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Marie-Joe Sannan

Dear First Year Me,

Congratulations! You’re the first one in your family to become an engineer. You probably don’t know what to feel. Nervous or excited? Maybe both at the same time. You’re about experience an emotional roller coaster of a year!

The first week at university is frosh week. It’s chill and laid back. The first year is not chill and laid back. Do not make the first week an expectation of your first year.

Remember high school? How you aced all your tests? Cramming the night before? It’s going to take more effort for that now. You may not get your results the first time but don’t be too hard on yourself. You have got to push through it because you chose to be in engineering, and because you are smart and determined!

You are also going to notice that you are the minority in a sea of male, but you are not a minority in intelligence! Use that to fuel your motivation. You are just as good as they are!

You’re going to meet so many new people! Some you met in your chemistry lab, and others you met in the bathroom line! They are going to become your friends, your study buddies, and your support system. They are the ones who keep you organized, and you keep them organized too. They are the ones who listen to your endless rants and relate because they are also on the same ride.

Finally, between all the midterms and assignments that are being thrown in your face, it’s important to give yourself some “me time” and have fun. Whether that comes from joining a society or a club, or even chilling in your jammies watching Netflix on a Friday night. You are in no obligation to study seven nights a week. Believe me when I say, taking a break recharges you, and it keeps you sane. Your mental and physical health are just as important as your grades.

The rollercoaster has its twists and turns, as well as its ups and downs, so strap on and don’t forget to enjoy the ride.

Love Always,

Your future self.

Marie-Joe's Biography

Hello! I’m Marie-Joe Sannan. I am currently a second-year computer engineering student at uOttawa. I’m also a swimmer and a huge Disney nerd. I have lived in three different countries across 2 continents. My goal is to finish my degree and later obtain an MBA. I’m always happy to make new friends, so feel free to reach out!

My best friend and I’s study break photo shoot.

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Through outreach and professional development activities, research, partnerships, thought leadership and online initiatives, we work with industry and academia to educate on the value of diversity for innovation, to inspire women to thrive and to celebrate the contributions of women in science and engineering.
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