Open Studies is a good idea
Worried you’re not in the right program? You’re not alone
The leaves crunch under your boots as you walk to campus, your homework is piling up and you’re certain the student just ahead of you is sipping a pumpkin spiced latte. The fall semester is kicking off and hundreds of new and returning students just like yourself are grappling with the heavy plate of being a student – planning out academic careers, paving a path to eventually join the workforce and juggling tuition costs.
While some know exactly the career path they aim to pursue, others are justifying pouring their dollars into tuition only to find out their program isn’t the right fit for them. So how do you pick a program? Four students share their thoughts on the importance of open studies.
Stephanie Nolan, a Drama major at the University of Alberta, believes that her ability to take open studies helped in her decision to pursue her passion. It also helped her explore other avenues that she may not have taken if she had focused solely on a major when she registered. “The benefits of taking open studies is that you can try out different things and it may spark your interest in a field that you’d never thought you’d want to pursue,” she says.
Jody Li, a fourth year General Sciences major at Mount Royal University, said that open studies helped her adjust properly to post-secondary education, helping her adjust to homework demands that were not so heavy in high school when she first came to Calgary. Though the courses Li took were put against her major that she knew she was going to be taking, it gave her a little bit of breathing room to adjust.
“I feel that the courses I took in the semester of open studies helped lead the way into my major, identifying myself with the professors and students I would have classes with later in the program,” says Li.
Matt Warren, a fourth year Business Administration major at Mount Royal University, believes that if he had taken open studies right out of high school it would have lead him in a different direction than what he decided on straight out of high school.
“The great thing about open studies is that you are allowed to explore classes that are common to your interests,” says Warren. “Open studies helps build your academic experience around what your interests are and helps you find out what your main interests are as you grow as a student.”
Warren spent five years at Queen’s University earning a Life Sciences degree, only to find out after graduation that it was something he did not wish to pursue outside of academia – a difficult realization for him. When he decided to return to University he chose open studies because he wasn’t restricted in the courses he could choose.
“I wanted to raise my GPA and have some options,” says Warren. He also found the experience refreshing that he could take a wide and diverse course workload and figure out what he was passionate about and what he wasn’t.