IDS final exam essay:

As an Interdisciplinary Studies major it is important to take control of your educational experience. Having a major that you built yourself allows you to explore, and learn about what is important to your future goals both in terms of education and for a career path. Throughout this semester of beginning my academic journey into IDS I have learned new ways to take academic accountability. Some being actual, physical tools and other being new ways of thinking and the growth of personal strengths. 

Designing a PLN (a personal learning network) along with an Eport has given me a physical way of expanding upon my learning. I anticipate that within the field I would like to go into, having a strong social media presence will be beneficial for me. So, I will be attempting to stay with my PLN throughout college and hopefully after. This will allow me to do multiple things. First, by the time I graduate, if I have kept up with my Twitter, which is what I had chosen for my PLN, I will be able to see my growth in one place. Now of course not all of my personal work will have been posted, but I expect to see a dramatic difference in the quality of my graphic design work from this first semester taking a graphic design course to my senior year work. This will allow me to see my growth, and allow potential clients to as well. A lot of graphic design work, especially when you’re new and still building a resume, is bound to come from direct work for a single party or person. Having a potential client, in search of someone to compete a job for them, discover me on Twitter will greatly benefit a future career. In addition, I will be able to keep up to date on current trends in marketing and graphic design. Having a social media account dedicated solely to career and education will eliminate posts that are irrelevant, and allow for all time spent on that account to be productive. 

My Eport has given me something similar. This will be home to personal writings, and graphic design work. I am currently unsure how I will be using this tool in the future, though. I have posted work; however, some of the writing I have posted is unrelated to graphic design and marketing. So, I am debating on whether this Eport will become a personal journal of sorts, or something I attempt to make professional. Personally, I believe having a spot to post my written thoughts will be beneficial for me in the long run. It will motivate me to explore writing about anything I find interesting, and serve as a way to reflect on my growth. Looking back at something I wrote Sophomore year as a Senior will be quite interesting to me, the same way looking at old drawings from middle school is always fun for me. Seeing your growth is sometimes hard to do in life, when you’re viewing everything in the current moment, but I feel that having a way to see how I have improved will keep me motivated to keep working.

I have taken away new ways of thinking from becoming an IDS major. Firstly, I had to ask for overrides into courses in which I did not meet the prerequisites for, which at first worried me. But, I found that as soon as I tried, professors were more than willing to accommodate my new major. It was worrisome to me in regards to switching my major. I was afraid to make a change, but having done so, and enjoying it so much, has shown me that sometimes you just need to make the leap. I have learned how to communicate my goals, and take the proper action to achieve them.

After this course, I will continue to keep track of my academics. Whether that means meeting with my advisor often, or keeping track of my degree works to see which classes I should be signing up for next. I will continue to work on an online presence, along with getting the most out of all of my classes. Another idea that I have taken from this course surprised me: I now have a strong want to enjoy, and take the most out of, all the general education courses I will be taking at Plymouth. Often, gen ed courses are seen as something you just have to do. But much like IDS, where I am combining the topics I want to explore in my career, general education courses will be a tool for me to become more well-rounded, and educated. This is not to say I did not try in my past gen eds, I always strived for good grades; however, I found myself learning material just to pass a test. In the future, I have learned that I will benefit more from genuinely absorbing the content of every course, and treating knowledge as a privilege and a tool, whether I am taking a major course or a history elective. 

From this course I hope to take much of what I learned into the rest of my college experience, and life. The connections I was lucky to make within the course to other students, and the amazing faculty has been outstanding. Feeling as though you have a strong support system for your education is important, and I feel I have received, and will continue to receive this. I will be leaving this course with a newfound appreciation for the school I attend, and for the opportunities I am receiving to create a path that truly fits me.