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Paper 3 Reflection

HSBurke's picture

 "Despite having every opportunity to grow and excel in my rigorous academic studies, now that I am away from this environment, the lesson that has stuck with me the most was the education I wasn’t receiving. Now that I’ve arrived at Bryn Mawr and become exposed to the diverse viewpoints and backgrounds of my peers, my awareness of how cloistered my high-school experience was has increased ten-fold. The most important part in my journey towards higher education was realizing that school work isn’t that only type of education that is important to attain.  My access to education was colored by the fact that now I realize my past schooling experience wasn’t without its faults. In this essay, I will mainly be speaking about academic education as it provides an avenue toward social, physical and emotional education. Through our progression into higher education and experiences within classroom environments, our increased academic development provides access to continued growth socially, mentally and physically."

I had a particularly difficult time with this essay. I think it was because the idea I was attempting to convey was so abstract, even to me. What I realized is that higher education in terms of academic learning can also give us access to a cultural/societal education as we are introduced to a variety of people's experiences and backgrounds. Because the new resources (our peers) are now available to us, we are able to increase our tolerance and understanding of different ways of life and use this to think about problems in a new way. I recognize that not all academic experiences will provide this (my high school is an example of this). That being said, I believe that I have learned more in terms of knowledge that is applicable to the outside world in my past three weeks at Bryn Mawr than my four years of high school. All it took for me to experience this was a forum where I could discuss topics openly with other students and hear their individual opinions. Because Bryn Mawr has provided me access to new resources (my peers) with which to learn and grow, I feel like a more well-rounded student already.