I say this is the last reflection that I will have to do but in reality, it is the last one that I will have to do for school and educational purposes. If I do any more reflections in my life, it will probably be during a midlife crisis when I have to sit back and reflect on my choices that got me to that point. But in the meantime, I just have to think about college and all of the good it did me.
I could take this in an angsty way and say that I didn’t learn anything, but that would be so far from the truth. On the surface level, I probably look older than when I started and that could be that the stress of important tests and deadlines has aged me. But I like to think that after four years of dealing with people of various backgrounds and values, that I can walk into a room with my head held high, knowing that I can accomplish whatever task is required of me. I know how to write to an audience. I know how to approach different topics critically and I know the importance of rhetoric, even if it was not my favorite class.
For my Professional Practices course, it had us reading multiple books and articles surrounding this idea of Work and the importance of hard work and discipline. They also reaffirmed the value of being an English major and how someone like me can use their English skills in any setting. The ability to write and communicate is so important for every business. Even if some places like engineering firms or scientific groups don’t think so, they will be able to spread their ideas and discoveries in a way that ordinary people without their vocabulary would be able to understand. While I have been told for three years that being an English major is important and you can get a job wherever you want, I hadn’t been able to really apply that information until it was placed in a professional setting.
Something else that this class did was give me an appreciation for research. It wasn’t until I started this blog and commenting on peer’s blogs that I realized that any form of looking something up is research. So when I google an author that I like to see if there is anything new coming out or what is similar to that genre, that counts as research. I had such a stigma against research because I would have to do research that I didn’t find interesting but when looking back, I know how to thoroughly research things and how to site them when I make references. Something seemingly boring and mundane is something that I actually do everyday, even if I didn’t or don’t realize it at the time.
I have heard other students complain that they never understood why they learned calculus or chemistry when they don’t continue down that path and has nothing to do with what they plan on doing. What I am deciding is that going through classes that require a different mindset or a different way of thinking helps problem-solving skills develop. This also relates to all of the “busy work” that I did in a lot of my classes. This blog for instance, while it helps my writing and I have definitely found my voice on it, is busy work. I would not be doing this if I didn’t have to. Reading books that have no purpose and isn’t discussed is busy work but they were good books to read and good experiences to have. I think that a lot of people aren’t prepared to deal with real life and people rejecting their work or having to start over and if they get used to busy work or doing things over, thinking about things in a different way, helps them in the long run.
Another thing that I know students wish they had classes over are things like mechanics, how to balance a check book, how to get a job, and this is exactly the class for that. Maybe not the first two, but definitely the job bit. We worked on our resumes, cover letters, talked about how to present yourself in a professional manner, going to a career fair to give real companies our resumes. A lot of this class helps you set up getting a job.
I had a lot of hesitations about staying in this class because I already had a job, I knew how to get through an interview since I have been through several. None of the material seemed new or worth me going through. I am glad I stuck with it though. I made connections with people in and out of the class. The way that it was structured, I had to think about who my mentor was, if I had one at all. I had to think about topics to blog about that might not have anything to do with school. It made me think and it let me check things off a check list at the end of the night, which I find incredibly satisfying.