Innovations Roadmap #12

Reflection [ri-flek-shuh n]
Noun
1. The act of reflecting or the state of being reflected
2. An image; representation; counterpart
3. A fixing of the thoughts on something; careful consideration
4. A thought occurring in consideration or meditation
5. An unfavorable remark or observation
TOPIC: Reflection on the Innovation Scholar roadmap course.
I’ve had many ups and downs with this class.
I wasn’t particularly pleased with how early this class was. Getting up really at 7:30, then having to think about how I want to make an impact in a field at 8:30 when all I’d rather think about is taking a nap is really hard. If the Honors college wants to keep going with having this as a part of the CORE experience (or part of the Honors curriculum in general), I’d definitely recommend moving it back. Yes, it’s in our dorms. That does not mean we’re okay with waking up at 7 or 7:30 to go to a class.
That aside, I think taking the Innovation Scholars course was really beneficial for me. I found out I like psychology a lot more than I thought. Being in this class helped me connect my desire to help people with a passion of mine, and to use that passion in a way I hadn’t thought possible. Knitting is no longer just your grandmother’s hobby. It can be used for so many things. Without this class, I would not have started looking for how this hobby I started as a bored 12-year-old could help me as a stressed-out college student and help others from all walks of life.
At the same time, pursing this put me in situation I did not like much. I found myself comparing my problem statement with others. The examples brought up in class were science or something mechanical, and that made me think, “My problem is not good enough because it’s not trying to solve some big problem that’ll actually do something really cool.” I’ve had this problem outside of this class, where the Honors college focuses really heavily on the sciences. This just helped increase my insecurity about what I want to do. I feel like I should be doing something that’s really going to make an impact, but all I want to do is help people without having to rely on all the fancy gadgets. I think if I had heard a wider variety of problem statements, I would not have become insecure and struggled so much with coming up with a problem or finding a mentor.
I did appreciate a lot of the advice given. There was something very true about it, yet the way it was pushed made me cringe away from it. I’d love to try all these things. I’d drop out of college if I knew I could afford it because it stresses me out more than it should and keeps me from doing what I’d much rather be doing. But I can’t. The root to all these problems? Money. Don’t have the money to do anything. I have written a lot of the advice down, though. The reason I did this is to make my college experience the best it can be, despite how miserable school makes me. I think something to watch out for is saying “you have to do something, you have to make an impact” over and over in classes because I’m just a freshman. I’m still trying to adjust to living away from home, making friends outside of my dorm, dealing with the insane amount of homework my teachers give (do they give a lot because they think their class is the only one?), and on top of homework, making sure I’m getting enough sleep and taking care of myself.  The concept of trying to make a change in four years or advance something can be terrifying.
I really enjoyed the back and forth conversations in the class. I think if it weren’t so early, I would have participated more. I liked the brainstorming. The best part of this class is identifying a passion that you may want to pursue later. I liked finding out more about myself and about the people around me. It’s nice to see people who are passionate about something. I was talking to Kris the other day, and for the first time, I heard someone else say they were really looking forward to pursuing their problem statement. For those who actually care, they can get a lot out of this course. They can do collaborations, too, if they can find it. Not everyone’s going to follow through, I’m sure of it. Very few people might. However, finding something I’m passionate about, finding others who are passionate about something, and finding people who are willing to support you is something I’ve gotten out of this class. It was really a great and interesting class, and in the end, I’ll say I’m not unhappy about taking the Innovations Scholars class. I’m not thrilled, but I’m not unhappy. This is a great class.
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