At the beginning, I had mixed feelings about GCU. I did not know what was ahead of me apart from the fact that I was going into a new environment that I was not used to. Of particular concern was how the studies would be different from my community college. I had a good share of fears in me most of which, I must admit, were informed by myths I had come across about universities.
My view about universities was that these were tough places, and you have to be very tough to make it. Although I have come to realize that a lot of effort has to be put in at the university level, the perspective I have of a university, at least from the GCU experience, is different from the one I had before of a tough place. In this reflection, I discuss my adjustment process to GCU. I highlight what has been beneficial to me and my success at the institution. I also point out sources of distraction and the lessons that have been significant in this process.
First and foremost, I must admit my adjustment process has been smooth so far. It is an experience that has been of joy to me because of the lessons that I have learned. Further, it is a process that is very informed, and I have gained much knowledge of my course. The assignments are detailed and quite practical. I am learning new concepts and finding their applications to real life situations. At this rate, there is no doubt my mind set will gradually change for the better.
There many things that have been beneficial to me. To start with, the learning process is hands on. It is possible to relate what is taught in class to what happens to the real world. To me, this makes learning exciting and relevant. I get the motivation to learn more and find myself delving deeper into studies. Relating theoretical concepts to what happens in real life should be what learning should be about. We discussed various case studies that were real life and that made much significance to the course I take.
Through the adjustment process, I have a better understanding of who I am. This has been possible through the various self-assessment exercises that we have done. The exercises revealed to me what my values are, the areas that I am good at and where I need to make improvements on. For instance, through the Mercy Core Values discussion forum, I was able to identify respectful, integrity and compassion as my values. I also note that at times, I doubt my capabilities and, therefore, I feel I need to do more work on my integrity. The discussion forum therefore revealed my values and what needed to be done to make myself better.
Study skills and time management are very important for not only students but also for any person who want to be successful. As aforementioned, the amount of work at GCU is quite a lot. It would be extremely hard to manage the workload without being equipped with proper studying skills and an ability to effectively manage time well. I think one gets to experience the beauty of time management when exposed to a lot of work and consequently uses time management to accomplish the workload effectively. This has been my case. Instead of complaining about a lot of work, I have found it easy to use time management skills to accomplish my assignments on time.
GCU has voluminous sources of information. Wading through library system and databases can be tiresome if you do not know where and how to look. Concepts such as getting to the right database, journals and key words are very important to retrieve the information required. The library system is a great source of solutions for assignments and more important is the right place to gain further knowledge apart from what we learn from class. There is no denying, the library system makes it easy to learn. I was able to cross check various sources discussion similar concepts and I was convinced there was no better way to gain a wide scope of a concept.
All was not bright at GCU. The community at the university is huge. There are many things that need to be experienced apart from studies. It is easy to blend in with other students. It is like we all have one common goal, to make our lives better at the college. However, how each one of use went about achieving this goal was different. There were some who liked partying. Parties at the college are great; you get to intermingle with new friends. What I discovered was that this merry-life part of college can be time consuming and is distracting. It is therefore very important that a student should learn to control all aspects of life in college. Fortunately, this is possible through the use of time management skills. Being disciplined is also important because it helps one in adhering to his/her time schedule.
All the lessons I have learned in this course are important as each one builds on the foundation set by a previous lesson. Therefore, it would be hard to argue that one is more important than another. Nevertheless, I found the lesson on managing educational and personal needs to be quite exciting. This lesson helped me to develop a deeper understanding of what my educational needs are. It is almost ironical that sometimes a person can pursue something without intrinsically knowing what he or she is pursuing. I am beginning to have a detailed understanding of what entails my course. In this manner, it has become possible for to proportionally start adjusting myself to fit into what I wish to accomplish. The need to know myself and the values that I have is therefore important if I am to taste success. This lesson therefore reconciles my personal values to what I am pursuing.
In conclusion, I admit that I have had a great adjustment process to GCU which has not only been informing but also has led to great self-reflection on my life. The process has made it possible for me to adjust to the student life at GCU. I find it easy to move around and particularly my studies will be interesting because of the orientation process I have had.