What got me attracted to Mass Communications was the word ‘journalism’. Journalism. Take a moment and say it out loud. Then stop. Does it feel grand? Powerful? Influential? Nothing? Okay, okay, you’ll probably tell me to stop the crap but that’s the impact the word has on me. And no, I did not take up the course just because I love the way the word sounds.
Being a Mass Communications student, you need to speak up and voice your opinions. Well, as long as your opinions do not belittle or insult other people. But, just voice out whatever’s appropriate in your head. It makes you an interesting person and that will make other interesting people give their opinions too. Ah, that’s when the fun begins. If the opinions contradict one another, prepare to stand by your ideas and start debating. Heck, you can also challenge your lecturers! But remember to show them the respect that they deserve. They are, after all, older and wiser than you.
Anyway, there are 3 major courses in the Mass Communications program which I’m in. They are Journalism, Public Relations, and Broadcasting. If you enjoy reading and writing, it’s journalism for you. If you like to be busy and manage big, important events, then go for Public Relations. And if you aspire to be like Bernard Chauly (director of Gol & Gincu, 2005) or wish to be seen more often on TV, sign up for broadcasting. However, if you take up Journalism, you can also swerve your way into the fields of Public Relations or Broadcasting.
But, the reason I’m writing this article is to relate my experience of studying in Mass Communications for a year. I’ve only one year experience so I can’t tell everything there is to know. I’ll only tell what I know!
Beware! You really need to read A LOT, A LOT! In my first semester, we had to take 2 Mass Comm papers: Introduction to Mass Communication and Introduction to Human Communication. Well, one textbook was required for each paper, so it was quite okay.
In my second semester, I had 3 Mass Comm papers: Communication and Society, Communication Theory and Research and Communication For Social Development. The second semester was a killer. For Communication and Society, we had to read 3 insanely thick books full of articles. For the Theory paper, there were 38 articles and lastly for Communication for Social Development, we had to read 25 articles and the professor even recommended more readings!
That’s a lot to read right? And it’s only for 3 papers. I haven’t included readings from my other non-Mass Comm courses.
Anyway, once you are in university, you need to put aside your shyness because you will go in front of your classmates for presentations. Yup, dress your best and spray the scent of confidence all over yourself! It’s boring if you read your speech directly from a piece of paper. Your audience will lose interest and the professor might start yawning. So, it’s better if you learn to speak in public without actually ‘reading’.
Like what I mentioned earlier, it is advisable for you to speak up in class and ask questions. It is sad to see nobody raising their hands to bombard the lecturer with questions although they’ve kindly ask loads of times. Unfortunately, some or most students are just shy or timid or afraid that their English would not be so good and that they’d make a fool of themselves. Truth is, some professors love it when their students ask questions in class. At least they wouldn’t be the only one talking all the time!
Lastly, your grades. Usually it’s 30% for assignments and 70% would be your exams. You’ll be given around 7-8 weeks to complete your assignments and that’s a long time. If you know how to use your time wisely, you wouldn’t be rushing to write 8 - 10 pages the night before the due date. Unfortunately, many of us still do that now. It is totally NOT advisable!
All right, this has been a really long post. I’m off to my second year of Mass Communications soon! Perhaps I’ll report to you guys about my second year next year. Hope this post helps. =) Liked this post? Subscribe now to read more post like this one! Tweet