Every year, we ask girls from universities across the country to give us their best tips for living, studying, and partying on and off campus.
Shelby is a creative powerhouse. When she’s not singing her heart out as part of Western Idol, she’s making films and volunteering with a program called Arts for All Kids, teaching children drama and music.

Best thing about your program: The best thing about my program has to be that it is the only degree program in popular music studies in Canada! I also get to do a major in film studies, and the beauty of these two studies is that they complement each other. 

Biggest challenge in your program: The biggest challenge in my program is the production and mixing aspect. In the pop music classes, we have to mix/produce/master tracks and music. We use programs such as Logic and Garage Band to modify and produce the tracks. Mixing is a skill that takes years and years to perfect, so it is definitely the biggest challenge within my program. 

Favourite non-academic activity: My favorite non-academic activity has to be volunteering with a program called Arts for All Kids. I get the opportunity to teach non-privileged youth in London drama and music. It is really so rewarding to see them learn skills that make them smile. I get the chance to create bonds with the children and leave them with skills that will last a lifetime.

One really amazing memory from first year: One amazing memory that I have of first year is getting involved in Western Idol. I got the chance to compete in this singing competition that allowed people from all years to audition. I ended up making it to the top 5 in the school, and it was so amazing to get to sing for my school! 

What do you love about your school?: The thing that I love the most about my school is definitely the student experience it offers. Western prides itself on providing its students, especially first years, with the ultimate student experience, both socially and academically. The amount of residences on campus allows for thousands of first year students to live together and create their own communities. 

What would you love to change about your school?: If I could change one thing about my school, it would probably be the stigma that comes with Western as only a ‘party’ school. Don’t get me wrong, the students at Western know how to party, but there is a strong focus on working hard and achieving great marks. Going into fourth year, I am realizing how much I really have learnt in all my courses taken. The faculty and professors at Western University are outstanding and it is certainly reflected in the students and their abilities.

Favourite Class: My favorite class that I have taken so far was Advanced Film Aesthetics. In this course, I got the privilege of making my first movie ever. It was a documentary that focused on the discussion of bisexuality amongst our generation. The time put into this film was immense but at the end of the movie, the final product was something that me and my fellow peers were so proud of. We got to meet brave interviewees and shed some light on their message and experiences. 


Bar: Molly Bloom’s 

Place to study: Allan and Betty Taylor Science Library, Lower Ground Silent Floor

Place to eat: The Wave, campus restaurant (PS. Order the buffalo chicken wrap, its famous!) or P Za Pie (if your off campus, it’s right downtown at 724 Richmond St!) 

Green space on campus: Talbot Bowl (it’s the big green hill right near the music building, it’s a great place to sit down and relax between classes)

Off-campus hideaway: William’s (great food and very study friendly) 

Any other tips for newbies? Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself to people; remember that everyone is in the same boat (new/scared to be in a new place), so just go up to your fellow peers and say hi! Everyone is looking to make new friends so just go for it! What’s the worst that could happen? University is full of possibilities so do NOT let any of them pass you by! Enjoy! 

Follow Shebly on Twitter: @shubvander