After today’s class discussion, I thought back to my first month here at Geneseo. Over and over I’d been told to prepare for “the best four years of your life”, “meeting your lifelong best friends”, and the always unfortunate “hours of studying and stress”. And I can say, at least for the last statement, they weren’t joking around. In my first class of Calculus 2, after 20 minutes of introductions, there it appeared on the screen. Bold face. Font 48. “Chapter 1 Notes”. Within a period of 50 minutes, I managed to get more confused and overwhelmed than I’d ever been in my 18 years of life, wondering if there was a magical derivative algorithm to college life in general.
Flashing forward to the present, I can say that no one truly knows how to figure it out. Despite all the advice and warnings, there’s trial and error, phone calls to mom, and a few bad test grades along the way. But it has taught me one very important thing: college is much more than learning textbook knowledge, it’s about personal growth and acquisition of a purpose in life. I think this is what the statements in the GLOBE try to indirectly express. The learning outcomes, although explained vaguely, truly do mask the struggles AND joys in the journey I’ve endured so far. After rereading them, one particular outcome stuck with me: “Reflection: to reflect upon changes in learning and outlook over time; to make personal, professional, and civic plans based on that self-reflection.” It is impossible to put a more specific statement here, not only because every student’s time here will be different, but because it’s written to invite us to create an experience that we will actually enjoy reflecting upon. I hope others can find some beauty in this as well, rather than seeing yet another boring mission statement.