University

Ryerson University: Student life on campus

An insider’s guide to the best place to live, campus food and more

Rachael Masih, 22
Journalism

Rachael Masih (Courtesy of Rachael Masih)

Why did you choose Ryerson?
I chose Ryerson’s master of journalism program because it’s a hands-on program, which is rare for graduate studies. At the time I applied, pre-COVID, I was most excited about using the on-campus facilities like the broadcasting and recording studios. The courses looked fun and collaborative. I figured there was no better place to study journalism than in the heart of Toronto with loads of young, talented journalists.

Describe some of your best experiences so far.
My favourite experience was working in the On the Record newsroom as part of the podcast team. We’d have to stay up late writing scripts and cutting audio, but we were in good company and made episodes we could be proud of. I also enjoyed my internship. It was a welcome change of pace from schoolwork, and I learned a lot.

Are you involved in extracurricular activities?
I’m not in any extracurriculars at Ryerson. Joining virtually just didn’t cross my mind. With most clubs operating online, you have to research which club you’re interested in, check if they’re still active and then go to their Zoom events after likely spending all day on Zoom. It just made more sense to get involved locally than to pursue more virtual activities.

What do you think of your professors?
My experience with my professors has been great for the most part. One thing that’s true of all of them is that they want to see you grow and perform well. The pandemic has been hard on everybody, and the professors have been flexible and willing to make compromises that work for everyone. They are supportive, fun and, of course, very talented people.

What do you think of the school’s administration?
Enrolling in courses may take some getting used to, which is true of all university portals, but follow the instructions on RAMSS Support and you’ll be just fine. If not, someone will help you. The administrative team was always polite and warm when I needed help. The team is small, so you recognize their names and their faces. Even when everything was online only, they felt personable and within reach. They also made sure students knew about all the great opportunities available. They pass along relevant paid and volunteer roles, which is a huge help, especially for people in creative fields.

What is off-campus life like in Toronto?
On campus, you’re right by the Cineplex in Yonge-Dundas Square. You can hit up a board game café. You can go thrifting in Kensington. There are tons of places to go out for drinks, and there are events going on all the time—sports games, concerts, comedy shows. Anything you could think of doing, it’s there.

PROFILE: Ryerson University | Toronto, Ont. | Founded 1948

Best place to live: In the Church-Wellesley Village
Best place to study: At home
Best campus events: Frosh week (for undergrads)
Weirdest tradition: Saying Gould Street smells like churros, even when it doesn’t
Best campus food: Food trucks
Best cheap lunch: Street hot dogs
Best pizza: Maker Pizza
Best place for a fancy dinner: One of the Joey restaurants
Best giveaway: Yeti microphone
Best bar for hanging out: The Warehouse
Best live music venue: The Phoenix Concert Theatre
Best hangover breakfast: McDonald’s
Best place for a nap: There’s no place like home
Best weekend activity: Coffee and Allan Gardens
The thing that surprised me most about the school: How they’ve handled COVID
If I could change one thing about the school: The name

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