I know that some of you have been unsure as to where on this blog to ask certain questions regarding UBC, so I figured I’d make a page for it. Leave any questions you have about anything UBC related..or life? related(courses,residence, making friends, clubs, etc etc etc), down below and I will try to answer them to the best of my ability! 🙂 


75 thoughts on “#ASK – UBC QUESTIONS

  1. Yo, I don’t know if you still use this blog, but I got accepted (faculty of arts) and I was wondering what the general music scene of the place is? Specifically, is it possible for guitarists to practise on amps (as long as they’re not too loud of course) in their dorms, and are there opportunities in residence for people to jam? Also, is it worth the extra money to take a room in Tec/Korea? Money is definitely tight, but we can spend an extra 500. Thanks!

    • Hey! Congrats on the acceptance! 🙂 There are actually music rooms in the residences for you to practice your music in so that you’re not too loud in the dorm rooms (thin walls), can definitely play guitar WITHOUT an amp in the dorm rooms though! And there are coffeehouses and stuff for you to show your talent in! So definitely don’t worry about opportunities to jam, there will definitely be lots.

      I didn’t live in Tec or Korea, and personally, I think it’d be fine to live in the other residences, it’s completely your own preference – of course you’d be guaranteed a single room if you lived in either of those though.

  2. I have no idea if you still use this blog, but I loved finding an informal resource for UBC information, so thank you.
    I wanted to ask what program type first years more commonly take – A1, CAP, or CT? I tried emailing the Arts faculty, but they were so vague since I guess they can’t hand out personal opinions. Thank you!

    • Hello! Thank you for stopping by! I’m assuming you are in arts, but generally most people tend to go for the general Arts program. The benefits of CAP from what I’ve heard is that you’re with the same group of people and that consistency is always great for your first year. Do you know what you plan on going into/majoring in?

  3. Hi! I’m going to UBC (hopefully) next year as I was recruited to an athletic team. I’m going into the faculty of science.

    1) I have fairly high grade (93-94) some high 80’s, yet I STILL have no acceptance letter. Should I be worried?

    2) Are there tutoring resources at UBC? I am worried about the work load/content. Is the workload for firs-years usually manageable?

    3) How do you feel about dorm life? How is the food, rooms, social life etc?


    • Unfortunately I cannot help you with the first part of your question as I’m not sure what the timeline of acceptance is this year. In my year, I had submitted my grades in April and had received my acceptance a few days later. Perhaps they haven’t given out acceptances yet? You can always contact UBC and see when they’re releasing offers (if it is not already online already)
      There are LOTS of tutoring options at UBC and you’ll definitely be introduced to those while you’re settling in/you can do some research online as well! Remember to utilize your professors because many first years are too hesitant to see their profs!
      I loved living on residence. I have a couple posts regarding how I found it, and a lot of my rambling posts from first year incorporated things that were happening in terms of dorm life! (https://ravishingrambles.wordpress.com/ilove-ubc/ubc-dorm-life-totem-vs-vanier/)

  4. Hi! I’ve been reading your blog since I was in grade 12, LOL and now that I’m finally in my 2nd year I was wondering if it would be possible to upload any of the answers to the problem sets you completed for Biol200? This course is seriously kicking my butt, and I would love to compare answers with someone. Let me know1

    • Hey! Thanks for sticking around for so long haha!
      Unfortunately I do not have any of that material anymore, I don’t even think I completed all of the problem sets, I was not a fan of the fact that they wouldn’t upload the answers to most of the material..it’s a Bio department thing apparently. They always tell you to talk to other people and figure out answers together, but when other people don’t even know for sure, it’s just annoying and tedious to figure it out. I would highly encourage you to try your best, and collaborate with friends, to figure out the answers, and then ask the course TAs + professor to help you with the answers. I know this seems really tedious and I’m personally not being of help, but honestly, they can help you so much! Best of luck! 🙂

  5. Hello. This blog is amazing. It has so much info thanks!

    I have a quick question. I am in grade 12 and I want to go into UBC Sciences. I got 91% in english 11 and I have english 12 second semester but I have a super hard teacher and I will probably not get an A (prob 80%) My other course marks are 93% Chem 94% Bio and 99% math. I have a pretty good EC. Will they take my english 11 mark and then accept me and then when I get my english 12 mark, they just see if I am much lower than my english 11 grade? Like could you explain how this works? Thanks!

    • Hello Joon,
      Thank you for checking out my blog. I am not sure how much emphasis UBC gives into grade 11 courses, usually they just tend to look at grade 11 courses for completion, but I have heard that they may substitute in some grade 11 courses, for certain circumstances to speed up the release of offers – once again, not sure how often this is done. Or they may not look at your English 12 mark for initial offer reasons, so as long as it shows that you will be taking English 12, you may get a conditional offer based on your other grade 12 courses. I encourage you to try to get as high of a mark as you can for English 12 though, and continue to keep your Sciences/Math 12 marks as high as possible so that in the case English is lower than your expectations, your overall average can be well compensated for. You can always call UBC to confirm this and get a fairly accurate response. 🙂 Best of luck!

  6. Hey! I’m almost finished high school now and was thinking of applying to UBC. I was wondering how the work load was because I’ve heard terrifying stories of all-nighters and only 2 hours of sleep everyday. Is that true or is it exaggerated? (I’m thinking of applying to sciences) I’m honestly so scared lol

    • Haha the workload is definitely manageable! It’s more than high school of course, but it’s very doable. I think I got at least 6-7 hours of sleep most nights, the only times I had all-nighters was with friends in first year residence because we were in the house lounge watching movies and hanging out, not for academic reasons ever! So whatever you heard is definitely VERY exaggerated! As long as you keep time for academics and extra curriculars, you’ll get plenty of sleep! 🙂

    • Efectivamente, a última glaciación coñecida como Würn considerase rematada fai 12000 anos. Respecto a orixe da extinción dos mamuts, parece ser que fai 126.000 anos cun clima máis cálido e por tanto menos favorable, os mamuts lograron sobrevivir, máis non había humanos no norte de Europa. Así, as teorías propostas polos meus compañeiros sobre a caza cobran forza, xa que se estima que cada ser humano tería que matar a un mamut cada 3 anos para extinguilos, nunha época na que a caza aumentaba cosnaderiblemente.

  7. i need to take chem 205 and as an arts student i never took 100 levels maths but did take chem 121 and 123… how hard would it be to take chem 205 with no integral calc background? i know in lectures they start deriving stuff but i heard its unnecessary for the exams. I’m going to try to get a pre req exemption ( i don’t think they do that) but still. thoughts on chem 205 with no first year math knowledge – doable or nah

    • Hi there! As long as you have Chem 121+123 (especially 123), you will be fine in Chem 205. There is very little deriving, and you’ve heard right, it’s usually unnecessary. As long as you have Chem 123 background and you know how to plug numbers into formulas, you should be fine! You may be able to get a pre-req exemption, as I know other students that have been exempted. Have you tried registering for Chem 205 on the course website yourself, sometimes it says there’s an error due to not fulfilling pre reqs but still registers you successfully. 🙂

  8. Your blog is such an amazing resource! I can’t help but keep reading and reading and reading…so thank you! 😀

    I have a few questions as a First Year Science student going to UBC and I was hoping you could answer some of them regarding labs and supplies.

    What are the labs like at UBC (in comparison to high school)? Do you get to choose a partner and socialize/collaborate with others when writing your lab report? Are lab reports due the day that you do the lab?

    When do we find out what textbooks and/or supplies we need for our classes? Where do you recommend buying them?

    Once again, thank you so much!

    • Hey! Thanks for stopping by! 🙂
      1. Labs: Labs are nothing like high school labs based on my own personal experience. High school labs seemed a lot more disorganized to me (especially for Chemistry).
      Chemistry: TAs usually supervise the labs and a lot of them are pretty chill, they know where you’re at it in terms of your knowledge so they can be very helpful. Each lab consists of a few TAs who supervise different groups (groups are based on the lab benches/stations which are broken down based on alphabetical order), and because of this, your TA usually knows you by name. Some labs require you to work in partners during the lab, which will usually be people that are near your work station. Other labs are individual, but technically you can help each other out as long as you do your own individual work.
      And for chem labs you only actually go to the lab every other week, the in-between week is supposed to be when you prepare for the lab (do the pre-readings and fill out whatever is needed like calculations and such in your lab manual). From my experience my friends and I would work on the pre-lab things together as it helps to collaborate. Then when you go into the lab, you usually have a pre-lab quiz which is based on your pre-readings, and the TA checks to make sure you did the pre-lab work. Once you’ve completed your experiment, you have to do a lab report (some of which you do in the lab after the experiment and some of which you do at home), for this component, all work needs to solely be yours, you can ‘collaborate’ with others, but it’s likely you and your friends will have slightly different answers, so do not cheat or copy, produce your own work.

      Physics: You do experiments in class during the lab (when I was in first year they did tutorials one week, and then labs the other week. Tutorials consisted of doing practice questions, whereas the labs consisted of doing actual physics experiments). Most people work together during the tutorials, and labs are done in partners as well. The TAs are very helpful and once again, they know where you are at in terms of your knowledge so they are always willing to help!

      2. Books/Supples: if you go to the UBC bookstore website, you will be able to enter your student number in and receive a personalized booklist that tells you what textbooks you need for your courses (I think this should be available in the next 2 weeks or so). You do not need to get your textbooks right away, you might even want to wait until the first week of classes to find out which textbooks you absolutely need and which editions work best. Popular choices for buying books are: the UBC Bookstore (prices are high, but both new and used books can be available here, you can also rent textbooks), The Discount Bookstore (located in the UBC village), you can buy new textbooks for a slightly discounted price, online (i.e., Amazon, but this can take time), and of course Facebook, UBC Textbook Exchange groups/Craigslist where you can buy used textbooks for much cheaper from past students. If you opt to buy used books from other students, be sure to check if the edition they have is the one that you need for your class (this is why it is helpful to go to class and hear it from the professor in the first week/email your professor during the first week).
      And as a science student, you will be needing to buy a lab coat and safety glasses for chem labs (you should probably find out more about this soon), these are available from the UBC bookstore and are fairly affordable.

      Hope this helps! 🙂
      Please don’t hesitate to ask more questions if you have any, or if something I said wasn’t clear enough! 🙂

      • Wow… what gorgeous phgaportohs. I love the one of the baby in the hat asleep. It’s unreal to see how small that little one is. My son was that small… but he’s now 17 and as big as me! Time flies.

  9. Hi!!! your blog has been super useful the past few days, so thanks!!!
    Im going to be in Vanier or Totem for sure, and I didn’t request any specific residences so far but I really don’t want to be in an all girls dorm (for lots of reasons, I went to all girls camp for nine years so I just know that girls together for a long time can cause problems). I don’t know how to word this though when I send an email to housing to request. what do you suggest I say???

    • Hey there thanks for stopping by!
      I know many people that actually enjoyed being in an all girls house, but each to their own! Just email housing saying that you have a preference for a co-ed house, you don’t really need to have much of a justification for it

  10. Hi, I love your blog! Just one question, if I’m a first year varsity athlete going into arts, is there a residence that I’ll likely be put in? Also, is it worth it to email housing requesting a room/house to live in? Thanks for the help! 🙂

    • Hey! Thank you 🙂
      There most likely isn’t a specific residence you’d be put in, varsity athletes (based on my own friends), have been put anywhere really, but since there are so many athletes, you’re bound to have many other athletes on your floor/in your house. If you have a specific house/residence in mind, you can definitely try sending housing an email (and if one of your training facilities is closer to one residence than the other, you could also put that in your email).

  11. Hi, I read the post about where you took chem 233 and I wasn’t sure if you already posted it but do you suggest taking chem 233 and chem 235 at the same time or do you think it’s better to finish chem 233 and then take 235? I’m not sure if the information from 233 is extremely relevant to the lab course. Thanks so much!

  12. Hi there!
    I love your blog sooo much! 😀 You’re super awesome and I really enjoy reading the posts.

    So, I’m in grade 11, and I havent applied for UBC yet, but i really wanna go. (Actually, it’s pretty much the only place I can apply to! My parents won’t let me go anywhere else) The thing is, I have NO idea how university works! The credit stuff, and all the choices! Makes my head hurt. What do you do when you just get into university? And what stuff do you have to apply for? Does everyone in the same faculty take the same courses in first year and then pick their majors in second year? Sorry about all these questions… I’m just seriously always confused… ;(

    I’m also super worried about making friends… My parents wont let me have Facebook or any sort of social media, and all of my friends are going to other places for university. I’m not super shy, but I have a really hard time making any close friends! And, I’m going to live at home for uni 😥 Should I just prepare to be forever alone?

  13. Hey,
    I’m 21, and I’m transferring to UBC next fall from a University in Ontario. I want to live in a social residence so that I can meet lots of people, but I don’t want to go to Totem or Vanier and live with all 18 year olds. Do you know which upper-year residence is the most social? (ie. closest to the first-year experience without the first-years)
    Thanks! 🙂

    • Hey!
      Upper year residences tend to be fairly quiet relative to first year residences, and in my opinion, it would be rather difficult to completely replicate the first year experience in an upper year residence. It depends greatly on the people that live in the residence at that given time to be honest..Gage has a lot of people in a smaller amount of space (ie 6 roommates per unit), whereas Marine and Ponderosa(the newest residence) have 3-4 people per unit. In saying that, Gage does tend to be the more “social” residence, and it’s easier to meet people there relative to Marine and Pond. It really comes down to the people you meet and those that live around you to be fairly honest.

  14. Hi,
    I’m going to be bringing my iPad to UBC dorms and I heard there was no wifi in the actual dorm rooms and I would need an ethernet cable. Do you know any way to avoid having to get all the adapters, cables and stuff just to access internet on my iPad, it just seems like a big hassle to go out and buy them all, plus I’m probably not bringing a laptop. Thanks so much, and I love reading your UBC experiences! 🙂

    • Hey there! Thank you!
      If you’re willing to, you could get your own router and set it up(trust me, it’s super simple, and you don’t need to get an expensive router either as you won’t be needing extensive range for it – i.e., you don’t need to have signal for it ranging through the entire building), this way you can connect wirelessly with anything of yours that can access the internet. OR..maybe you’ll meet some friendly housemates who will be willing to share their wifi password with you – that’s a great way to bond haha 😛 but really, a router would be the simple way to go about it, plus you’d be able to use it for years to come. 🙂

  15. Hi! I really love your blog and have found it so helpful for the last couple of months prior to starting my first year in UBC 🙂
    I’m pretty certain that I’ve been placed in Ross House and quite honestly, I’m slightly apprehensive about moving into a single-gender residence. I was wondering if there is diversity in Ross House and also if the social life in Ross isn’t as great as the social life in other houses. I’ve been given a single room and was wondering what the chances were of me finding someone to change rooms with that had a single room and lived in a mixed house.
    Thank you so much in advance for any help 🙂

    • Hello!
      Thank you!
      I know lots of people that lived in Ross in their first year and many have been super close friends for the past 3 consecutive years. It’s not a bad thing to live in an all girls house, remember, you will make friends outside of your house as well! But the process of room switching shouldn’t be too difficult if you really want to switch, just look out on facebook (UBC Class of 2018 groups) where people post room swaps!
      As for the “social life”, it is completely dependent on the people that the house has, some single gender houses may be much more socially dynamic than a coed house, so you never know what it’s like until you live there 🙂

      • Most of the people I’ve dealt with have requested fulls (5/7). Two have asked for partials. I sent 50 pages. One full came back with revisions. I thought they were good ideas and I’m making the renavios.Whit’s your turnaround time like, Nate-dawg? How many revised manuscripts do you take on?

  16. Hi! So happy to find this page where I can ask questions, I’ve been asking many people and I don’t seem to find the answer to any of them. I’ve been admitted into Arts in September, and rejected by Sauder sadly, and I hope to transfer into Sauder second year. I’ve been debating whether or not I should take PYSC 101 or 102, it seems that 102 is more interesting according to the description box on the SSC Course Selections so I registered for that one. But now I have second thoughts because 101 is like an intro into 102 right? and I’ve never taken any PYSC courses in high school so I know nothing about it. So I’m thinking 101 will be easier than 102? or are they two completely diff courses since pysc 101 isnt a pre req for 102? Should I be taking 101 first ? what do u recommend?

    • Hey!
      From my personal experience, 102 is definitely more interesting, and I found it easier to do well in it relative to 101. 101 and 102 are completely different (hence the fact that one isn’t the pre req for the other) – 101 is more neurosciencey – it deals with more theory and the biological/science-y aspect of the brain and neurotransmitters and stuff like that. 102 on the other hand is social psychology(human interactions and their emotions/intro to mental disorders and stuff of the sort)…which I found a lot of it to be common sense. And although I say that they are different….psych courses do have the tendency to have some overlapping content…but it doesn’t matter which course you take first, 101 or 102. My personal suggestion is taking 102 first though! Get ready for lots of reading though(that goes with any psych course)! And best of luck in your first year! 🙂

  17. Hi,
    I registered for CHEM 121 199 yesterday and today I noticed that at the bottom it says “Note: The remaining seats in this section are only available through a Standard Timetable (STT)”, so I’m not sure if I’m permitted to be in that lecture. But since I registered before does it mean that I’m okay taking the course even though I’m not in CSP, therefore do not have a STT? The status of the course also says STT, but I’m pretty sure before I registered it didn’t have that. Any insight?

    Thanks! 😀

    • If it says you’re registered for that course already, then you have nothing to worry about, they shouldn’t be able to ‘de-register’ you after you’ve registered. The remaining seats probably refer to the seats that are left, AFTER you’ve registered, which means you got into the ‘general’ seats.

      • Thanks so much! ^_^
        And do you know how clubs work at UBC, like how often they meet up, and any recommendations from your personal experience?

      • During the first week of school (look out for them especially on Imagine Day – you’ll find out more about that later!) all the clubs will be out trying to promote themselves, with lots of free ‘swag’…so be sure to check that out!

        check this out to get an idea of what’s out there http://www.ams.ubc.ca/clubs/

        and as for how often they meet up, it completely depends on the club, so I can’t give you a concrete answer for that unfortunately.

  18. are electives really necessary to take? Does pharm school and med school look at your core classes or overall gpa, including electives?

    • Electives are necessary to take in order to complete your degree requirements (it’s mandatory to have a certain number of credits that are outside of your field of study). And whether or not pharm+med look at all your courses or your pre reqs, is completely dependent on the school. Most med schools tend to look at everything(core pre reqs + electives; some may even only look at the last two years of your degree – but you have to fulfill the pre reqs, regardless even though you may be fulfilling them within the first 2 years), while some pharm schools only look at your pre reqs.

  19. Hi,
    which art courses do you think are the best electives for first year science students? (other than psychology)

    • It really depends on where your interests lie (it can be a hit or miss depending on that) – but some popular ones are econ 101/102, phil 100/101/102/120, 100- level polisci, maybe asia courses. Really depends on your interests, check out the course website and see if anything interests you! 🙂

  20. Hi, do you know whether or not for first year science I’m suppose to take both PHYS 101 and 102 for the lower division requirements? Would I be alright taking only one of them if i’m not going into any physics majors? I already took physics 12 and I was looking at the page http://science.ubc.ca/students/requirements/faculty and I was a bit confused because some of the specializations later on don’t need it. Thanks for your help and you have super helpful posts! 😀 Do you also recommend taking summer courses if i’m not taking a full course load for winter?

    • Hey!
      As far as I’m aware, you are not required to take BOTH Physics 101 and 102; most people just stick with 101(unless they pursue a major that requires 102); people also tend to take 102 if they’re writing the MCAT – but I do know of people that have not done so. It says 6 credits of CHEM and/or PHYS beyond PHYS 100 and CHEM 111 at the 100-level. So if you’re taking CHEM 121 and CHEM 123(both of which you most likely will be needing), you’re fine with taking PHYS 101.

      I’m not an expert or anything, so most of my answers will reflect my opinion based on my own experience or other experiences of others……I recommend that you do all/most of the “core” first year science courses in first year (ie., CHEM 121+123, PHYS 101(you could get away with doing this in the summer after you first year), MATH 100/102/104 + 101/103/105, at least 1 of your 2 required english courses (most science students take ENGL 110 + 112 – you can do one of those in the summer after first year, you just have to make sure you complete your communication requirements before the end of 2nd year), and BIOL 112/140/121 (I suggest you only do BIOL 140 if your potential major will require it/you need it for grad school).

      And thank you, glad my posts were helpful! 🙂

  21. Hi there,
    First of all I love your blog!
    I just had a few questions as I am entering UBC sciences in the fall

    1)Is the CSP program worth it? I know you haven’t taken it, but from what you heard is it really beneficial to take the program?

    2)If you don’t know what you want to do after as a career is it really worth it to go into UBC sciences and did you know what you wanted to be when you entered UBC?

    3)Is it possible to go into UBC engineering from the UBC science?

    Thank you soo much! And sorry in advance for all the questions

    • Hey! Thank you, and congrats on your acceptance to UBC! 🙂
      1) from what I’ve heard from friends that have been in the program, no one has regretted it and they really liked being able to have more interactions with their professors and being with the same group of people from class to class (as science classes in first year tend to have 150-250 students, it can be a little intimidating to get to know people when you’re constantly seeing new faces every hour of the day). The structure CSP offers is appreciated by many students from what I’ve heard, so I wouldn’t say there are many “downfalls” to it, unless you’re really keen on meeting new people every class (which is still likely to happen regardless). And I know that in my year at least, CSP students got more practice questions from their profs for exams and such.

      2) This is tough.There’s a tell-tale about how getting into science is so “prestigious” ….but honestly…a degree can really only take you so far. So really, it depends what your major is once you have a science degree. i.e., there are TONS of biology graduates…many of them initially wanted to go to med school, others, didn’t really know what they wanted to do so they chose bio, and then of course there are those that actually are passionate about biology and perhaps wanted to further their education and enter academia as a profession. If you see yourself in a career that’s in healthcare/life sciences or physics or math or the natural sciences, then by all means go ahead. But I really do think that you should have some idea before you jump onto the bandwagon of getting a degree. I personally did want to do something in sciences, and healthcare (as it has many aspects to it) really stood out to me, and it still does, but once you take some university classes, you realize what you are really interested in. High school only opens the doors to so many fields…university takes you beyond that. If you’re not completely sure, I suggest you take some elective courses (i.e., psychology, econ, poli sci, etc) and see if any of those especially interest you. I know of many students that have switched from science into arts (usually psychology or econ).

      3)Yes it is VERY possible to go into engineering from sciences. A lot of the first year science courses (chem,phys,math) are transferable for first year engineering credit, except for maybe 2 or 3 courses, which you can take in second year/in the summer. http://www.calendar.ubc.ca/vancouver/index.cfm?tree=12,195,272,28

      No need to apologize! questions are what this blog is for! hope I shed some light. 🙂

  22. Hi! I’m going to be attending UBC in the fall for sciences and I was wondering how many courses you would recommend to take, do you think it’s difficult to manage 5 courses in a term? Thanks and btw, you have a great blog, it’s helping me a lot with what to expect 🙂

    • Hey there! Congratulations on getting accepted into UBC! Many students take 5 courses/term, some find it to be a struggle, others are fine with it. I took 5 in my first term of first year, and 4 in my second term – I did better when I took 5, haha. In saying that though, I’ve taken 5-6 courses/term since second year and I’ve been fine(although I strongly advise against taking 6 – only did that once, never doing it again!). But really, it’s up to each individual as to how they can handle their course load.
      If you were to take 4 science courses(i.e., some combo of Chem, Bio, Math, and/or Physics) and one Arts course(i.e., English), then I don’t think you’d have much difficulty, as long as you have discipline and can figure out good work ethic. It may be a bit of trial and error at first(unless it comes naturally to you), but I think you’d be able to handle it. And thanks for stopping by, glad to be of help! And feel free to ask more questions if you have any 🙂

      • 9e7aekaterin:ce1Меня Ñ‚¾Â‘ÂÂимуÐûирЁвали на 42 неделе, ни чего страшного в этом не видела, наоборот была рада — устала ходить((e2

    • I’m not really sure if there’s a specific Sun Run team…but if you go to UBC, I’m sure you could find people to make an actual team with if that’s what you mean(ie., there’ a Fun Run club, I’m sure there are probably people in it that are interested in having a team?).

  23. Hi! Your blog is just so wonderful. 😀
    My question:
    Do you recommend bringing a laptop or computer to residence? I have a computer but I’m debating whether I should buy a laptop or not for University as I don’t know if it’s worth it? I don’t plan on taking my notes on the laptop..

    • Hey there! Thank you! 🙂
      Personally speaking, I am all up for laptops over desktops for university. It’s just much more convenient to have your own portable laptop to bring around with you. They have computers at the library that you can use, but personal preference, I’d rather have something that’s mine to bring around with me.Some courses don’t allow laptop use in lecture, but others(such as certain Arts courses), it’s a lot easier to have a laptop to take down your notes. Some profs may say that you need to bring a laptop with you to certain classes(like twice a term or something, so not that often), but you’re always welcome to share with someone if you don’t have one. All in all, I would say having your own laptop is 100% worth it in university, and you won’t regret it. But in saying that, it’s your money, and ultimately your choice if you want to go ahead and buy it.

  24. Hi! Thanks for your review of your first year courses. It’s super helpful! I was wondering if there were any courses in first year that you bought the textbook for and didn’t end up needing it?
    My first term courses are:
    Chem 121: Chirp resource package, Lab coat, molecular model kit
    Math 100: Calculus early transcendentals 7th ed + solutions manual
    Phys 101: Lab Manual & report book, I- clicker, custom vol 1 physics for scientists & engineers
    CPSC 110
    Biol 112: I-clicker + student remote, biological science with mastering biology

    Do you remember if you ended up not needing any of these items? Also, how did you find taking 9 courses in first year? A lot of people have been telling me to take less than that. Thanks for the help in advance!!

    • Chem 121 – textbook and lab coat are a must, as well as safety glasses( lab coat and glasses are available at the bookstore), the model kit is up to you if you want to buy it, it’s more helpful in parts of chem 123 and chem 233(organic chem) but I got by without it, plus it’s sold at a pretty ridiculous price at the bookstore.
      Math 100 – textbook, definitely ( if you’re taking math 101 in second term, you’ll be using the same textbook, as well if you plan on taking math 200)
      Physics 101- textbook for sure
      Bio 112 – textbook yes, if you buy it from the bookstore you’ll get it in a package with 3 books, which will be used for bio 121 and 140 as well. You will also need the iclicker and you’ll probably be using this for many of your courses in the coming years, it’s just an in class response device, in bio 112 they’ll put up multiple choice questions for everyone in the class to answer, and you use the iclicker(which has A,B,C,D,and E buttons) to answer it.
      One specific course I remember not really needing the textbook for is Chem 123, my prof’s notes seemed to be more than enough.
      Honestly 9 courses really wasn’t too bad for me, the majority of people I knew took 10 in first year, but if you ever feel like your course load will be too much, you can drop within the first couple weeks. As long as you have your priorities straight and invest time to study, you’ll have no problem! Just remember that transitioning from high school to university isn’t ‘easy’, but you’ll learn from your mistakes and learn how to study after a bit of practice haha 🙂

      • Thanks so much! That was helpful. I’m also wondering if the edition of the CHIRP for Chem 121 matters? Someone is selling the 4th edition online but I believe I need the 5th one!

        THanks 🙂

    • Eehhhh, for the chirp it’s always better to get the current edition, BUT that depends..I know the chirp from my year(two years ago) and the chirp from last year did differ because they added more material last year..so depending on if anything changed, you could use the older one, but I would recommend getting the new one – unless you want to negotiate with the other person to wait until they’re released at the bookstore so that you’d be able to compare them?

      • That’s a good idea hah, I never even thought of that. My friend said she’ll hang on to it for me just in case I want to buy it so I should be good! Thanks 🙂 Also, for math 100/101, someone is offering to sell me the online ebook of the textbook for $30. Should I get this or just get an actual hard copy for $80-$90? Is the ebook inconvenient?

    • ahh, selling ebooks, what a way to make money, major copyright issues right there hahaha. The actual textbook weighs like 6 pounds, if not more, it’s not exactly ‘practical’ to carry around with you that’s for sure, whereas an ebook/PDF files can be kept on your laptop and you can take that anywhere. Ask them if they have the solutions manual as well, when you buy it from the bookstore they have a worked out solutions manual that comes with it, and it’s really helpful.

  25. Hi! I recently discovered your blog and i’m absolutely OBSESSED. You have a great writing voice and your insight is so helpful! The amount of success you’ve been able to achieve with this blog is incredible…
    So, my question is, how is shopping around UBC? I’m from America and there are shopping malls everywhere.. Are there good, reasonably priced shopping centers in Vancouver?

    • I have taken Math 200, haven’t taken 221, so I can’t really compare the two unfortunately :/ but Math 200 is pure calculus, and 221 is matrix algebra. I found Math 200 a bit challenging in the sense that I find it hard to visualize 3D graphs, but I did do much better in Math 200 as opposed to first year Math (100 and 101). The marking in 200 is much more lenient compared to first year. I’ve heard more people complaining about 200 vs 221 though…so I really think it depends on what you’re strong at 😛

    • yeeesss, I LOVE UBC haha.
      first year living on residence was a lot of fun, it really helped me to meet a lot of people, the majority of the friends I have right now I met from first year residence, they also coincidently happened to be in some of the same classes as me as well. plus, the events and such that are held in first year residences are pretty fun and something you may or may not miss once you’re out of residence. 😛 buuut in saying all that, I didn’t realize it until second year, but first year residence CAN be distracting..solution:find a place to study outside of your residence (i.e. a library).

    • some midterms are held during class times, others are scheduled for evenings. usually the ones that are scheduled in the evenings are for larger courses/courses with multiple sections, as they might hold common midterms and would need everyone to write it at the same time. this is mainly the case with lower level science/engineering/commerce/econ courses.


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