Hi again! I’m back after a great vacation in Spain, visiting a couple friends and going to the Hayley Kiyoko’s concert 0.0
As I promised, after talking about the things I like about the university where I’m studying this year (see the post here), I’ll talk now about the things I like the less.
Huge disclaimer: I’m not being humble when I say that these are REALLY PERSONAL AND SUBJECTIVE OPINIONS, I don’t really find that many flaws in this university more than some things that affect me just because of my personality, this means, these points can be advantages for you instead of the opposite, if your personality is different than mine, so don’t take this too seriously.
~ PEER TO PEER PHILOSOPHY (for everything) ~
In RUC, the collaboration between fellow students is indispensable. From daily classes to the group project, many of your work will be done along with other students. Sometimes this is nice, but sometimes a bit exhausting, especially if you are a bit shy, introvert, or just independent.
If you are too shy, the whole system of this university will help you to overcome your difficulties and learn how easy is actually to talk with other people. I strongly believe this is really important, not just for your professional path but also for your own private life. This being said, it is true that if you are just quite introvert and you don’t have problems to work with other people if necessary, but you just enjoy having your own space, sometimes this university will get on your nerves. In all classes, professors leave time for some group work or for «peer to peer discussion», as they call it. This is, to talk with the person sitting near you about the topics being discussed in class or about the readings required for that day, with the objective of getting some conclusion. I must confess, I just feel like sometimes this is too tiring, sometimes you just don’t feel like talking to people, especially at early hours in the morning.
I also understand, however, that this is a good way to wake people up at the early hours, I should say, but yet… (sleepy emoji). If you also combine this huge amount of collaboration in normal classes to the project group, which is a whole subject where ALL THE WORK is made with other students… Yeah, it’s a huge amount of time that you have to spend with other people.
I feel like this is a very personal critique, because anyways, in many universities, and also depending on the subject, a lot of group work is necessary. So I’m sure this is just an introvert person here complaining about everyday life ( XD ).
Let me do a little disclaimer here. A good thing from all of this is that you don’t really have to make these conversations public if you don’t want to. When these discussions between students end, teachers ask people to talk, but not everybody needs to do it. You can participate in the class if you want to, but if you don’t, it’s not really a problem 🙂
~ (too much fucking) FEEDBACK ~
Related to the first point, in this university, peer to peer feedback is very important. In many subjects, you will have to give feedback to the work other groups are doing. I honestly feel confused about this. On one hand, I think it’s cool that we pay attention to the work of others and of course, giving a good critique costs effort, so I guess you can learn from it. But also on the other hand, sometimes I’ve felt very tired from it, because at the end of the day I always think, well, who am I to give a good critique to this? I’m not an expert, I have no idea, that’s why I’m in college, to learn things and being able to critique things, but in the future! Or at least when I have some more bits of knowledge about the matter. I think the most important feedback is the one the professor gives you, and not what other people like you can give you, and like I said, I’m not even referring to the capacity of the other people to criticize your work, but to my own capacity.
For this last essay, I had to do for one of my classes, the teacher asked us to upload it to Peergrade, a webpage that allows doing this kind of feedback easily, but I can not stop thinking the professor should be the one correcting… Or at least to complement the opinion of the teacher with the opinion of other students, but for now, we only have the feedback of fellow students. The teacher will correct our essays, but only at the end of the subject as the final exam, so… I heard somewhere that the problem is simply that, since teachers don’t have enough time to correct our things, this is the way they try to cover it… Mmmm.
Like I said, feedback between students is everywhere, in my last semester (studying communication) we had this day called «Showtime» when people had to show their video projects, or posters or etc. Teachers would correct the projects that day, but they also required us to give feedback to our colleagues. Not only that day but also meanwhile we were working in our own projects. We had to take the time to read the work of others and give each other feedback.
Not only there’s feedback between students, but they also like feedback between professors and students. Sometimes I think professors are too interested in students opinion. This feels like a very weird thing to say, because of course it seems positive to be able to talk with professors if there’s something you don’t like, but other times I really feel like teachers should just let us be students and not ask us to do their work. Again, I mean, who am I to critique everything? I’m just a twenty-year-old student with not that much interest in the university, I just want to attend classes and pass and that’s it, like, I don’t really care (?)
This is a very weird feeling, it really feels stupid to say all of this, maybe is just that I don’t really like to give my opinion? I don’t know, this is a very unique feeling I’ve only had in RUC.
Maybe it’s all a consequence of not being treated that much as adults in our home universities. Denmark and north-countries have a very different perspective on education, and again, sometimes the cultural shock can also make you reject some aspects that you would enjoy if you are a native 🙂
I must say also, as in the first point, that you are not ‘obligated’ to give this feedback, I mean, it’s not that they make every single student talk. The usually just let people that want to talk to do so, and if you prefer to stay quiet, you can do that 🙂
~ THE COMMUNICATION COURSE WAS NOT THAT GOOD ~
Not much to add to this one. The first semester felt a bit weird for me sometimes. The subject I enjoyed the most was Print Media, but other classes like Video Workshop didn’t feel that great. With that one, I felt like the level was set a bit low. Then we had this course on Theoretical Perspectives on Communication, that felt, well… Too theoretical? I really felt confused at that one, I even failed the exam (but managed to pass the re-exam). It is also important for me to say that I study journalism in Spain, and the Communication courses here available in English are about communication in a broader perspective, not about journalism.
In conclusion, as you’ve probably noticed and like I said at the beginning, these are really subjective perceptions that come from a particular personality like mine, a pretty introvert guy. As much as I feel like I’m not the shy boy I used to be anymore, and that I am not afraid of socialization at all, the introversion keeps living with you and it can’t help but make some things more difficult for you than what they would be for an extrovert person. We can conclude that RUC has definitely a hugely social structure, so that along with the cultural shock of education in north countries, it can really stress you sometimes.
Some other details could have been added to this post like sometimes you feel like you have to read too much while not having that much time to do so, the fact that sometimes you feel like you are not having that many classes as you should (there are fewer hours of class here than in many other countries), etc… Also, RUC is itself a very different college from others in Denmark, it is known as the most alternative university in the country, so yeah, things here are pretty special and unique 😉