please understand I really don't know much. Thank you!

    1/ How do you get to classes? From what I've seen, campuses are very large but they seem to lack a lot of convenient parking areas. What if classes are right after one-another, how are you supposed to get around quickly?

    2/ How do you take notes from professors who are lecturing? Do you write things down or do you type them? Should I invest in taking typing courses to type faster and more efficient?

    3/ How hard is biochemistry courses? What grades did you have going into university? I'm very hard working, and I predict I will have a low/mid-90 average in grade 12. Is that good enough? Do you have to study so much as to not have any free time at all to pursue other hobbies?

    4/ If you take a biochemistry course that lasts 4 years, does that leave you with a bachelors or masters? Does anyone know what jobs I could get (as in, would it be desk work or is it right behind the microscope for most of the day)? Would I make enough money to sustain myself on my own?

    5/ Do most people complete 4 years of university and then work for awhile, before getting their pHd? Do you need a pHd to be a "geneticist"?

    6/ Is there any suggestions on good places to volunteer during high school as a student who would like to pursue genetics?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 16, 2008 #2


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    If the campus is really large, you avoid scheduling classes back to back if they're very far apart. At places where I've gone to school or taught, there's usually ten minutes between class periods. You can walk a half mile in ten minutes, more if you're in a hurry. If you have a bicycle you can cover even more ground.

    Maybe I've just been lucky, but I've never been anywhere where I had to drive (or even bicycle) between classes.

    Don't you take notes in your high school classes already? :smile:
  4. Aug 16, 2008 #3
    I'm pretty sure that most universities schedule a short period of time (~10 minutes) between classes. Most of the time brisk walking is perfectly sufficient.

    Most campuses are not very car-friendly - which is a good thing. Campuses are meant to encourage people to interact. And nobody would dream of driving their car between classes! If you drive to school you will probably have to park some distance from the buildings where your courses are held - in Canada there is often quite a bit of competition for good parking places. And parking can also be very expensive at an urban school. I would encourage you to consider public transit as well - universities are usually very well served by transit and it's much cheaper than owning a vehicle.

    Nobody types things in science classes. It's still too difficult to include diagrams if all you have is a keyboard.

    Undergraduate degrees in Canada are generally designed to take 4 years - after which you recieve a bachelor's degree.

    Can I make another suggestion? A big part of growing in university is living independently from your parents. If there are no pressing cultural reasons why you should live at home it would probably be good for you to try living with others who are your peers.
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2008
  5. Aug 17, 2008 #4
    1) I go to school using public transit. There is a subsidized bus pass program offered in BC for students at certain universities. Like oedipa maas said, usually there is 10 minutes between classes for you to get back/forth. That being said, my campus isn't too large and 10 minutes is usually enough to walk from class to class unless the professor gets carried away.

    2) Some professors will have prepared slides/notes which you can download beforehand, print, and you add additional things to it. I don't like this, but it depends on the class. Sometimes the notes are -the material- for the test, so I print them out. Others will write on the overhead/chalkboard, which means that you can also write at the same speed as them.

    Typically I have a spiral-bound notebook for each class and write my notes by hand. It really depends on your preference. I know that if I type notes or print off all the slides I will probably not remember what I typed and I will never look at the slides again. I do see a few people follow slides on their laptops or use one of those digital notepad things (I can't remember what they are called). I don't know how they do it though. It depends on your preference.

    3) My average going into university was 90. I don't think that high school average is indicative of success in university. It's important to keep a good balance when it comes to studying. I find I have free time to pursue my other hobbies. When studying, you have to be focused and efficient. Otherwise you can just sit around for hours and not get very far. I take a lot of breaks because I have a hard time pulling long study sessions. You'll find what works best for you when you get there.

    4) In Canada, a four year undergrad gets you a bachelor's degree. I'm still in university, so I won't speculate about job prospects/salary.

    5) From my limited observations, I would say most people go straight to graduate school. In Canada, you typically enter a master's program first. If you do well then you can transfer to the PhD program. Some people work and do graduate studies concurrently (for example, search for NSERC Industrial Postgraduate Scholarship).

    6) Sorry, can't really help you there!
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook