Making the Most of Your University Experience

Growing up in a smaller southern Ontario town, I always loved the social aspects of a smaller town.

This was a key component in deciding which university I would choose. I didn’t want to be just another student that went to classes and then back home at the end of the day, reading from books and listening to lectures.

“I know all of the students in my program.”

I wanted more out of my university education–I wanted something special. I was seeking an education where I would truly experience my learning and education in every sense. Lakehead University was the place to offer me just that.

Figuring out what I would study came naturally for me so I was lucky. Having been an athlete all my life and enjoyed my experiences working with physiotherapists and the work they do, I chose to study Kinesiology. I’m in my third year now. But I know this decision doesn’t always come easily for students. Many of my friends weren’t sure what they wanted to study.

“Whenever I’m in need of help, I’m not afraid to ask and the professors truly care about my well-being and success.”

My advice to them back then and still today is to study what interests you and areas you love. Also know that you can change your mind along the way. Lakehead offers over 60+ programs that suits a wide range of interests like Business, Engineering, Education, Arts and Sciences.

The small class size environment Lakehead offers was of real importance to me. With more than half my classes with fewer than 25 students, most of them are smaller than my classes back in high school!

This type of learning environment allowed me to get to know my professors, and allows the class to better understand the material before moving on. Whenever I’m in need of help, I’m not afraid to ask and the professors truly care about my well-being and success.

“I’m looking forward to next year, where we’ll go on a weeklong field trip to put all of our learning into action!”

I was a little nervous when I packed and moved to Lakehead; however, once moving into residence all my fears went away. All the other students on my floor were super friendly and I was able to make friends quickly. My House President planned house events to get everyone out and make new friends. These events offered a nice break from studying and a good chance to explore off campus.

My Residence Assistant was able to provide me with tips on how to study or write an essay; and Lakehead offers free tutoring to all its students, which comes in handy before tests and exams. Living in residence was one of the greatest times I’ve spent at Lakehead. It is truly a community within the university community. Being minutes away from my classes, labs and our athletic facilities were added bonuses!

“Everyone is super friendly, and it’s exactly what I wanted university to be.”

In addition to small class sizes, our lab sizes are typically under 15 students. One of my favourite labs so far was the VO2Max lab, learning how to run a treadmill VO2Max test from start to finish. I’m looking forward to next year, where we’ll go on a weeklong field trip to put all of our learning into action! The opportunity to experience my learning hands-on and in practical ways has been meaningful and has better positioned me for my studies but also my future.

I was searching for a place where I would learn from more than books and lectures–I wanted to experience my learning by putting it into action. I can’t wait to start my thesis where I can take everything that I’ve learned and use my expertise to make my mark before graduating with my degree.

“There is so much to experience.”

A big part of my university experience has also included living in my new hometown–Thunder Bay. Thunder Bay is a bigger town than where I grew up with over 100,000 people. It is the perfect size–not too big and not too small. There is so much to experience.

Lakehead Formal

Thunder Bay has all the amenities you need and all easily accessed–as a student you get a free bus pass which makes it easy to get anywhere. There’s a great arts and culture scene, some of the best restaurants you will find, shopping, movies, sports, recreation–you name it!

“Where will your journey take you?”

At Lakehead, I have experienced moving away from home and gaining independence in a smaller, supportive place where I feel valued. My professors don’t just know my name; they know me. I know all of the students in my program. Everyone is super friendly, and it’s exactly what I wanted university to be. To me, Lakehead University and Thunder Bay is now just as much home as the town I grew up in.

What kind of experience are you looking for?

Lakehead has given me all of these things, allowing me to study what I love, learning through doing, in a friendly environment, where help is always available from people who know who I am, and want to see me succeed. I have loved my Lakehead journey.

Where will your journey take you?


Leah Foster

Leah Foster

Leah is a Kinesiology student who moved to Thunder Bay from Woodstock, Ontario to attend Lakehead University. She was born and raised in Woodstock, spending her summers split between Woodstock and Grand Bend, Ontario. While Leah enjoys the warm weather during the summer, she loves the cold and enjoys being outside during the winter with friends partaking in winter sports likes snowboarding and cross-country skiing. During the school year Leah enjoys studying with classmates, cooking with her roommates and relaxing with her hamster Herman.