As university students we are often asked to reflect. Whether that is on our own work, assessments or progress, we are asked to give feedback to academics or the subject coordinators about our studies.
Yes, this is a constructive and TEDIOUS process but how often do students apply this reflection in a way that provides feedback that we can apply to the self-growth that exists outside our studies?
By the time they reach university, students generally know how to learn. Content is delivered, we read, listen, write, practice and apply and hopefully, we are knowledgeable enough to pass each subject, even better if it is with flying colours. Often, what we forget is that this external learning process specific to our field of study is happening simultaneously to our self-growth and learning. It can be hard to touch base with this process when we are often shaped to prioritise academic learning and the pursuit of a career following graduation.
I began my first year set on being a physiotherapist, and didn’t allow myself to consider the wealth of possibilities in sport and exercise. Uni became a time of change, adjustment and growth. In high school, I was always told that I would end up as a teacher, and I generally didn’t take much notice of this. I taught dance and tutored, sure, but I never really had the thought of making a career out of anything outside of physio.
In my second year of Uni, I became a U: PASS leader for anatomy, where I led and facilitated peers through study sessions. This position opened an entire new set of doors that, coupled with the diverse nature of Sport and Exercise careers, put me a state of indecision and anxiety over my future.
It also however helped me realise what I love: learning and helping others learn.
So, now in my third year as I once again reflect, I feel as though I have gained some perspective, I see the value in the act of reflection. My time at Uni has allowed for self-reflection on what I have learnt about MYSELF, much deeper to my structural, functional and physiological makeup.
It has taught me to be critical and self-directing in my studies but even more so within myself. It has taken me until my third year to realise that the student experience is more than learning about your chosen field, but about learning about yourself. It also makes me wish I had of appreciated this earlier on, now that my final year is not exactly running as planned. The Moore Park building, my Uni friends, my subjects, lecturers, tutors; essentially my Uni experience, became my home of self-learning.