SJU ARTS STUDENT PROFILE: LYDIA
23 Feb, 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 Lydia, a Fifth Year Arts Student who is co-registered with St. Jerome’s University, the ability to customize her degree with different majors, minors and specializations has made her education so much more impactful.
Tyler: When did you first hear of St. Jerome’s? Was it while you were applying to schools, or did you not find out about SJU until you came to UWaterloo?
Lydia: I actually applied to SJU from the beginning. When I toured SJU I really liked the vibe that I was getting and knew immediately that I wanted to be co-registered here. I was also attracted to the University of Waterloo in general, but it was definitely SJU that sold me on UW from the beginning.
So what specifically was it that made you want to come to SJU?
There were a lot of things! The Experience Guide that gave me my tour was very excited about St. Jerome’s in general and I really liked to see that kind of enthusiasm, I hadn’t seen it anywhere else that I had toured. SJU also felt like an actual community, which I know you might hear a lot, but that’s how it felt when I came here. I could see the community, and that people knew each other and cared about each other. I was attracted to that smaller community feel because I’ve never really been one for big crowds, so the smaller community is really what drew me here in the first place.
What’s your major?
My major is Sexuality, Marriage, and Family Studies (SMF).
Are you doing any specializations, options, or minors in addition to your major?
I am, so within my major, I’m also doing two specializations; the Counselling specialization, and the Human Services Practicum specialization. I’m also doing two minors in English and Peace and Conflict Studies. So a lot of different things in addition to my major.
What made you choose Sexuality, Marriage, and Family Studies?
I actually found SMF once I came here, and I chose it for multiple reasons. I was drawn to the things that it says it stands for; which are inclusion, and treating people with dignity and respect. As well, the community that I felt from SMF was something that attracted me. Also, the fact that the professors are all very passionate about what they’re teaching and they really care about their students, is something that I love. To have professors who are really invested in me and in my education and success has made such a difference in my experience here.
To have professors who are really invested in me and in my education and success has made such a difference in my experience here
Do you have an idea of what you hope to do once you’re done school?
I think I’m still very much figuring out exactly what I want to do.
What is it about what you’re studying that you enjoy and that makes it worth studying in your mind?
I think that the things I’m learning in SMF are applicable to anywhere in life. They’ve definitely made me a better person and a better friend, family member, employee, and more. I also think that the things that I learn can be universally applied, like the human services field in general. For example, I’ve learned a lot about anti-oppressive practices, which is something that I carry into the work that I do everywhere. I definitely see SMF as a very interdisciplinary program that I’m able to apply to a lot of different things.
In more of a general sense, why did you decide to study Arts?
I always knew that I wanted to study Arts. Originally I thought that I had wanted to study English actually, because I have always been a lover of reading and writing, but I ended up pursuing that as a minor instead. Arts has just always been where I thought I would go, so I guess a better question for me would be “why not anything else”. My passion has always been for the courses that are in the Arts, especially the writing aspect, and examining the social aspects of the topics that I study.
From your own perspective, what is it like to be an Arts student? What are the benefits?
For me, I actually really like writing papers, so I know that because writing is where my strong suit comes out, I’m able to express my ideas fairly when I’m being evaluated, which is something I appreciate. There’s also a lot of freedom to apply what I’m learning in different ways. When I’m writing a research paper, I often don’t have to write about this specific thing, I can write a research paper about whatever I want within this field, so there’s room for creativity even when just writing a research paper. As an Arts student, I can also tailor my degree to where my interests and my passions are, so I’ve been very lucky to be able to study things that are more relevant to me, my passions, and my future hopes.
I’ve been very lucky to be able to study things that are relevant to me, my passions, and my future hopes
Why did you decide to have two specialization and two minors as well as your major?
As I mentioned, when I was coming here, English was what I thought I would study, so by the time I knew that I didn’t want that to be my major, I had enough courses for it to be a minor. When I decided that I wanted to have only the one major, I still wanted to have a diverse degree that was going to provide me with a lot of different things, so I looked around at Arts programs and found Peace and Conflict Studies, and that was something that attracted me for multiple reasons on its own. I knew that I wanted diversity within my degree so that’s why I chose those minors. For the specializations within SMF, both seemed like natural progressions in my degree. I’ve really enjoyed all of the therapy courses that I’ve taken, so I knew that I wanted to pursue the Counselling specialization. I also knew I wanted to do a practicum, which is a piece of the Human Services specialization. It just made sense to pursue all of these different things because ultimately I wanted to have a diverse and well-rounded degree.
Why would recommend St. Jerome’s to someone else?
I can’t think of any reasons why I wouldn’t recommend St. Jerome’s to someone else! I think I would primarily recommend SJU because this is a place where everybody from top to bottom cares about the students and cares about the experience that they’re having. I also think that the community that I see people build here, whether it is with the student leaders and staff or the first years building community amongst themselves, is unparalleled to anything I’ve seen anywhere else. At S. Jerome’s people have so many opportunities to be involved in the community, and it’s obvious how much people care about each other.■
*This interview has been condensed and partially edited for clarity and conciseness*