UNIV 200 Thoughts

Elizabeth Stewart

Skills, Dispositions, Insights, and Obstacles


I feel like my growth between last semester and this semester has been huge. The biggest area that I've grown in has been to just stop doing things for a grade and to do them to help me learn more about the world. I've also grown a lot with using technology. I hated using rampages last year but I think it was just because my professor made it so difficult to understand and way more complicated than it needed to be. I definitely felt more comfortable with the site this year and I feel like that's because we got clear instructions on how to do things. I grew a lot with using my peers as a resource as well. My professor last year encouraged us to converse and help each other but I'm shy and just not very comfortable doing that. I think that's something that I was really pushed in this semester and it definitely helped me to become a better writer and think in ways I wouldn't have before.
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At first, I can honestly say that I absolutely did not like this class. I was confused and frustrated because I didn't feel like there were clear guidelines and expectations for me. I'm used to being told exactly what I need to do and how I need to do it and I like it that way because it doesn't really leave much room for error. My thoughts on the class changed when I got to bring in a subject that I was passionate about. When I realized that I could talk about psychology, which is my field of study, and bring in video games, which is something I really enjoy, I started having fun. This class is pretty much the first time that I got to choose what I wanted to do my paper on and how I wanted to go about writing it. It was freeing and it made me want to research and write and actually spend time on the project. I enjoyed getting to work with other students which is something I usually wouldn't do, and I feel like, because we didn't have clear guidelines and expectations, the class allowed us to open up our minds a little and really write a paper on something we're passionate about.
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I feel like I've gained insight on how to actually learn things and take advantage of my time in college. People are always so focused on their grades. They think of the easiest and fastest way that they would be able to get a good grade and then they do whatever they need to to do that. This is not how it should be though. Students should focus on what and how much they are learning instead of how they are going to be able to get the grade. In our class, for instance, if it wasn't structured the way it was, then I know I would just go about writing the paper thinking about what I could do to earn an A. I would probably spend way more time on formatting and structure and making it correct in that way that I would fail to dive deeper into the questions that I came across. I would put up a wall in my mind and be so focused on getting the work done that I would overlook certain things and end up with a paper that looks good but means nothing. By letting my ideas flow and questioning everything I come across, I was able to find new ideas and ways of thinking that could really push my topic further. Because I wasn't so focused on my grade, I was able to be creative and let the ideas flow.
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I definitely had to jump over a lot of obstacles in this class. I think the biggest one was how the class was structured. I'm so used to a rigid structure. I like knowing what exactly I have to do and when exactly I need to do it. I'm a planner and this helps me to stay organized and focused. I feel like our class didn't have that strict structure that I'm used to. This was really hard for me at first because it made me feel frustrated and like I was just losing track of everything all the time. I had a hard time knowing when or if assignments were due and exactly what I needed to do for them. I felt really lost. When I started to think outside the box and worry less about my grade and more about what I was learning, the class became way easier for me to handle and I actually enjoyed it. One thing that I thought would be an obstacle for me that actually wasn't was using ram pages. I used the site last year for my UNIV class and I hated it. I struggled with how to use it and it made my grade suffer. This year, however, I feel like it was much simpler and easier to use. It made sense with what we were doing and it was easy to connect with other students. Overall, I feel like the obstacles that I encountered ended up making me a better student and thinker than I was before the class.
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