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The University of Waterloo (Canada)

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Going to this university was the worst decision

May 12 2014Sociology
Going to this university was the worst decision I have ever made in my entire life. I strongly encourage anyone who is considering Waterloo as their number one choice for their post-secondary education to please read what I have to say. I went to Waterloo starting in September of 2014 and I am transferring to Queen's this September because of my horrifying experience at this university. I entered in the arts&business co-op program because like the majority of people who choose Waterloo, I was fooled by the enticing co-op opportunity. Let me tell you that co-op is NOTHING compared to what it is cracked up to be. You will most likely not be given a job at all and don't expect to do anything within your chosen field, if you're lucky you'll be given a menial job that will provide you with little to no sense of enjoyment. For the amount that students invest into this co-op program, it is nothing close to what it should be and it ultimately leaves everyone wishing they would have chosen a more normal university and just gotten a summer job of their own each year. This school is grossly underfunded, the campus is absolutely disgusting and the majority of professors are pathetic. Oh, and you think other students may make your experience easier/better? THINK AGAIN the students have a close-minded, stuck up attitude and will do anything to see you fail. The social life at UWaterloo is horrible so expect to be bored the majority of the time. This institution has the most pathetic school spirit I have ever witnessed in my life, no one is interested in attending any of the very few events that are put on by the school and who can blame them? They're extremely lame and underfunded as well because guess what? NONE of the faculty at Waterloo or the students will care about you or your experience. If you want to end up depressed and questioning your whole career path then please, go to Waterloo. If you want to be happy, have a sense of pride about where you go, get involved with extra curricular activities and meet at least a few people who have a sense of normalcy or respect for each other then please I beg of you go somewhere else. I would do anything to erase my time at Waterloo and I still struggle with issues because of it, don't make the same mistake that I did.
1st Year Female -- Class 2018
Scholastic Success: B-, Education Quality: F

The school is a bureaucratic nightmare

Apr 15 2014Accounting
The school is a bureaucratic nightmare. To them, you are nothing more than a spreadsheet and there is not one person who will look at you as if you're a human being. Ah, the joys of trying to take a class outside of my major that isn't a 101.

The 100 and 200 series classes are almost all introductory or common sense. I've seen friends take them and grow tremendously. I've also seen friends go insane from boredom. Waterloo does not offer a way to skip classes or go ahead. At most, there is sometimes a class with a moderate jump in difficulty.My experience has been almost entirely bad. Maybe it's because I tried to do something unusual. I cherish the memories and friends I've made, but it's always been in spite of the university. Not because of it.

3rd Year Male -- Class 2014
Perceived Campus Safety: A+, Education Quality: F

When I sit back and think about what

May 13 2014Biology
When I sit back and think about what I'm doing with my life, I often find myself deeply regretting ever coming to the University of Waterloo. It may very well be one of the worst decisions I've made in my life.

The bureaucracy surrounding Waterloo is atrocious. The student union is terrible, does not foster a positive student community, leaving individual faculties creating their own social circles which lead to a very divided campus. In addition, they force students to pay a very expensive health insurance fee, leaving you only 1 week to opt out at the start of the fall semester for the whole year. If you miss the deadline, you're forced to pay an additional ~400 dollars on top of tuition, textbooks, student union fees, etc. Not cool, FEDS. No one ever goes out to campus events and the campus vibe is always cold, anti-social and isolated. It's just not a friendly place to be.

The co-op programs at Waterloo are very overrated and I felt cheated, as it was the main reason I chose the university. During the open house, university employees really hyped the co-op program. Everywhere seemed to say it was great, and online, they boasted that over 90% of students found a job. But when I logged onto JobMine, jobs were scarce compared to students enrolled in the program and very few students were ranked, let alone hired for jobs they were hoping for. No meaningful support is given from the co-op office and the system clearly favors employers over students.

Professors are very hit or miss. Waterloo definitely has some great profs, and a quick look at ratemyprof will attest to that, but there are also very poor ones who will make your student life a living hell. Even with good profs and lab instructors, I would say 30-40% of the TA's I've had didn't speak English as their first language, which is generally fine when communicating over email, but is sometimes very hard to talk to in person i.e. during a lab.

Finally, for all the fees we pay, libraries are often over-crowded, loud and dirty. The path to the DC library is not even paved and turn into one long mud puddle during spring.

I felt cheated from UW's co-op program and reputation as a leader in research. I'm not sure if it is due to the relatively new president they have had and if it's simply a case of things not being how they used to be, but UW is definitely not a student friendly university. It isn't worth changing cities for, it isn't worth the tuition. As a final slap to the face, just as students began singing up for summer courses, most of the university/faculty staff I had to contact for forms were all on vacation.One positive is I really enjoy the professor I was able to have guide me through my undergrad research. She really made me not hate myself as much for choosing this university. However, if you're currently deciding where to go, especially if you are thinking of entering in the sciences, I strongly suggest you do not choose the University of Waterloo.

4th Year Male -- Class 2015
Campus Aesthetics: A, Education Quality: F

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