What major are you now considering studying? What do you find intriguing about it and how has your interest in this area developed at ND? How confident do you feel about your present choice?
"At present I am giving the most consideration to a major in Environmental Engineering and Earth Science. What pulls me in this direction is the possibility of expanding my educational experience by obtaining a double Bachelor's Degree in both of these fields. I also have a genuine interest in the environment, its protection, and its role in our future. I feel that of the engineering disciplines, it is the one that is be the most open-ended, as there is still so much to learn from our planet. Following this, I hope that this major will provide me the most opportunities to experience all that the world ha to offer."
Take a few minutes to explore the webpage of the major you are considering or the pertinent pages of the Bulletin of Information to see what courses you need to take over the next three and a half years to complete the major. (See the FYS Advising ePortfolio Resources link for both.) Do you have the pre-requisite courses and/or skills to do well in this area of study?
"Looking at the requirements for the Environmental Engineering and Earth Science degrees, I have noticed that their requirements are very similar. Even in later years, they only differ by a few course credits and technical electives may provide an opportunity to blend degrees. In terms of the skills required, I know that I have more than ample motivation, and I think that that is all that counts."
In what ways have you grown intellectually over the last four months?
"In the last four months, I have made a lot of new friends, all with very different opinions and interests. Ultimately I think it has been these simple social interactions that have helped me grow from freshman to underclassman."
What are your academic strengths and where did you use them this semester?
"Interestingly enough, I found strength in my writing and reading abilities. My success in Writing and Rhetoric has given me confidence in my abilities to craft written arguments, while my participation in class discussions has boosted my confidence in my own point of view. I also think I boast creativity, and try to express it where I can. I have solid analytical skills, and found comfort in my Calculus classes. Even Chemistry, a course in which I struggled, left me with a sense of confidence in my abilities."
Which classes have you found most interesting and why? Is there a topic (related to those classes or not) on which you might, eventually, like to do a short- or long-term research project?
"I suppose my most interesting class experiences have come from in-class discussions on various issues that came up in Writing and Rhetoric. None of these are necessarily research-material as they are primarily concerned with ideas. Nonetheless, they were very engaging. Engineering has exposed me to some new software but the general nature of the Intro course has not provided many areas that really spark my interest. However this semester's project promises to provide a great exposure to the physical and digital sides of engineering."
Which classes were most challenging, and how did you handle these challenges?
"My most challenging course last semester proved to be General Chemistry. It was a big change from my high school chemistry classes in that it required a lot more personal motivation. The biggest challenge for me was developing a level of comfort with material that always seemed abstract to me, as in I could never experience it firsthand. Many homework and test problems were based on the broader applications of such concepts and thus provided my greatest setbacks last semster. To handle this challenge, I made greater efforts in note review and spent less time on practice problems found in the text."
Which of your study strategies are working well for you and which are not? What adjustments in how you study do you hope to make in the coming semester?
"Doing practice problems has always been a good way for me to prepare for upsoming tests and doing readings before class has enhanced my takeaways from lecture. But what has not worked well is procrastination, which goes without saying. I talked to a professor recently who said that whle a lecture may only last an hour, it takes a much longer time to actually grasp the material. Reviewing notes is something I hope to make a consistent habit of. Additionally, getting out to more Professors' office hours will be essential."
What have you learned about sharing your questions, thoughts and ideas in class or privately with your instructors? How has your comfort level changed?
"I have learned that sharing ideas is vital to personal growth. Over the course of this academic year, I established myself as one of the most talkative kids in my discussion-based classes. I like making my share of contributions and I have found comfort in this environment."
What opportunities have you used to learn outside the classroom, and how did they increase your skils (cultural competence, creativity, interpersonal, leadership, communication, organizational, or other skills)?
"This past semester, I was involved in a lot of activities outside of class, maybe even too many. If anything I have learned how to better allot the time that I have. I attended some talks for academic exploration, and some of them have stuck with me. Dr. Clive Neal's talk on Earth Science gave me a new perspective on the importance of Geology and reminded me of why I had put that as my intended major during the application process."