Learning Outcomes

A. Over the course of the semester, I have absorbed copious amounts of information from all my classes, and have learned how to apply this acquired information to various projects and essays. While some acquired knowledge has proven useless, and will likely remain useless for the rest of my life, some acquired knowledge has been helpful in creating informative projects and essays. I have learned, through these classes, how to better integrate the knowledge that I acquire into my ideas and opinions. My increased skills in the area of specialized integration has helped me to write increasingly more relevant papers.

B. While I look back on all my classes, I have noticed that a lot fewer of them than I imagined deal with real-life current events. I think that it is vital for students to learn about the world around them because if they do not, as soon as they graduate they will be propelled into a unknown world without the comforts of a university. This could be very problematic as most students will have a hard time adjusting to these changes. I was disappointed that I learned very little about current events in any of my classes, but I think it wouldn't be too much trouble to update the curriculum to better suit the needs of students as they prepare for life outside the university.

C. Through my many classes, I have learned the importance of communication and have learned how to convey what I am trying to say better than I knew how to in high school. For instance, I my English and Communication classes have taught me untold amounts of information on how to write persuasive papers and give persuasive speeches effectively, without isolating members o the audience. A great example would be my persuasive speech on sweatshops. When I was in high school, I gave a speech about sweatshops, but I came off as too combative, and I received a low grade. However, using my gained knowledge about persuasive speaking topics, I gave virtually the same speech, with minor tweaks, and received a much higher grade. When you look at it from a big perspective, life is really just how you communicate with others, and I think that classes like Communications and English are helpful in teaching students how to communicate effectively.

D. I really wish that I could say that my freshman year at the U of I has changed my outlook on life completely, but that is simply not the case. I will admit that I have taken on a new perspective on many issues due in part to my classes and the information contained within, but mostly due to my dorm mates. I find it remarkable that ones opinions and beliefs can be swayed so immensely by the people they converse and hang around with. I have learned a lot about relationships, both friendship and romantic, during my freshman year at the U of I, and I am grateful for that experience. As a high school student at a relatively small high school, I was blind to differences in culture and opinions that I would come to experience at the university.

E. As a freshman at the U of I, I have tried to practice socially responsible behavior, but that is difficult in a university setting, I have found, since rampant drinking, drug use, and borderline prostitution are a constant presence at this, and all, universities. Still, I think that many of my classes have taught me to be more socially responsible, and I think that my level of responsibility towards my community and school will only rise as my academic career continues on. I think that team work is a vital step in learning how to succeed in life after college, and I have had multiple projects that have increased my teamwork skills exponentially. After all, life is just a form of communication, and those who are better at conveying their ideas and emotions will have greater success in the game of life.