Feel like you don’t belong at UWaterloo Computer Science/Software Engineering? Here’s why you do
Bilal Akhtar

As a CS grad and a CS and SE TA (we all know who was part of the CS247 TA team for your class 🙂), this is spot on. I chose Toronto as well over NY and Cali (small NY startup vs one of the biggest Canadian corporations in Toronto) and I don’t regret it in retrospect. Sure, up to my first week I questioned if I did myself justice or should I have waited for Cali and NY, but once I started I realised how much innovation we are doing, as well as being an upper year coop, the amount of ownership on not only the projects but also being able to work and mentor junior coops, it is very fulfilling.

Thalmic Labs (IIRC) did an interesting piece on the cost of living vs what you would earn, and compared Toronto, Kitchener-Waterloo and SF a while back and while yes, Toronto still doesn’t pay as highly as SF, one has to factor in the lower cost of living when one works in Canada vs the US.

Having worked with Waterloo kids and heck, even kids from UofT, UBC and McGill (basically the best ranked Canadian CS and engineering schools) I can tell you every single person I have met is ridiculously intelligent. And just like us, they think that they are average as well. It’s the classic case of the imposter syndrome and it is something even I am working on improving as well personally. Nevertheless, don’t give up Waterloo kids. We didn’t get into this school by chance, we got in cause they saw potential. The school isn’t perfect (and I have published my piece on what we need to do for mental health) however admissions is one thing they didn’t make a mistake.

Disclaimer – I typed this on the TTC, apologies for any grammar and spelling errors.

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