Oct. 12, 2021
Maleeka Malik is a Bachelor of Science in biological sciences student at the University of Calgary. Keep reading to find out more about her UCalgary experience and the advice she has for prospective students!
Why did you choose to study at the University of Calgary?
I’ve always been keen to learn about the science behind living organisms, from how they perform basic functions to how they adapt to the ever-changing environment. My passion led me to pursue the biological sciences undergraduate degree at the University of Calgary. One might ask, why did I choose to pursue a science degree at the University of Calgary when every other university offers a similar program? The University of Calgary is home to many faculty members notable for their vast knowledge spanning many disciplines and continued contribution to the world of research. It is one of the leading research institutions in Canada, and as someone who aspires to contribute to the field, it only felt fitting to study here. There are endless research opportunities available to students from every faculty! Additionally, its convenient location played a significant role in my decision as I could continue my education without moving away from my friends and family.
What is your favorite thing about your program?
The breadth of knowledge I’ve experienced in the biological sciences program is unmatched. Students will truly learn the science behind all forms of life, from the cellular to the population level through taking courses spanning all branches of biology. This is advantageous to the student as it exposes them to several sub-disciplines and helps them choose a concentration in the future, as well as open doors to different career paths. Accompanied with this are the pleasures of being taught by some of the best professors. Especially in the past year amidst the pandemic, professors have shown us how much they care for the well-being of their students. It has been a pleasure to be taught by them.
Are there any exciting UCalgary projects that you have been involved with?
One of the major UCalgary projects that I’ve been involved with is conducting an independent study under the supervision of some amazing professors at the Faculty of Kinesiology. Given that this was one of my primary reasons for choosing to study at the University of Calgary, it was an exciting milestone for me as I was finally able to delve into the world of research and explore topics covering many disciplines. I also had the opportunity to present my work at the Biomedical Engineering (BME) conference and the McCaig summer student symposium. Beyond just the academic experience, I had the pleasure of getting to know incredible students and professors. After being in quarantine for so long, it was a refreshing experience to meet new people!
If you could give one piece of advice to a future UCalgary student, what would it be?
Do not be afraid of change. Undoubtedly, adjusting to university life is a steep learning curve and with it come many feelings of uneasiness. You may find yourself struggling to keep up with the fast-paced courses, meeting new people, or having the optimal school-life balance. It’s important to remind ourselves that we’re not alone in this; many other students are experiencing a similar whirlwind of emotions. Try to step out of your comfort zone and do things you would usually hesitate to do. Be the one that initiates the conversation with your classmate, experiment with different studying strategies, or introduce yourself to your professors. Be open to change, and in fact, embrace it!