April 23, 2015

First Year Perspective: Rumneek Johal in CMNS


Rumneek Johal is a first year student in our School of Communication. Last Fall, she recieved the Dean's Academic Excellence Entrance Scholarship for the Faculty of Communication, Art and Technology.

As Rumneek wraps up her second semester, we have taken the opportunity to check-in with how her first year went! We are excited to share her experience as we prepare to welcome another class of outstanding first year students this Fall.

How did you first hear about the School of Communication?

Not knowing where I wanted to go, I began doing research on subject areas that interested me. I was intrigued when I came across SFU's Communication program during a university presentation at my high school. Not initially familiar with the study of Communication, I looked into the program on my own and became really interested.

In your own words, how would you describe the study of Communication?

I would say that Communication is a type of media study, looking at a variety of different aspects regarding media, communications, technology, politics and economy of communication.

Overall, what has your first year been like? What’s been the best part of the year?

My first year has been a lot of fun. I've made new friends and have gotten to know people from a variety of different backgrounds. My classes, for the most part, have been interesting (although not always) and enjoyable. 

How have you adjusted to university life?

I think I have adjusted well to university life because I have learned the art of time management, and how to wake up late and still make it to school on time.

What has been the biggest learning curve so far, for you?

Although I can manage my time well enough to allocate enough time for studying, I find that it doesn’t often translate to enough time during that period being spent actually doing the work. I've learned that in order to get work done, I often have to study alone so I can focus without getting distracted, or even being a distraction to my friends. Studying is not enjoyable, so I've had to learn techniques on how to make sure I work efficiently enough to get work done. 

What has surprised you the most about being an FCAT student?

As cliché as it sounds, I am surprised by how much I enjoy what I'm learning. Studying isn’t always about fun and games, and classes aren't all easy and exciting, but I enjoy the people in my classes and my professors are great. 

What extra-curricular activities do you like to participate in? How do you find balance between those activities and your academic studies?

I definitely regret that during my first year, I did not actively participate in any extra-curricular activities at SFU. That being said, I look forward to getting more involved next year, including with SFU’s CJSF student radio station. I enjoy working out, and I’ve recently gotten a new job. I find that it is important to make time for school, amidst all out of school activities. But it is also just as important to make time for all the things I consider my priorities. 

What advice would you offer to new students considering this program?

Do your research; look at the wide range of classes offered throughout the program, and see if they are suited to your interests. There are lots of papers and presentations in Communication courses, so be prepared. But other than that, just enjoy yourself. It’s a great program!

What is one thing you wish you had known in high school?

You have no idea how easy you have things right now, so enjoy it. Learn to manage your time wisely, and don't be too worried about first year - it'll be over before you know it!