It seems bizarre to think that I am already half way done my first term of first year University…it seems like just yesterday I was freaking out about making new friends and adapting to the new work load I was about to face. It is even more bizarre to look back at how much I read and learned in just six weeks, I didn’t think it was possible to absorb that much information. I also must say, I didn’t think it was possible to be half way through three textbooks. I have to be honest, I have never read this much in my entire life before starting University! Although the workload is heavier than I have been used to, it is manageable and worth the amazing information that I get to learn.
Over the past few weeks, I have explored many different disciplines in my classes including psychology, sociology, philosophy, social development studies, and of course English. Although I have only completed a few assignments in only philosophy and English, I still gained several skills that I didn’t have before. For example, in all of my high school English classes, peer editing only consisted of reviewing other students’ work and marking up the page with grammar corrections and suggestions for alternative words. I never realized how little of an effect this actually had on the development of our writing skills until University English. So far, ENGL 109 has taught me a much more effective way to peer edit which includes reading the students’ work for what it actually is and not just looking for errors in the writing. I find this so much more helpful in developing a much better final draft and actually learning how to improve my work. Also by analyzing my peers’ blog posts and assignments, and commenting on them, I believe I have gained a critical reading skill which helps me look deeper into the meaning of the text and effectively criticize. I also learned to criticize effectively in my philosophy class as philosophy includes constant questioning and examining texts based on their validity. I’ve also learned that there are many different kinds of writing styles that I wasn’t aware of in high school; such as writing blog posts, personal narratives, and rhetoric analysis.
As I previously mentioned, my philosophy course is the only other class besides English that I have written an assignment for. The one philosophy assignment that I’ve done so far is a philosophical essay in response to a philosopher’s argument. I had to think about my own arguments as well as the possible counterarguments that could prove me wrong; which I then had to argue against those counterarguments. This was a whole new essay style that I have never used and found completely different and frustrating. I was mostly confused about the structure of this essay as it was like nothing I’ve ever done before in high school. Also, I found it extremely difficult to create my own claims that go against such an important figure in philosophy.
As the term goes on and I continue to learn so many new things that I truly enjoy, it just makes me even more excited to see what is coming next. I am hoping that by the end of my first year in University, I will be able to use techniques that will help me complete assignments for many different kinds of courses that I will be taking throughout my years in University.