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Angeli Gabrielle Reyes

Dear First Year Me,

I figured you could use some guidance, so I've compiled a list of five lessons that will help you make the most out of your university experience. Uni lesson #2: Don't let your failures define you. The challenges you face will only increase as time goes on. You will fail, you will cry, and you will wonder why you even try. But life still goes on, so you must remember that every trial and tribulation will serve as a stepping stone to improvement. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, trust me.

Uni lesson #3: Socialize. Your peers will be a source of support during exam season and are essential for enjoying your time there. They will laugh with you when the prof tells a joke, go with you to try that new restaurant with adventurous meals, and hug you when you fail your first test.

Uni lesson #4. Talk to that cool professor. Believe it or not, but they love having a regular chat about weekend plans and secrets to cooking the perfect spaghetti. This will not only allow you to be more at ease when seeking guidance on a topic you're struggling with, but will also give you the opportunity to learn some wise little tricks (I'm sure you'll meet a professor who will give you the love advice that you need).

Uni lesson #5: Grab that research position. Read up on research projects and find something that interests you - then email that professor to inquire about open undergrad positions. Executing your own research experiments and learning vital lab skills will surely be an enriching experience that will aid you in your future career.

I hope you use these lessons as a guide - add more as you go along. Take everything one day at a time and don't forget to bring home a cool science assignment. Maybe give your siblings a molecular model kit to make animals attached to benzene rings - but that's just a suggestion.


Your future (and almost pimple-free) self

P.S.: Almost forgot uni lesson #1: Always eat Froot Loops ice cream at the end of every semester (and only then). It will keep you motivated to finish that final exam and will ensure that you remain as a functional member of society - so that you can actually go out and eat some much-needed comfort food.

Angeli's Biography

Angeli Gabrielle Reyes is a biomedical student minoring in statistics at the University of Ottawa. She currently works at the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) and is incredibly passionate about promoting science, especially to young students. In her free time, she enjoys playing some jazz pieces on the piano and baking an excess amount of cheesecake. She is always open to having a nice chat so feel free to reach her via [email protected] or find her on Facebook.

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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