SJU ARTS STUDENT PROFILE: EMILY
16 Mar, 2018
With the various majors, minors, and specializations that are offered, the potential to take courses in a variety of subjects of interest to you, and the development of skills that will assist you once you graduate, there are numerous reasons to pursue a degree in the Faculty of Arts at UWaterloo. The additional benefits offered to you as a co-registered student with St. Jerome’s University only add value to your university experience and your degree.
Life as an Arts student is different for everyone. With the freedom you are given to study what interests you, you can truly make the experience your own. Find out more about what life is really like as an Arts student, the reasons to pursue an Arts degree, and the options available to you by learning about a current SJU co-registered student!
For Emily, a Fifth Year Arts Student who is co-registered with St. Jerome’s University, St. Jerome's was exactly what she was looking for when deciding where to pursue her degree.
Tyler: You’re currently in your fifth year, correct?
Emily: That’s correct, I’m a fifth year Honours Religious Studies and Honours Peace and Conflict Studies major.
So you chose to pursue a double major in Peace and Conflict Studies and Religious Studies?
Yeah I did! So I started off initially majoring in one and minoring in the other, and swapped back and forth a few times, but then realised, in my third year, that I had enough courses to fill all of the requirements for both. I also realised they really complimented each other so I made the decision to do both.
Do you have any other minors or specializations or options on top of that?
No, I didn’t pursue any official ones that will go onto my diploma, but I’ve taken a number of courses in a few other areas as well; mostly in Social Development Studies, and a few in Sociology here and there that have complimented my program well.
What made you choose the two majors that you’re pursuing?
One reason was that I took a World Religions course when I was in eleventh grade, and I was fascinated by it, it was very interesting. I’ve also just always been interested in social justice and that type of work, and this seemed like the best stream for me to go into to hone in on that interest. Since starting my degree as well, I’ve been able to pick out different and more specific topics within both programs that are even more interesting to me. In Religious Studies, I’ve been able to dive deeper within Christianity and Catholicism, and in Peace and Conflict Studies I’ve been introduced to a whole new area of development and conflict resolution and topics related to those subjects.
Would you say that’s why you chose to pursue a degree in the Faculty of Arts? Or were there other reasons as well?
Yeah that was definitely one of the main factors. The first thing that really drew me to it was that I was really indecisive coming out of high school, and I knew that in Arts I had the opportunity to take a number of courses and should I want to switch after my first year, I had that flexibility. So I wanted to come here because of that option, and then I knew that I would be able to expand my horizons and open my doors even further once I got here.
How did you hear about St. Jerome’s?
I took my first tour of St. Jerome’s when I was in Grade 8, because my older cousin was taking her tour when she was coming into first year. I sort of knew about it for a very long time for that reason, and it was always on my radar. I didn’t always know that I would end up here, but I felt like this was probably a pretty good place for me. When I took my own tour when I was coming into first year, it was the perfect combination of gut feeling, and the environment, and the program, and everything all combined into one, and I knew then that all of those factors were going to make my experience at university what it has been.
St. Jerome’s has given me a really good foundation to be able to explore and challenge myself further, with the comfort of knowing that I had a group of people who had my best interests at heart
How would you describe being an Arts student at St. Jerome’s?
Being a co-registered student has just given me that comfort of knowing that I always have a smaller team in my corner. I’ve never felt any isolation or that feeling of being on such a large campus, where I haven’t been able to turn to somebody who knew who I was and knew my story. I knew at St. Jerome's that I was able to build personal connections, and that those connections would lead into any kind of help that I would ever need. I would see people, whether they were staff, students, or professors, in the cafeteria having lunch, or I would pass them in the hallway, and then when I needed help with anything, I knew that I had them in my corner. St. Jerome’s has given me a really good foundation to be able to explore and challenge myself further, with the comfort of knowing that I had a group of people who had my best interests at heart.
Other than the reasons you just gave, why would you recommend St. Jerome’s to incoming students?
The experience is really unlike anything you’d ever find anywhere else. It combines the perfect balance of lifestyle, and academic pursuits, and integrity, and challenging yourself in a space where you know that you can fail and no one is really going to say anything. It allows you to push yourself out of your comfort zone and connect with people who want the same things as you. You can find people who are looking to do the same things, who are studying the same things; you just have a really good crew of people who are always looking out for you and it’s the best environment to live in and study in.
SJU combines the perfect balance of lifestyle, and academic pursuits, and integrity, and challenging yourself in a space where you know that you can fail and no one is really going to say anything
How did you know that St. Jerome’s was the right fit for you?
All of the universities that I applied to were all affiliate colleges of a larger university because I knew that that’s what I was looking for. So I toured a few different affiliates and then St. Jerome’s was just the perfect combination of all of these different attributes that I was seeing in all of these places. So the residence, the environment of the campus, the program that was being offered, the community feeling that I experienced while I was there; all of these came together at St. Jerome’s. Honestly, when I was at St. Jerome’s, I just had this feeling of total peace coming over me, and knowing that this was where I was meant to be because it just felt like the perfect combination of everything that I was looking for in this experience.■
*This interview has been condensed and partially edited for clarity and conciseness*