Reflection on My Time at Concordia

At Concordia, a liberal arts approach to learning is emphasized greatly and it is expected to help all students be exceptional contributors to the community, becoming responsibly engaged in the world. But what does this mean? Having the opportunity to learn in various different perspectives and looking at the world through different lenses is something I did not expect to appreciate coming into my college experience. As I would assume many first-year students feel, I thought these exploration courses were a waste of time and I just did not understand what the benefit was of taking these courses. Looking back at my time at Concordia, I cherish the fact that I was able to view the world through a religious perspective, a philosophical perspective, a scientific perspective, an arts perspective, and many more. It opens up your views and makes you see things from all angles which is the key to being a contributing member of society or any discipline that one may spend their life working in.

A key skill you learn through a diverse education that liberal arts provides is thinking critically and thinking of all possible perspectives. This allows you to recognize the best way to go about anything, what the best solution is to the problem at hand. One cannot possibly think of all possible approaches without being put in the position to think about problems in a completely different way that what might come naturally. Being a psychology major, thinking about behaviors and the way someone was brought up is where my mind goes naturally, but neuroscience and other natural sciences force me to think about what could be happening in the brain or the body that is causing certain personalities or actions. Without a liberal arts education, I would probably not be exposed to these ways of approaching ideas and problem solving, and I think having this experience makes me a more intelligent and well-rounded individual.

Critical thinking skills are definitely something that I improved on greatly during my time in Neurochemistry this semester. Going into discussions every week at the start of the semester was very difficult for me because the chemistry and really scientific ways of thinking are not where my mind goes immediately when talking about different disorders. My mind wants to go to the nurture side of the nature vs nurture debate, thinking about what is their early life is causing this disorder. Although this is still the way I approach these problems first, I have come to consider other reasonings or mechanisms for what is going wrong in each case.

Having this liberal arts education and being pushed cognitively to think critically is going to help me be a better collaborative partner going forward into the world which I think is one of the most appreciated qualities for someone to have not only in the workforce but it any relationships in life. Being able to see all perspectives and being flexible in how you think makes you work better in a group and have empathy for all people that you may interact with. I am incredibly grateful for this opportunity for me to grow and I am ready to become responsibly engaged in the world.

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