Hello, my name is Declan. I’m an incoming first-year commerce student at DeGroote. Looking forward to meeting you once classes return to campus! If I’m not studying, I’ll usually go to the gym or read. I had a STEM background in high school, which included a fair amount of programming and app development. There were tons of homework and projects; however, I disliked that part of the curriculum. It did help me develop a strong work ethic. I was very proud that when I graduated, I achieved both an Ontario Scholar Award and a Specialist High Skills Major certificate with my secondary school diploma.
What does university life look like right now?
The past year has been quite a ride for me. With my last-minute deferral and realignment after my first week at Mac last year and the COVID-19 pandemic – there have been many changes in my life. I was hoping that by now, I would be ready to walk from my dorm to the lecture halls and meeting in-person at student clubs, but that has all changed. Instead, I now wake up, climb down from my loft bed in my room, go through my routine, and excitingly wait for my 8:30 am accounting lecture in front of my laptop.
Although my first semester of university will be online due to COVID-19, I am still excited to begin. I find that having classes at home may allow me to have a comfortable transition to higher education, enjoying the privacy of working from my own room. I’m looking forward to meeting like-minded people through campus clubs and partaking in some of their events and activities, both virtually and in-person.
Who supports you throughout your life and are actively engaged in your success?
During the end of the summer, my family helped a lot with my preparation and transition to the new university learning style. I bought fifty feet of ethernet cable to connect the laptop in my room to the router downstairs. My father helped me with the installation and running of the wire. Over the quarantine, my father and I built a weightlifting rack, which I will use throughout the year. My mother has begun to teach me how to cook, hoping that I can feed myself when I move out next semester. My parents have played very active roles in helping me achieve both my in school and personal successes. I am fortunate to have them as a resource.
How will you thrive at university?
Since having classes online brings up some new challenges, I still am eager to learn this semester. To excel at both the traditional learning style and the new online components, I will need to keep on top of all tasks and develop learning skills. For me, my best traits are time management and organization. I find that keeping an agenda planner allows me to organize my time into blocks, such as when I will work or take a scheduled break. I’ve heard from my friends already in university that the best way you can keep a good average is to ensure that all assignments are handed in on time.
Learning skills are essential, but I genuinely believe that it is more important to enjoy the program you have enrolled in. Being engaged is necessary to achieve academic success. I experienced this the hard way. In secondary school, I took only STEM courses with the hope of becoming an engineer or programmer. Yet, I never truly felt that I had an interest in those areas of study. In September 2019, I deferred my offer from the Bachelor of Technology program. Later that year, I decided to accept my offer to DeGroote since I found that I was much more interested in business and economics.
Why did you want to come to university?
I hope to graduate from this program and continue into a master’s program. With today’s job market, a master’s degree appears extremely valuable. It would provide me with a competitive advantage when securing a career. I would choose to complete either an MBA in finance or economics. I’ve also had a small dream that I would one day be the first member of my family lineage to complete a master’s degree. I understand that things may change throughout my journey, but I hope that I’ll prove that I could achieve these goals that I have set out for.