By Aidan Cullis
College isn’t just a place to hone your skills through hands-on experiences with the latest technologies, classrooms, and facilities. For myself, the transition from university to college marked a revelation.
In 2010, I enrolled at Carleton University in an Honours program with a double major in english and political science. When faced with post-secondary education, there is often a sacrifice made between work, school, and a social life. I chose to offer the latter as tribute to the angry gods of academia. It didn’t matter anyway; the nature of university made my decision for me.
University learning environments can be very exclusive and have an elitist air to them; everyone’s in a program battle with one another. A major in history is nothing compared to a double major in english and political science, which is nothing compared to a double major in journalism and economics with a minor in french. University learning settings can be academically restrictive, stifling participation and debate for fear of being viewed as unscholarly, and therefore unworthy of a university degree, a fear that stagnates academic progression and personal growth.
Alternatively, college works to create a comfortable working and learning environment through the fostering of strong social relationships.
Perhaps one of the greatest advantages of college is the smaller class sizes which provide more interaction with classmates as well as the instructor. This stronger social engagement allows for a more enriched learning experience, as it creates an atmosphere in which students are more comfortable and therefore willing to participate in classroom discussions and activities.
There is a common misconception that university is for the academically prodigious, while college is for those that struggled through school and rely on more practical programs to establish themselves in the working world.
However, while university may bestow upon you the knowledge of theory and an introduction to critical theory, college is a unique combination of theory and practice that molds minds, hearts, and communities.