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10 Lessons for Undergrads: #1 – How to Pick Your Premed Major

How many times have you thought to yourself, “I wish I could go back in time and tell myself X?”? Sadly, I think about this a lot, perhaps far too much. The cons of wishful thinking like this is that you become full of regrets, and you might spend more time fantasizing about “what ifs” instead of focusing on what you can actually change in the present. The pros of reflection are that it means you are capable of recognizing mistakes and hopefully will learn from them for the future.

Knowing what I know now, there are lots of things I wish I did differently in undergrad. In this article series, I will share with you key things I would tell myself if I could go magically back in time. This won’t really help me now (obviously), but hopefully it will get you to stop and think about where you are right now in your educational career, and whether or not you are on the path you really want.

I admit some of these thoughts will be quite radical and go against lots of traditional thinking. Perhaps you will vehemently disagree with me. But that’s good – because the only way we learn is by challenging the ideas out there and really thinking for ourselves. Far too often young people get well-intentioned misguidance because of old or unproven ideas constantly perpetuated by generations before us. But I digress. With that said, let’s get to Lesson 1: How to Pick Your Premed Major.

Biology, eh?

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What do I want out of my university education?


About a year and a half ago, I wrote an article on my thoughts about what to keep in mind when applying to university, using my personal experience as an example.

In that article, I focused mostly on figuring out which university fits you best based on program, location, opportunities, etc. However, there is one more important question you need to ask yourself when thinking about your education that I completely failed to mention.

In short, that question is: what do I want out of my education?

At first glance it may seem like an odd question to ask, but it’s really not. It seems odd because many of us have our own ideas about what the purpose of your educational experience is or should be – but the truth is that your educational experience is whatever you want it to be. There is no one right way to view your education, and it’s important to always realize that, despite what people may argue.

Some people just want to learn. Very often they are genuinely and strongly interested in the topics at hand, and want to sponge up as much as possible.

On the other hand, some people go to university purely for the degree. Usually this in terms of job prospects or further education requirements (e.g. professional schools, graduate schools, etc.).

Of course, if you’re applying to professional school (such as medical school), marks matter. So some people go to university primarily to get the grades required to move on to something else.

In my opinion, these are all legitimate. It bothers me when people try to act as if there is some universal agreement as to what we should want out of our education (e.g. “You shouldn’t be picking your school just for the sake of getting good marks!” There are reasons why doing so is often not a good idea, but it has nothing to do with a right or wrong way of looking at education). Quite often, what we want out of our education will be some combination of 2 or 3 of these views, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

When you are thinking of where you want to go to university, you need to reflect on all of these issues, because different undergraduate programs will be more conducive to one of these aspects than the others.

So take the time to figure out what you want out of your university education – it’ll save you a lot of head ache down the road!

The Power of Marketing: Because Perception is Reality


“What is real? How do you define real? If you’re talking about what you can feel, what you can smell, what you can taste and see, then real is simply electrical signals interpreted by your brain.”

This is a famous quote from the character Morpheus of one of my favourite movies of all time, The Matrix. In this part of the movie, Morpheus is helping Neo to realize that the world he once believed to be his reality was no more than a computer simulation. Yet for everyone else stuck in the “matrix”, this simulation was as real as anything.

After watching The Matrix for the first time, I remember randomly asking myself: How do I know this world I’m in is real? I know I can hear my own thoughts, but how can I know for sure that everything around me is real? My family and friends seem real, but without being able to hear their thoughts, how can I know for sure?

But because I can perceive all of the world around me, I believe it to be real. Because I can smell roses, I believe them to be real. Because I can hear my brother speak, I believe he is real. In order to live in my reality, I have to rely on the notion that my perceptions are interpreting a true reality.

Marketing: Delivering a Perception You Want Customers to Adopt

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Where Should I Go for University?

masters of nursing

A lot of students have asked me why I chose to go to York University to study undergraduate biology. I get this question a lot, and the reason for this is quite obvious – a lot of people have the impression that York University’s reputation in science and engineering is not as strong as other universities, and so they wonder why I would go there, especially since I’m interested in applying to medical schools.

However, making a decision on where to go for university is much more complicated than that. There are numerous factors to consider, and we must be critical of the information we acquire when considering those factors.

I can’t tell where you should go for university, because everyone is different and only you can make the “right” decision for yourself. But what I can do is go through many of the questions I thought about while going through the decision making process myself, and how my answers to those questions eventually led me to York University.

Hopefully, going through my thought process will help provide some perspective and insight into some important things to consider when making your own selection.

Should I Even Go to University?

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What? You need a 98 average to get into McMaster Health Sciences?

Want more info on McMaster Health Sciences?

Last night, Eden, a good friend of mine, asked me whether you needed a 98+ average to get into McMaster Health Sciences.

At first, I was like: “lol what? No way!”

So she told me that a friend of hers found this article that suggested it, and that this friend was starting to worry a bit because she wanted to apply to McMaster’s Health Sciences program but didn’t have a 98+ average.

You can find the article, published in the Toronto Star, here.

For those of you who haven’t heard of McMaster’s Health Sciences program, it is a highly competitive undergraduate program for students interested in health, wellness, and illnesses. As the article and the program’s website mention, it is pretty unique, in that they focus more on collaborative, self-directed, and problem-based learning, unlike traditional undergraduate health science programs. It sounds pretty cool, and I actually got accepted into this program back in Grade 12, but I decided not to go for a variety of reasons.

Now, for the most part, nothing the article says is technically wrong or untrue. However, the problem I have is that the article presents the facts in such a manner that it implies several ideas that I believe are highly unlikely to be correct.

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