As the semester winds down and finals week looms over the horizon, I’ve stopped to relax and reflect during the calm before the storm. This semester has been a whirlwind of assignments, grades, and studying. Obviously, you shouldn’t expect anything less during your junior year of college, but I was still not prepared for how busy this semester was. It was challenging, but I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.
When the semester first started I ranked my IDS class at the bottom of the barrel right off the bat. After all it was just an intro class. Just another course I needed to take to create my program. Now I can honestly say I underestimated this course. I’ve learned just as much as any of my other classes, but it’s been a lot more about myself and my education.
I had no idea that interdisciplinarity was even a word before I learned about this program. Somehow I may have been able to piece it together, but I never would have grasped the true importance and meaning of the word.
I learned how crucial IDS is to knowledge and education and how it’s always there, but sometimes we just aren’t seeing it. Through this course, IDS has evolved into a pillar of my educational career and has provided the support and foundation for me to pursue my interests. To me, IDS is the integration of a bunch of great things to make one amazing thing. Like my major for example, I’ve taken biology, psychology, sociology, social work, and health education to make a major geared towards mental health and well-being. Without IDS, I would not have been able to do that. I would be stuck in Gen Chem (Yuck) failing miserably because I couldn’t find relevance in any of it.
Now I’ve learned how important relevance in education is in order to succeed. I’ve experienced learning that’s tailored to me and encompasses everything I could possibly want in a major. It’s unreal how much more connected I felt this semester compared to previous semesters.
I’ve learned about OERs and how much they benefit students. Not needing to pay for books is such a weight off your shoulders. It’s much easier to access as well because I can carry around all my textbooks at once without my backpack straps ripping off (that has actually happened to me. Junior high. Not a good time for anyone lol)
Connected learning has given me a modern perspective on learning and has shown me how to integrate technology we use on an everyday basis, with my education. It’s brought such a fresh approach to learning and has facilitated learning in an entirely different way. Who would ever have thought twitter could help me learn? Not me (check out how twitter can be used for educational purposes here!), boy was I wrong. Even this blog has been so fun to work with. There’s so much freedom that goes along with both these platforms and I’ve really been able to delve deeper into my style of learning and how important my education really is to me.
It reminds me of an article we read way back in the beginning of the semester about owning my own domain. I never thought about how disconnected many assignments and papers I’ve done have been. There’s been little room to make it my own and I’m always given a list of confines that I NEED to stay within. With twitter and this blog, I was able to branch out so much and connect everything I’ve learned with my major or my experiences.
This connection and integration that is a part of IDS is so important. So many fields and careers rely on different disciplines and cannot be successful without them. One of my blog posts was about IDS in substance rehabilitation programs and how there are so many interconnected parts that are needed for everything to run smoothly. Here a person’s well-being relies on integration of a bunch of different disciplines. That’s where I first understood how important interdisciplinarity can be.
I hope that in the future I will be somewhere that embraces interdisciplinarity and doesn’t trap knowledge into separate compartments. Even here at PSU, I really hope to see IDS branch out and show students, faculty, and staff just how beneficial interdisciplinarity can be for everyone.