Having lived and studied at Western now for three years, I would like to take this opportunity to set the record straight about some of the stereotypes people have about Western, its students, and university in general.
THE GOOD: The “Wealthy Westerners”
It is generally thought that Western has the wealthiest student body in Ontario. However, Queens wins in that category.
Western’s students come from all financial brackets, and the university offers tonnes of scholarships and bursaries to make studying here more accessible.
THE BAD: Western Students ‘Live to Party’
In recent years, “Western” has become synonymous with “the party school.” The typical Western student is believed to be a party animal with no real concern for their academics. Some people even compare the Western experience to a night out to the club that lasts for 4 to 5 years.
In my experience, this stereotype could not be further from the truth. In fact, most of the students I know are extremely studious and ambitious. We spend most of our time worrying about our marks and thinking about where we want to go in life. Yes, we do occasionally go out for a drink or to a party, but not any more than a student at U of T or Queens.
Take my roommates, for example. One of my roommates finishes all of his readings and homework one week in advance. My other roommate makes sure that he finishes all of his work before even considering going out for the night.
Now, you may think that my experience is unique. But consider that Western has the fifth highest average entering grade in Canada (88.2%), much higher than U of T (85.5%) and McMaster (86.8%). [http://www.macleans.ca/education/uniandcollege/average-entering-grade-now-85/]
THE UGLY: Your average will fall drastically in first year, and there is nothing you can do about it
Totally untrue. In fact, maintaining your high school average is totally achievable if you make the effort to keep up with your work and manage your time effectively. Of course, if you don’t attend class, don’t take notes, don’t do your readings, don’t prepare for exams, and don’t hand in your assignments on time, your marks will suffer (that is a no-brainer). But if you are genuinely motivated to do well, you probably will. It all depends on you.