Coming from a student who has continuously struggled with the conventional educational system, I advise as many students as possible to look into an interdisciplinary education. Unfortunately, like many other students, I have developed a negative mentality around any general education. In the journal we read for today, “Interdisciplinary Education: A Reflection of the Real World”, it states that students are finding classes irrelevant if the curriculum fails to make the connection between the concepts and skills learned and real-world problems. This statement could not have described my feelings any better. During my high school and early higher educational careers, I often found classes to be irrelevant because I could not transfer or apply the knowledge to anything I was remotely interested in. I finally found the Interdisciplinary Studies program which allowed me to tailor my major into something that I truly am interested in.
The interdisciplinary educational journey is one that will have lasting effects in many future goals. When first looking at an interdisciplinary education, most students will see that classes are pulled from multiple disciplines to form a degree program that is logically tailored to their interests, but an interdisciplinary education is so much more than just building your own degree program. An interdisciplinary education provides students an opportunity to express their creativity in ways they could not have imagined with a traditional education. Along with their expression of creativity, students will learn how to think critically in many situations where their knowledge from all different disciplines can be applied. As I could see these first two skills developing long before I even was accepted into the Interdisciplinary Studies program, I had no idea that my interdisciplinary education could foster even more skills than these two as well as continuously building upon each skill as I further my education. A couple more skills that have surprisingly emerged during my official beginning of interdisciplinary education are collaboration and communication. The amount of times that I have asked my advisors and peers for their input and suggestions is mind-blowing. I have never thought that my collaboration skills would have gotten better through this program, or even the importance of this skill when being applied in the professional world. Communication is another skill that is greatly underestimated in education, but is extremely important when it comes to your future career. The amount of communication I have had to have between my advisors as well as in group work is outstanding, but the work put into the communication has helped further my ability in this skill set.
Although these skills that come out of an interdisciplinary education are great, the sheer emotional connection to your education is worlds apart from any traditional education’s capability. As a student, having any say in your educational program’s requirements is slightly liberating, but having say over an entire degree plan is completely liberating for any student. While you could be spending time and money on a degree that is already laid out for you, how devoted would you actually be to that degree? The ownership that is felt over any class you pick makes you that much more devoted as a student.
When I found the Interdisciplinary Studies program, I found where I was supposed to further my education. With this great option of personalizing my education, I could see no other degree for me. My degree program finally got accepted a few short weeks ago and I could not be more excited to continue my interdisciplinary journey through my senior year as well as in my professional life. In my previous education, I never felt like I was living up to my potential, like a flower bud, but now that I have determined my own educational path I feel like my potential is in full bloom. From one student to another, I hope you find where you bloom to the fullest.