There were notable differences between the two programs I attended at Sheridan: Journalism and the General Arts and Science program.
There were not only differences in terms of content, of course, but the overall atmospheres seemed a lot different too.
|Extremely hands-on (Especially second-year).||Not as hands-on (More university-lecture style).|
|Professors really get to know you. It felt like elementary|
again in that aspect.
|I felt more like a random number for the most part.|
|Most of my professors will remember me for a long time.||If I were to see a professor now, they probably wouldn’t even recognize me.|
|I will likely still remember all of my classmates years or |
even decades later.
|It has been six years, and I only remember some of my classmates.|
|Fewer classmates, which is actually better in terms of|
|More classmates. Let’s just say that sitting at the front was a top priority for me|
because it was a lot easier for me to learn that way.
|I want to attend convocation badly.||I didn’t care to attend convocation.|
|Pretty much no studying.||Lots of studying (My main weakness in school).|
|More opportunities to be creative.||Fewer opportunities to be creative.|
|I made more friends/acquaintances.||I was too shy to approach people.|
Hands-on in journalism
Because journalism prepares you for specific types of careers, while the GAS program doesn’t, there were more opportunities to be hands-on in journalism (Actually do the job).
We had a chance to interview sources for real. The only difference was me not being qualified enough to have a career, yet. However, journalism has prepared me well for one.
GAS was lecture, study, test, rinse, repeat. The only way you can apply that to the real world is to share your knowledge to others.
Professors got to know us in journalism
Because in journalism, there was a smaller group, professors would learn our names in less than a week or two, and the names would stick with them.
They got to learn a lot about us because they can see what our interests are through our journalism assignments. It felt like elementary school again because you actually develop bonds with your professors.
One of my professors, not too long ago, even brought up what it would be like if we had Parent-Teacher Interview Night for our program. I didn’t think it was a bad idea. They would have a lot to say to the parents, right?
The GAS professors, on the other hand, all they got to see were my tests, essays, and the occasional presentation. I had few interactions with most of them. It had that random number atmosphere.
As I was more able to make impressions with my journalism professors, it is obvious that they will remember me for a long time.
If I were to see a GAS professor, they probably won’t even recognize me or at least not remember when or what they taught me or my name.
Classmates were more memorable in journalism
With a large number of group and partner activities, there were more opportunities for me to connect with classmates in journalism.
The fact that there weren’t as many people in the journalism program would make it easier for me to remember them years later.
I think I vaguely remember roughly half of my GAS classmates after six to seven years. However, if somebody were to bring up a former classmate not in that category from then, I might be like “Oh yes, I think I remember them,” but they would have to remind me.
The same doesn’t apply to high school and elementary classmates because I spent a lot of classes and years with them to the point that I will still remember.
I am also not as intimidated now to approach peers as I was back then, so my journalism classmates had the opportunity to learn a lot about me. With my GAS classmates, I generally did not talk to them unless if I had to.
I am not particularly close to any of my journalism classmates, but I at least say hi to them, converse with them, and follow them on social media.
Back to the fewer classmates part, I found it easier to listen to lectures and pick up on content in journalism. The more people in the room = the harder it is to learn for most people.
Back in GAS, when one of my professors was lecturing about the June 2013 convocation, I was thinking “Meh.” I couldn’t convocate with my peers anyways because I was behind with a couple of elective courses, meaning I had to take a couple of spring courses in 2013.
With journalism, I badly want to attend convocation. I will feel like I have truly missed a big milestone event if I don’t attend it because of how positively it has changed my life on many levels.
To add to this, in 2015, I received a letter in the mail about a GAS reunion party. I didn’t bother to attend. If there is a journalism reunion party, I will most definitely attend it.
Studying/creativity: More creativity in journalism
Going all the way back to elementary school, one of the biggest factors to many low grades I received was tests.
My grades were still pretty good in the GAS program, but especially so in classes where there were barely any tests. GAS program tests were often difficult for me no matter how hard I studied. I dropped a couple of classes because I failed tests in those classes.
Journalism, however, since all I got was one open-book test in my Fundamentals of Journalism class in first-year, there were more opportunities for me to do well since I am far more motivated with creativity than I am with studying.
With creativity, journalism offered more opportunities for me to do stuff I want to do for my assignments, and not always what I have to do.
Back when I took the GAS program, I didn’t really think much about whether I was missing out on the good part of college or not, but the journalism program really made me experience college at its finest.
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