10 FAQs: Applying to UBC

  1. Who or where did you get help from to write your personal profile?
    1. Write your personal profile yourself.
    2. Come up with your ideas yourself. It’s not the job of your mom, your sister, your cousin twice-removed to come up with essay ideas for you.
    3. You want to express who you are. Don’t pretend to someone you’re not.
    4. I personally didn’t get a professional editor for my personal profile but my family/friends generously looked my personal profile.
  2. What do I write about??????
    1. I helped friends brainstorm. It helps to have someone to talk to. Your friends should not come up with the idea but should tell you what’s a cheesy idea and what’s a cool one.
    2. You don’t have to write what you think everyone wants to hear.
    3. Your life is unique! You’ve had experiences that no one else has had the exact same ones.
    4. You also don’t have to go crazy trying to “think outside the box.” You think your experience with a challenge is a cliche. It might not be to someone else!
  3. What if I’ve never had a significant challenge in my life?
    1. Be thankful for that and don’t wish that you’ve gone through rough times. Don’t wish that you lived below the poverty line as a child because that would be cool to write up. Not cool. I will refrain from ranting here.
    2. A significant challenge can something you thought was minor.
    3. Did you have a tough time adjusting to a new environment?
    4. Did you have difficulty interacting with a particular person?
    5. Did you struggle with learning something for the first time?
  4. I don’t think I’m good enough to get into ___. What’s a good back-up?
    1. If you want, work for it: Agonize over your personal profile, get your grades up as high as possible. Don’t stop yourself before you’ve started.
    2. No faculty is a back-up. Each faculty is competitive in its own right. DO NOT apply to a faculty just because you heard it’s easy to get into if you have no interest in it.
    3. You should apply to be in a faculty that you’re interested in and will be happy studying for years in.
  5. Who should I ask to be my letter of reference?
    1. Note: If I’m applying for Science, do I need to get a letter of reference from a science teacher? Nope! I put my French/Creative Writing teacher who is AWESOME in so many ways.  My other reference was a mentor figure from outside of school
    2. For applications besides UBC’s, I also asked my super cool hockey coach/English/Social Studies teacher who taught me so much in the classroom and on the ice and my biology teacher who gave me so much life advice outside of biology class.
    3. If you haven’t done so already, get to know your teachers. They’ve accomplished a lot of interesting things in their lives and they’re great sources of wisdom.
  6. OMG I wasn’t on student council, didn’t do MUN, etc. I’m never going to get in.
    1. Stay calm.
    2. You do not need to do any particular extracurricular to get into UBC .
    3. Don’t ever do something just because you think it sounds impressive.
    4. Don’t ever do something because you think all the “successful” kids are doing it.
    5. Do it because you love it.
    6. Do it because you want to help people and your community.
    7. Do it because you want to change the world your special way.
    8. Do it for the right reasons and you’ll be happy.
  7. What’s the best school?
    1. A better question is what is the best school for you.
    2. What programs does it offer?
    3. What scholarships can it offer you if you need financial aid?
    4. What sports/extracurriculars can you get involved in there?
    5. Don’t care about ranking too much.
    6. What’s the best school for me may not be the best school for you.
    7. Go visit the campus, talk to students who go/went there, etc.
  8. All my friends are going to SFU but I want to go to UBC. (And similar situations) What should I do?
    1. You will make new friends where ever you go.
    2. You will also be able to stay in touch with your friends that go to other schools.
    3. I would say go to the school that you want to go to.
  9. December or January deadline to submit?
    1. Submit by the December deadline if you’re able to.
    2. If you don’t have time, the January deadline is fine too.
    3. I know people who got in submitting before either deadline so it really doesn’t matter too much.
    4. Try not to procrastinate until the night before though because the UBC application website always crashes the night before the deadline.
  10. UBC O vs Vancouver?
    1. Depends on what you want.
    2. Smaller campus- O
    3. Location near big city- Van
    4. More snow- O
    5. Lots of water – Van
    6. UBC O is a beautiful campus in my opinion and I know people who love it there.
    7. I love it here in Van.
    8. Jokes aside, it’s really hard to describe the differences between the two. It’s more of a feeling/general vibe that is a little different. You should visit both to compare!

Have fun with the personal profiles UBC Hopefuls 😀


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