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Perspectives from our 2017 Sociology Graduates

Pursuing a post-secondary education can be quite the journey. Whether you are entering university straight out of high school or have been in the working world for a few years, it is an experience like no other. Our 2017 Sociology graduates reflect on their time at Ryerson, and offer advice for those considering getting a degree in Sociology.

What do you wish you would have known when you started university?

 “I wish I would have known when entering university that the university experience was far removed from the one I had in high school. While high school slowly taught me skills I would need for higher education, what I needed most was the independence that university gave me to learn more about the subjects that I feel are important. I never needed to feel the stress that there was before entering university, it was where I needed to go to develop my academic and personal skills.”

Eric Adam Saliba

“The importance of making connections with professors and how important that is for future success.”

Stephanie Fitzpatrick

“Don’t rush, take your time. Everyone has the expectation of four years but it doesn’t matter… Appreciate each moment. Take a moment to find yourself in what you’re learning and enjoy it.”

 Renée Whittaker

“I think having prior study experience as well as work/ career experience gave me a bit of an edge when jumping into the rigour of full-time academic studies. However, no matter what your experience, time management is the one thing that will get you if you aren't diligent about it. Academic research and writing is a practice that needs and deserves thorough attention and consideration, and it takes time.”

Vanessa Cristina Heron

“Something that I wish I would have known when I started university was all the tricks to saving money on campus. From putting money on your One Card to avoid paying taxes on campus food to using the many discounted textbook stores that we share with the University of Toronto, I missed out on some serious savings!”

Bianca Marryshow

“I wish I would have known more about Sociology and what it really meant. It wasn’t until I took a course that I realized what it meant. How Sociology is related to art, media, and Social Justice. I realized I could make a documentary as a form of research.”

Markus Harwood Jones

Was there anything about school and/or Sociology that surprised you?

“The great thing about sociology is that the lessons are always relevant to current issues and you learn to see and think critically about the everyday nuances individuals typically take for granted. It heightens your awareness of the issues around you and you feel more motivated to create change, even if it is through small everyday decision making. Studying sociology equipped me with a set of practices that has become a way of life…I was surprised by the generous support the administration team and professors offer students. If you take your studies seriously and make the effort to connect with them, they will go above and beyond to assist and support you. It's an academically nurturing environment.”

Vanessa Cristina Heron

“That I liked it. I’ve always enjoyed learning, but I didn’t enjoy high school. I stumbled onto Rye Pride and got involved. I graduated with a bunch of friends, and even met my boyfriend there (through CESAR & RSU).”

Markus Harwood Jones

“All the good friendships I made. I didn’t live on residence but I made really good friends for life.”

Hanna Kubis


“I suppose the diversity of students was quite interesting. Sociology in particular brings an array of ethnic and cultural backgrounds which allows for a very macro perspective on the various themes within sociology. I found it very important and helpful to hear different experiences from the diverse population in the sociology program. It helped me appreciate how different people interact with society.”

James Zorbas

What advice do you have for someone considering getting a degree in Sociology?

“The broadness of what you can do with a Sociology degree is both a blessing and a curse. Because the path is not as clearly defined as say, pursuing a degree in Aerospace Engineering, the ambiguity can (and often is) a pressure point for students…Understand that the broadness gives you access to so many potential career paths or professional development paths, and that graduating with this degree does set you up very well to transition into the workforce, if that is your desire. Sociology at Ryerson especially does a nice job of honing in on developing critical thinking and academic writing skills, communication and presentation skills, and qualitative and quantitative research development.”

Bianca Marryshow

“Don’t stress over what you’re going do with your degree. Enjoy the social. You learn so many skills in Sociology I don’t think people consider. You can do marketing, etc. It allows you to be a social person and you don’t miss out on the big things between 18 and 22.”

Mac Bauer

“Be open to many opportunities moving forward. Be open to learning new things. Sociology offers more than people might think. Don’t be discouraged. Take classes that you like. If you take classes outside of Sociology see how they can work together. I took politics and found it complemented other classes.

Stephanie Fitzpatrick

“Do it! Sociology helped me with critical thinking skills, empathy, how I communicate, and interpersonal skills. It has opened me up for anything. Definitely a really good decision.”

Emma Monet

“Do it because we live in a society that needs to be understood because it’s ever-changing.”

Karine Nicolas

“I would definitely encourage them to join the sociology program, especially if they were in pursuit of a deeper knowledge of how society shapes us and how we shape society. We interact with society every day and it has a fundamental impact on our development of self. To be able to dissect and think critically about its huge impact on our lives has proven to be an extremely useful tool in my experience.”

James Zorbas

“Do it! Do it! Professors are amazing. Best place to do it - in the downtown core. I loved it, it was amazing!”

Hanna Kubis