oaTell us about yourself.
Hello, my name is Okan. I am a third-year irregular Industrial Engineering student with a Finance minor at Sabancı University. I am from Antalya, and I am a middle child of triplets. I am interested in sailing, playing drums, and reading science-fiction, mystery books. I am a Learning Assistant at NS101/102 courses for two semesters. I am planning to stay at university and be an academician when I graduate from school.

Did you know about the First Year University Courses that constitute most of our core curriculum before you arrived at SU?
I know that in the first year, all students in Sabancı University will take the same courses, and then they will select their majors. Whereas, I didn’t specifically know what the First Year University Courses are or what we will learn in them.

Which major did you want to choose? Why?
I wanted to choose an Engineering major from the beginning of university. Because my uncles are engineers who inspired me to become an engineer and, according to my YKS ranking, I thought that engineering suits me more than other professions. However, I didn’t know which engineering area I would prefer, which is one of the reasons that I chose Sabancı University.

Have you changed your mind about your major after taking the First-Year Courses? If yes, What changed?
No, but it became clear that I will not choose a CS major. Because in the IF-100 course, I saw that I am not interested in coding, and I didn’t want to spend my entire day sitting in front of a computer trying to solve computational problems. Also, I realized that I liked the topic of modernization of Turkey, which we studied at TLL 101/102 and HIST 191/192 courses, but as I said, it didn’t change my mind about selecting an engineering major. 

Has there been a change in your perspective on the world, science, global trends after taking these courses?
Yes, SPS courses changed my perspective on human-based revolutions, challenges of social-political studies, and the roles of science, religion, and political ideologies in modern societies. NS courses showed me how to apply physics, biology, and chemistry to real-life problems like climate change and antibiotic resistance. As a result, the First Year University Courses gave me a perspective based on critical thinking and interdisciplinary approaches.

Okan Arslantaş
July 24, 2021