Arts One is Canada’s premier introduction to humanities studies at the university level. You will have a rare opportunity early in your undergraduate career to participate in small, focused seminar discussions, peer review colleagues’ papers, and fortify your reading skills as you discover and develop your own academic approach.
The rich breadth of texts you survey will provide a critical foundation for further studies, whether you proceed on to philosophy, the visual arts, sociology, or something else entirely. Engaging with authors from different cultures and areas of inquiry–within the specific context of your group’s theme–will nurture much-needed analytic skills.
Critical thinking is essential to academia but also indispensable for comprehending current events, global and local issues, and finding your place in the world.
The intensive writing component of the program will allow you to discipline your composing process, which is different for every individual… and something a few of your future colleagues will be struggling with even in their fourth year. You will be expected to improve, challenged to do so, and supported by your seminar leader every step of the way.
Arts One is as much your professors’ priority as it will be yours. They are there for you, but it is up to you to take advantage of their time.
As an alumnus, the best advice I can give a prospective or current Arts One student is simply to work with your professor! After all, only with their guidance will you meditate on Descartes without disfiguring your face into his permanent cringe.
Good luck, and enjoy your first year of university!