What to Expect
Sociology students want to know all about people. They study all aspects
of human society and culture.
"[The] program has a lot of room for specialization," says Amy Kszyston.
She studied sociology. "There are a number of required theory and methods
courses, but once you have those completed you are free to explore a variety
of different fields in sociology."
Her typical day varied a great deal, with each class requiring two hours
of lecture a week and one hour of tutorial.
Kszyston had two hours of homework a night, with a full academic
load including five classes. "In the first year, you can usually expect to
have one chapter per class per week that you are expected to read and understand
by lecture. If you have a full course load of five courses, that is five chapters
in a week."
That might sound like a lot, but don't worry. "It is really not that hard
to fit it all in. Sometimes you might have to pick and choose, but one important
thing I learned is do not let yourself get too far behind or you will
never catch up."
Kszyston likes the diversity of studying sociology. "I took a class on political
correctness from a sociological standpoint. It was a great class. It was
all lectures and your whole mark was based on one paper that you had to hand
in on the last day of class. It was a different way of learning and a welcome
break from lecture and textbook readings."
Kszyston found that a lack of knowledge about sociology programs can be
a drawback. "Students from other faculties often laugh about students with
social science degrees, but I think they are wrong. I believe that I am far
more prepared to enter the workforce than some other students from other faculties."
Kszyston notes that many of the skills she acquired during her program
are useful, job-related skills, including research methods, data analysis
and writing skills.
How to Prepare
Kszyston sees the transition to college as the biggest challenge that students
face. "I really had no clue how to write a research paper,... how] to take
notes in class so I could study from them later, or to take notes from a textbook
that summarizes the important facts."
She encourages high school students to develop those skills and not to
be afraid to seek help if they need it. "One thing incoming students
should know is that there is a large group of people employed at the university
with the specific function of making the high school to university transition
easier for you. All you have to do is use their services. That is what they
were designed for."