The semester is over and no one wants to think about what they just went through. I sympathize with these students and have normally done the same, putting all thoughts of the semester behind me so I can get ready for the upcoming semester. This year I was not given the option to just block out the semester because one of my professors assigned our class an end of the year reflection paper. I was excited for the easy points, but didn't know how much it would make me think. As I began to write my reflection I was supposed to try to tie together what I learned in class, what I experienced at my service learning site, and anything I had learned this semester. Being forced to rehash the semester was beneficial for three reasons; it helped me to make my classes relevant to more than just the exams, it gave me the opportunity to look back on lessons learned, and it allowed me to look ahead and see if my path is continuing the way I want it to.

Material Relevant Outside of Class

During the semester we get wrapped up in studying for one exam after another or writing papers that we don't take the time to understand how the class material is relevant to our lives. This might seem strange considering we are all studying something we plan on doing in the future, but when did you last truly think about what you have learned in college? When the classes are still fresh in your mind you should think about how they relate to life. Try to see them from a new perspective.

Lessons Learned

How often have you taken time to really think about who you are and how you might be changing? I know that I don't normally do this and if I do it is very briefly. Now is the time to look back and examine those changes. How have your choices impacted you? Have you changed from the beginning of the semester? These are only a few of many questions that you can ask yourself.

Looking Towards the Future

We normally have some kind of end goal or career goal, but how often do we think about how we are progressing towards that goal? This is the time to sit down and think about your passions and if they still line up with your career goals. College and experiences students have can change their outlook and ideas for the future. Take some time and see if your goals still match who you are.

My suggestion, take a break from Netflix (I know this will be hard) and take a good look at who you were, who you are, and who you want to be.