Undergraduate Programs

Sarah Forand

Age: 21

Program: Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology

In your opinion, what makes this faculty unique?

The energy and friendliness of the students in the faculty is one of the greatest things about it. If you attend Orientation, you will certainly be drawn to the Physical Education and Recreation students. They are dressed in tight-and-bright, running around and greeting each other with hugs! Our faculty is small, so the students quickly become close, unlike other faculties where every class is a whole new set of people. I come from a graduating class of 60, and I did not know anyone in the faculty when I started. By the end of my first year, I had friends that I am still very close with!

Why did you choose the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation for your undergraduate degree?

The student body is very welcoming. From my very first day at orientation, I could see that everyone was enthusiastic about fitness, health, and the faculty. I have also always been interested in physical activity, as I played sports from kindergarten to the end of high school, so enrolling in a program that focuses on sport and recreation sounded awesome to me! Ultimately, I found that Kinesiology is a great undergraduate degree for those wanting to complete a graduate program in physiotherapy, which has always been my plan.

What attracted you to your program?

When I was applying I knew that I wanted to enroll in the Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology, or Bachelor of Kinesiology. I chose the Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology program because I was very interested in science in high school, and I preferred to have classes in biology and physiology over classes in specific sports or activities. As a student in the program, I now see that many classes in the degrees overlap, but I have enjoyed the science options I have been given.

What is the most rewarding thing about being an undergraduate student in the faculty?

Being a student in the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation opens the door to many opportunities both during and after the degree. I believe that students in the faculty have knowledge and practical skills to offer even before they graduate, due to the course progression and options for personalized learning. As the programs progress, students add skills and practical experience to baseline knowledge, which makes them valuable in the workplace. We also have many options to become skilled in certain areas of the field by volunteering in research, fitness, and clinical organizations. One of my friends, for example, has an exemplary knowledge of exercise's effect on blood pressure, while another is has experience working with exercise and cardiopulmonary responses. Both friends were able to enhance their knowledge from class by engaging in research with professors in the faculty, and they now have very interesting in independent roles in their respective labs.

Can you give an example of a memorable experience while in the faculty?

About 10 students in my first year anatomy class were chosen to visit the cadaver lab that is typically reserved for fourth year anatomy students. I had the opportunity to be one of them, so I was able to get a sneak-peak into what one of my fourth year labs would be like. At first, the room was daunting, with many rows of tables, all having covered cadavers on them. However, once we could take a closer look on the muscular, nervous, and cardiovascular structures, the very interesting science behind the lab pushed away any uncomfortable feelings. This experience really sparked my interest in the lab components of courses, beyond information learned in lecture. I am enrolled in fourth year anatomy this fall, and I really look forward to participating the class!

What advice would you give someone who is considering applying to the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation?

Get involved! The Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation has so many great organizations like the Steadward Centre and Campus & Community Recreation that you can work or volunteer with. Taking part in initiatives such as these throughout my undergrad has really helped me meet awesome people and understand what the faculty has to offer. Of course, volunteer experience is also essential for building a successful resume, and engaging in organizations that interest you is the best way to do that.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

I hope to begin the Master of Science in Physiotherapy program next year, so in five years I see myself working as a physical therapist. My specialization of choice would be rehabilitation in people who experience disability. I believe that movement is very important to a person's well-being, and I have been working with people of varying abilities since my first year as an undergrad. I have worked with three different programs in the Steadward Centre, a research and fitness centre for people who experience disability, and I have been a caregiver for a young man with cerebral palsy for two years. I see physiotherapy as an exciting option to assist people with limited mobility in improving their functional movement. My undergraduate in kinesiology has provided a fantastic foundation of knowledge and skills for a physical therapy program, and I am very excited to start my next degree in 2018!